Technical Canyoneering in Utah - Alumni

Credit: Jamie O'Donnell

Technical Canyoneering in Utah - Alumni

In addition to living in southern Utah's desert canyon environment (we will be traveling in the greater Cedar Mesa region), this trip will emphasize technical travel (using ropes, harnesses, and other rock climbing gear) through the area's steep, exposed, and narrow terrain.
Participants will develop a heightened understanding of risk management in 4th and 5th class terrain, learn to build anchors to support rappels, handlines, and pack lowers and raises, "drop" slot canyons, and do their share of hand-over-hand scrambling and possibly some wading through pools. More straightforward hiking—along flat canyon washes and mesa rims—will also be likely. 

To optimize learning, you will set up 1-2 base camps which you'll venture out from on a daily basis. This is the NOLS equivalent of car camping, so you can carry some more luxury items in your backpack and don't have to spend as much time moving camps. We find this model gives more time to play in the canyons.

The trip also emphasizes the extensive flora and fauna of the area, canyon-specific Leave No Trace skills, and the fascinating and mysterious human history of the canyons.

This is a fantastic trip to share with non-grad guests, friends or family.

Activity Rating*:

*Days are warm, but long days, steep terrain, loose footing, and sleeping on the ground increases this trip's challenge.



2020 Dates

March 22 – March 28, 2020

Tuition: $1,250
Details: Includes pre and post-trip lodging in Grand Junction.
1 space remains Apply now

March 29 – April 4, 2020

Tuition: $1,250
Details: Includes pre and post-trip lodging in Grand Junction.

Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2020

Tuition: $1,250
Details: Pre and post-trip lodging in Grand Junction is included. Explore Utah's vertical slickrock canyons.


All course information at a glance




6 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.


If you have questions about enrollment or including families/guests on a particular alumni trip, then contact:

NOLS Alumni Department

Other Alumni Courses