Colorado & Utah

Canyons & Conservation

$4,895

*Airfare purchased separately

21 days

Trip duration

9th – 12th

Grades

21 days

July 1 - July 21

Salt Lake City, UT

Arrival

Denver, CO

Departure

$4,895

Tuition

21 days

Trip duration

July 1 - July 21

9th – 12th

Grades

*Airfare purchased separately

Overview

Enter a world of red-rock spires and intricate canyons as we take an in-depth look at important environmental issues impacting the American West. Live every adventurer’s dream with a two-day rafting trip down the celebrated Arkansas River while learning about water rights and the geological history of these sacred lands. Volunteer at a wolf sanctuary to study the often misunderstood Gray Wolf and learn how this center lives sustainably off the land. Drop into slot canyons carved over millennia and hike a maze of twisted orange spires and rock arches. Walk the enchanting lands of the Anasazi and Hopi Indians, discover the wildlife that calls this unique landscape home, and bathe in colorful desert sunsets found only in the West!

Highlights

  • Volunteer at a Wolf Sanctuary in the Remote Colorado Mountains
  • Rock Climb Rugged Peaks of the La Sal Mountains
  • Surf Down the Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Hike Colorado and Utah’s Breathtaking Alpine Lakes and Snowy Peaks, and Majestic Canyons
  • Visit 5 National Parks
  • Embark on a 2-day Rafting Trip Through Brown’s Canyon
  • Learn about the native homes of the The Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Hopi Nation
  • 15 Hours of Community Service

Get the itinerary

Explore Colorado & Utah

Explore the labyrinth of canyons and unbelievable natural arches of two of America’s most famous National Parks, Arches and Canyonlands. Here, the snow-dusted La Sal Mountains tower over a golden fantasyland of mesas, buttes, and giant arches. Hike the Colorful Canyon Layers in Canyonlands National Park and visit ancient ruins such as Balcony House and Cliff Place to learn about the native cultures that called this area home for hundreds of years in Mesa Verde. Watch the sun slowly fade behind the famous Delicate Arch and the beautiful La Sal Mountains.

Sightseeing

Hike

Adventure & Conservation

Climb through Moab’s winding slot canyons and waterways surrounded by pristine sandstone slabs. Surf the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park and hike Colorado’s best trails to alpine lakes and snowy peaks. Float through the beautiful twisting landscape of Brown’s Canyon and discover ancient petroglyphs. Immerse yourself in an extremely unique wildlife conservation opportunity working with rescued wolves in the rural mountains of Colorado. Learn in detail from biologists the gray wolf, their behaviors, and how to care for these magnificent creatures by helping with tasks at a wolf sanctuary.

Backpacking

Climbing

Work Projects

Leadership and Discovery

Take on the Leader of The Day Role and lead the group on hikes through the canyons. Work as a team to conquer a high ropes course and marvel at the 300 million-year-old sculpted rock walls. Learn how to don a harness, tie knots, and how to support each other while navigating the rocks. Adopt the Leave No Trace principles and wilderness ethics while practicing setting up and taking down camp. Team up with Park Rangers in Mesa Verde to explore fascinating ancient ruins with over 600 cliff dwellings and 5,000 archeological sites, gaining a deeper understanding of the long history of these lands and those who came before us.

Camp

Culture

Climbing

Common Questions

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The weather will vary throughout our journey depending on location and elevation. The summer in Moab and throughout canyon country consists of hot, dry days where we will be sure to hydrate and take breaks to swim and cool off during the hottest part of the day. As we move higher in the elevations of Colorado, the temperatures will cool down. Short but intense afternoon thunderstorms are the norm for the mountains of Colorado.

We will be camping for the duration of our adventure. You will sleep in tents in National Parks, State Parks, National Forest Service land, and private campsites. The majority of our campgrounds are “front-country,” meaning you will be close to the group’s van while camping. While at these front-country campgrounds, you will have restroom facilities and running water for drinking, cooking, and washing hands. Some campgrounds have showers on-site.

Each group will travel together, with their two leaders, in a 15-passenger van and a small trailer. The van and trailer will become the group’s home base throughout the program.

Students are often pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food on an ARCC program. The group will work together to create each unique menu and prepare delicious meals throughout the duration of this trip, with occasional meals out at local restaurants on travel days. Vegetarian and other dietary limitations (i.e., allergies and food preferences) are easily catered for. Please send us dietary restrictions in advance.

ARCC has been operating programs in the U.S. for nearly four decades, and we have built relationships with a variety of individuals, small communities, and organizations that enjoy hosting ARCC student groups each summer. On this program, we will partner with a non-profit wolf sanctuary, working with other volunteers to lean more about what it takes to preserve these often misunderstood creatures. We will also have the chance to jump in and help on projects to improve the wolf habitats.

In the US thousands of wolves are being raised by humans, often as pets. Sadly, these wolves do not learn the skills to live in the wild, and end up in enclosures much too small for their needs. Domestic shelters cannot provide adequate care for the wolves when the owners can no longer keep them, and that’s were wolf sanctuaries step in!

We will learn more about some key points, including;

  1. The difference between dogs and wolves
  2. What other animal populations benefit from the presence of wolves
  3. The myth of the “big bad wolf”
  4. Non-verbal communication when interacting with animals

We suggest bringing spending money of roughly $75/week. Most cash should come home, but you will want some personal money to pay for airline baggage fees at the airport, souvenirs/gifts, laundry, extra snacks, and emergencies (lost items, clinic visits, etc.). A small amount of cash and ATM cards usually work best.

If you are traveling within the United States and are under the age of 18, airlines do not require photo identification. However, if you have a photo ID (driver’s license, school ID, etc.) it would be helpful. If you are traveling to the U.S. from outside of the United States, you will need to bring your valid passport and possible visa, depending on where you are traveling from.

Have questions? Speak to one of our Program Directors, give them a call at (415) 332.5075 , they love talking about their trips!

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