Backpacking in Utah

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Slot canyons
Catherine McDonough

This project will explore a remote canyon in the desert of southwest Utah.  We will be backpacking down into the Escalante River Canyon by way of Harris Wash.  Day trips will also include climbing through some amazing slot canyons. Students will be carrying backpacks full of gear and food for the entire trip, camping in the backcountry, practicing “Leave No Trace” principles, and learning hard skills to support the group as they travel through the wilderness.  We will fly into Salt Lake City, rent vehicles, and then drive to the trailhead. 

Educational Objectives: 

Students will learn to be self sufficient while hiking and camping.  They will learn how to set up camp, cook, read maps, use compasses, filter water, and how to travel safely and efficiently thru fragile desert terrain and thru difficult canyons using all the Leave No Trace principles that they learned.  They will also be required to do some research before the trip on plant, animals, geology and history of the area, and then give a report to the rest of the students during our evening talks.  Students will also be asked to give and receive feedback about their contribution to the group, and they will be asked to set goals for the trip and then reflect on those goals after the trip.  Solo time and journaling time will be scheduled during the trip.  Students must participate in all activities.

Special Considerations

We will be procuring airfare in early January please do not make other travel arrangements for spring break until we do. 

Project Week Timeline (2019-20)

  • November 9 - Catalog Published
  • November 20 - Independent Proposals Due
  • November 10-20 - Student Selection Period
  • December 20 - Student Placement Published
  • January 24 (9:05 – 9:45 am) and March 13 (9-9:30 am) - Project Week Group Meetings
  • March 30 - April 3 - Project Week


Joey Pauley
Project Week Director
425-868-6191 x816