Outdoor Leadership Challenge: San Juan River   

Ages: 14 +

Dates: July 6 - July 17 *this program departs on a Sunday

Tuition: $2,800
Overnights: 10

Challenge Level:  

Academy’s flagship program returns in 2019 with an exciting collection of locations and activities! Designed to teach “Leadership in Action”, O.L.C. will take students from the soaring peaks of the San Juan Mountains to the sunken canyons of the San Juan River. Under the professional and passionate leadership of Academy field staff, students will be encouraged to challenge themselves through daily excursions, activities and adventures. Our expedition will begin with three nights at the High Camp Hut for a high alpine cabin retreat where we will have plenty of time for introductions, goal setting and participate in a nationally recognized Wilderness First Aid and CPR course. Students will then work together to attempt a summit of an iconic peak located in the San Juans where route finding skills, teamwork and reading weather will all be called into action. We will then head south and prepare for a cultural and trekking excursion into the heart of the vibrant Southwest. Students will immerse themselves in the native culture, natural environments and living history of the Navajo Nation with Navajo YES. With visits to National Monuments, working farms and ancient cities, O.L.C. will bring to life a thriving and important component of our nations heritage. Our grand finale will be a 5-day river trip journey down the scenically stunning and culturally rich San Juan River. O.L.C. will once again partner with Grand Canyon Youth for a “service and science” river adventure that will include a citizen science program, place-based art projects and a service learning group project. Students will team up with professional guides to paddle this stunning 84-mile stretch of canyon that includes desert bighorn sheep, side hikes to petroglyph panels and Anasazi ruins, sandy beaches and star filled night skies. O.L.C. will ignite your flames of discovery while challenging you to look at the world and yourself from the unique vantage point of the San Juan!
Program Itinerary: *Subject to change

Day 1

Meet and Greets. CPR & First Aid intro. Menu plan and group shop. Trek to High Camp Hut for triple overnight.

Day 2

Wilderness First Aid @ High Camp Hut.

Day 3

Early AM Sheep Mountain summit attempt. Celebrate with wood-burning hot tub soak.

Day 4 

Trek back to vehicle early AM. Head south to our Navajo Nation project with Navajo YES.

Day 5

Service project with Navajo YES.

Day 6

Cont. Project in the AM. PM drive to Bluff, UT and the put-in of the San Juan River. Meet with GCY for orientation and packing. 

Days 7 - 10

Launch the San Juan River for 5 days of wilderness exploration! GCY specialists will lead our exploration journey into the heart of the Navajo Nation. Students will explore the petroglyphs and ruins of the Anasazi culture, participate in citizen science projects and enjoy the Academy's longest river trip of 2019!

Day 11

Final Morning on the RIO! Arrive at take-out. De-rig and celebrate an amazing adventure!

Day 12:

Pack up camp and get Navajo Tacos on the way back to Telluride! Hugs, high fives, and parent pick-up.


*A detailed itinerary will be available on the first
day of the program. Schedule subject to change

Click pack for a packing list
Rent or purchase discounted gear 

*Students are required to provide a backpack for this program. Packs can be rented with Paragon Sports by using the link above.

*River trips are dependent on water levels, weather and ability and are subject to change