With consideration to a group’s choice of maintaining a base camp or experiencing a backpacking course activity schedules may vary. Generally, groups are scheduled for day-long activities which include rock climbing and hikes to Johnson Cave, Rattlesnake Canyon, Gunsight Loop or Middle Earth Canyon in a rotation. Backpacking groups might also indulge in the Wonderland of Rocks, Queen Valley, and Johnny Lang Canyon. Instructors introduce basic hiking skills, including proper preparation for desert hiking or backpacking, map and compass skills and risk assessment.
The rock-climbing days include instruction in climbing techniques, use of equipment and the safety concerns of climbing. Prior to rock climbing, students are introduced to scrambling and bouldering, both of which introduce rock climbing skills and spotting techniques. Interspersed with the day hikes and rock climbing, the program also features cooperative learning activities that promote the development of communication skills, leadership skills and group cohesion.
The educational component includes instruction in the desert ecology, natural history of Joshua Tree National Park, geologic features, and plant and animal identification. Engaging discussions on National Park stewardship and human use of desert resources ensure that students derive the greatest possible benefit from their experience in Joshua Tree National Park.
Arrival at Joshua Tree National Park
Large Group Opening
Set up Camp
Hiking, Natural History,
Map and Compass
Middle Earth Canyon Hike
Lunch on hike
Scrambling and Bouldering
Astronomy and Constellations Program
Rattlesnake Canyon Hike
Lunch on hike
Night Hike and Night Sensory Activities
National Park Stewardship
Small Group Closures and Large Group Campfire
Break down Camp
Large Group Closing Activities
Farewells and Departure