Southwest Backpacking


Southwest Backpacking

A week-long exploration of the American Southwest, stressing decision-making, teamwork, and leadership in a challenging environment.

This venture is a full seven days of challenging adventures based in experiential education. You will backpack through varied desert landscapes, surrounded by ponderosa pine forest, saguaro cacti, and ocotillo plants. You will develop backcountry and leadership skills as you navigate narrow river canyons and sky islands that rise up out of vast expanses of desert. You will deepen your relationships with your fellow classmates while pushing yourself physically and mentally, and of course, having fun.

The U.S. Southwest has a far-reaching and ongoing history of human presence, from the traces of ancient cultures to the stories of indigenous communities, past and present, and issues of water rights on the U.S./Mexico border. You’ll be captivated by the magic of the desert—the diversity and beauty of a landscape that you might have previously envisioned as barren and empty.

*Cost includes all park fees, transportation, meals and equipment and expert facilitation from our partnering organization. Flights to and from Tucson, Arizona and personal gear needs are not included in the tuition cost.

For more information on registering through CourseMatch in please see this CourseMatch tutorial.

To begin registration via Course Match or to be considered for a scholarship, please see our instructions here.

Partner Organization

  • Venture Fellows: Aubrey Schafer & William Wang
  • Participant fee: $3000
  • Number of seats: 12
  • Location: Galiuro Wilderness, Arizona