School Outdoor Education

Teachers and Students: Participate in the Learning Experience of a lifetime!

Outdoor environmental education programs on land and river for schools, colleges, scouts, churches, and other organized groups.

From April 15 through October 25 except closed for a 10 day summer break in late July.

Since 1984 Canyonlands Field Institute has gained a reputation as one of the finest outdoor education schools in the country, teaching students to understand, respect and appreciate science and the natural world.

Students and teachers alike leave our program inspired and encouraged, with fresh vision of the complexity of our environmental and human systems.

Lessons meet requirements for national and state science guidelines, and our multi-disciplinary approach ensures a fun and inspiring hands-on learning experience.

The Colorado Plateau is a landscape of minimalism, stark beauty, vast open spaces, national monuments, parks, forests and wilderness study areas.  Through field studies and reflection, camping, hiking and river running, students have the chance to experience wild nature directly — with few of the trappings of modern day life.

The CFI Experience

CFI has hosted hundreds of school groups from all over the country. Our multi-day programs are aimed at middle school, high school and college groups, while day trips are designed for all ages (six years and older).

The CFI Experience includes:

  • Participation in safe, active, meaningful, and transformative outdoor experiences
  • Building skills and confidence through fun challenges
  • Relevant, interdisciplinary hands-on curriculum that teaches science, history, literature and art activities in an outdoor setting
  • An experienced teaching staff of naturalists and river guides that are caring, competent and fun to be with – they are great role models for kids!
  • Opening worlds to natural resource career opportunities
  • Increasingly rare opportunities to experience deep silence and brilliant night skies
  • Time to “be a kid” in nature away from civilization
  • The unequaled beauty of Utah’s high desert

When to bring your school to southeast Utah:

Spring, summer, and fall offer three wonderful seasons of exploration on the Colorado Plateau region of Southern Utah. Programs run April through late October with a 10 day closure break in late July.

Spring: Reward hard-working students with a great end-of-the-year adventure! Spring brings wildflowers and warm days with cool nights to the rivers and canyons of Southern Utah. Paddle down one of the Colorado, Dolores, San Juan, or Green Rivers; or choose one of our Professor Valley Field Camp programs outside Moab running through second week of June. Spring is quite popular, so make reservations early!

Summer: Rafting on the Colorado River and camping in the cool, lush sub-alpine forest of the La Sal Mountains are a welcome relief from warmer temperatures below. River trips as well as camping and hiking in the mountains offer welcome respite from the summer sun.

Fall: Kick off the new school year with an educational trip guaranteed to generate inspiration, unity, and an excitement about learning the entire year for students and teachers alike. With reliably pleasant weather, CFI’s fall programs are based at either the La Sal Mountain base camp, the Professor Valley Field Camp or on the Colorado, San Juan or Green Rivers.

If your school would like to apply for a scholarship download this handy form:

Scholarship Application for Public Schools and Non-profits   (pdf)