Summer backpacking adventure

Everybody wants to reach the peak, but there is no growth on top of the mountain. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life’s next peak.
— Andy Andrews

The Stone Canyon Summer Backpacking Adventure is for Middle and High School Students. For high schoolers, we are offering a six-day Adventure and Leadership course for ages 15-18. Middle school students can attend four-day Introduction to Backpacking course. These courses are designed to fuel your sense of adventure, challenge you in exciting new ways, and help you realize the many things you are capable of.

Leadership is at the heart of all we do at Stone Canyon Summer Camp. This elevated leadership experience is designed to build upon the leadership skills you already have and to prepare you for the many adventures life has in store. This tip will provide opportunities to put your leadership skills into practice in a beautiful and challenging environment.



Throughout these courses the mountains will be our classroom. Students will travel and camp as a group, taking turns acting as leaders of the day and practicing goal setting, decision making and other skills necessary to achieve personal and group success. Our outdoor classroom will be a catalyst for students to grow as individuals and as leaders. By stepping outside of their comfort zone and overcoming new obstacles students will gain confidence, build character, and learn invaluable lessons that they can carry with them in their everyday lives. Our experienced staff will provide the group with the tools and support they need throughout the experience.


Middle School Itinerary

Tuesday, July 23rd

Arrival at Stone Canyon and drive to
Lower Dune/Mendano Creek

Camping, Dune exploration & orienteering lesson

Wednesday, July 24th – Friday, July 26th  

Backpack in the Great Sand Dunes National Park

 Friday July 26th

Hike Zapata Falls and Drive back to Stone Canyon

Camper Pick Up


High School Itinerary

Monday July 15th

Teambuilding and rock climbing at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Tuesday July 16th

Campcraft and Orienteering lessons at Yampa River State Park

Wednesday July 17th - Saturday July 20th

Backpacking in the White River National Forest

Saturday, July 20th

Swimming at Aurora Reservoir & return to Stone Canyon

Sunday July 21st

Parent Pick-Up


  • All three Trekking Excursion staff have a minimum CPR/FA training. Our lead has a Wilderness First Responder certification.

  • Stone Canyon has an extensive Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the trip as required by the United States National Forest Service.

    • Our EAP is based off of research and guidelines set forth by the National Outdoor Leadership School and has been adapted for the activities and location of this specific trip.

  • The group will be carrying a Delorme inReach Explorer for tracking and communication for the duration of the trip. This will allow for emergency communication and for Stone Canyon Administration to track our location.

  • This trip operates under special use permit for the White River National Forest.


Program Lead - Erin Rush

Erin is an outdoor educator with more than a decade of experience guiding teens through wilderness adventures.  She discovered her passion for youth leadership development in 2008 at a residential summer camp in the north woods of Minnesota.  She has since led backpacking and canoeing programs across the US and in Canada.  

Erin currently works as an outdoor instructor at a California-based school, a guide for an adventure travel company, and climbing team coach at her local gym.  She is a University of Kentucky and National Outdoor Leadership School graduate, and an AmeriCorps alum. She is certified as a Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder.  


The cost for the high school program is $1200.

The cost for the middle school program is $900.
This includes:

  • Staffing

  • Transportation

  • Food

  • All group equipment

*Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures/Summer Camp is an equal opportunity service provider and employer. Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures/Summer Camp operates under a special use permit from USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest.*