Wilderness Adventure, Community Service and Cultural Exchange

 Since 1984, Deer Hill Expeditions has guided wilderness adventure and cultural exchange community service experiences for young people in the American Southwest and Costa Rica. Deer Hill runs summer adventure camp programs that include backpacking, rock climbing, river rafting and working on community service projects with Native American families. Deer Hill also creates custom designed trips for groups such as schools and organizations that combine those same elements of adventure, challenge, learning and fun.

Custom Group Programs

Wilderness and service adventures designed specifically to fit your group’s goals, interests and needs.

Summer Expeditions

Multi-week expeditions combining wilderness adventure and service projects with Native American families.

Deer Hill Foundation

Scholarships to make wilderness adventure and cultural exchange accessible to a wider audience.

Deer Hill provides wilderness adventure and cultural exchange through community service to 150 participants each summer and 20-30 organizations throughout the year. We are a small wilderness adventure camp based in Colorado that delivers a personalized experience. We maintain a staff to participant ratio of 1:4, and cap enrollment for each summer expedition team at 15. This gives participants the space and opportunity to shine as individuals.

Field staff are licensed river guides and climbing instructors, many of whom return year after year to work at Deer Hill. In the off-seasons, they work in a variety of fields all around the country, and bring these experiences to their work with Deer Hill.

Founders and owners, Doug and Beverly Capelin, built Deer Hill’s Basecamp in Mancos, Colorado, at the feet of the majestic Rocky Mountains, and a stone’s throw from the rivers and canyons of Southeast Utah. Over the past 30 years, the Capelins have built strong relationships with families and community leaders in the Navajo Nation and in Hopi and Zuni pueblos. Deer Hill’s programs are built on the kind of intimate relationships with people and place that take time and dedication to create. 


Learn More About Deer Hill Expeditions


About Deer Hill




The Deer Hill Blog

In the Mach 2016 Issue of the Petroglyph…

Happy New Year from everyone at Deer Hill

  • Amanda Sturner on Experiential Education
  • What Deer Hill Means to Me, Ambassador Beth Capelin
  • Meet the New Faces at Basecamp
  • In Photos: Spring at Deer Hill
  • Still Time to Find Yourself this Summer

Get our blog in your inbox

Including the Petroglyph (Deer Hill's roughly quarterly email newsletter), Summer Expedition program updates, and the occasional article.

Gold King Mine

In October 2015, Utah Department of Environmental Quality updated its findings on the San Juan River after the Gold King Mine incident in August. Read More…

"You come out of a Deer Hill trip so enriched by unbelievable experiences you've had that you are a new person. You won't know how or why, but such closeness with the earth, the amazing people and the amazing staff changes you for the better."

− Max, participant