Autumn Adult Retreat

This expedition includes:

  • Upper San Juan River Rafting Expedition
  • Mesa Verde National Park Tour
  • Basecamp Time

Calling all parents, alumni, and Deer Hill community members – This is your chance to embark on an unforgettable Deer Hill trip!  Connect with the community, participate in circle, raft the river, and create lasting memories on this all adult river retreat.  Included in the trip will also be a guided tour of Mesa Verde National Park, where we will dive into the human history of the region before setting off on the San Juan River – where we will continue to deepen our learning of the desert southwest and lean into our connection with the land. 

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Participants work as a team on the river

Arrive at Basecamp: Day 1

You will arrive at Basecamp throughout the afternoon of Day 1. Deer Hill will provide shuttles from the Durango Airport for those arriving by plane. Our field staff will help you become acquainted with Deer Hill (if you aren’t already!), and the group will become acquainted. After sharing a home cooked dinner together, the group will participate in their first circle. 

Prep Day and Mesa Verde National Park Tour: Day 2

You will spend the majority of the day participating in a guided tour of Mesa Verde National Park.  You will learn about the human history of the area and visit thought provoking cultural and archaeological sites within the park.  The remaining hours of the day will be spent at basecamp preparing for your river expedition.

Upper San Juan River Expedition: Days 3-6

All prepped and packed, the group departs Deer Hill’s Basecamp on Day 4 to launch on the San Juan River. They will spend their days on the river, rafting class I-III rapids through the deep and sinuous sandstone canyons, exploring Ancestral Puebloan cultural sights, and hiking to overlook points high up the canyon walls.  After each day of rafting, the group will stake camp along the banks of the San Juan River, where they will set up camp and decompress the days adventure.

basecamp mesa sunset

Return to Basecamp and Departure: Day 6-7

The group will return to Basecamp for program closure. After cleaning up, you will hop in the Deer Hill sauna to integrate your experience and decompress.  The sauna will be followed by a classic Deer hill barbecue! 

After breakfast on the final day of the program, we will shuttle you back to the Durango Airport or you will depart via your own travel arrangements.

Ages 21+

September 21 – 27, 2024

7 days


Start and End at Basecamp

The expedition is bookended with time at Deer Hill’s Basecamp in Mancos, CO. From the first day, participants get to know each other as they pack group and personal gear for their river expedition. 

At the end of the program you will return to basecamp and take part in a closing activity in the Deer Hill Sauna.

Arrival and Departure:

Durango Airport (DRO) or 

Deer Hill Basecamp, Mancos, Colorado.

Arrive September 21, 11-4pm; Depart September 27,  9:00 am – 1:00 pm-2pm

Travel Information


My Deer Hill experience was probably the greatest thing I have ever done. I extended my family to 15 new people, who I’m closer to than anybody I’ve met. I’ll remember and carry the whole experience for the rest of my life.

Rafael, participant