For years, Deer Hill has specialized in hosting a wide range of school programs including Waldorf 8th grade class trips, high school trips and service programs, alumni reunions, and more. Students gain valuable hands-on field experience, which in turn compliments their classroom learning, strengthens their connection with their classmates and teachers, and often provides a well-rounded capstone experience.
Many alumni find themselves sharing Deer Hill memories via storytelling and photos with their families, other alumni, and community members. These alumni often reach out to us asking for the opportunity to share a Deer Hill program with their own families and friends in order to embark on a real, shared experience together. Indeed, we are able to extend the magic of a Deer Hill program to YOUR family, friends, and coworkers!
Since most Deer Hill programming happens in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, we open up our beautiful facility for rentals when we are not running our normal programming. Facility guests in the past have utilized our space for conferences, meetings, yoga and mindfulness retreats, trainings, and more. Facility Rentals are customizable for your group’s specific needs.
Program Elements: The Building Blocks of a Deer Hill Trip
Deer Hill utilizes various program elements to deliver our mission. Today’s programs are the result of over 35 years’ of experience faciliting outdoor programming for youth and investing in relationships with service host families in the Navajo Nation and Hopi and Zuni pueblos.
Elements can be combined or done as a single element trip. For more details on how these program elements may work best together, visit our group program specific pages, linked below.
River Rafting Expedition
Rafting expeditions are a great way for groups of people with varying degrees of comfort in outdoor activities to explore the wilderness of the Southwest. Groups will splash through Class I – II+ rapids, relax on stretches of flatwater, camp on sandy beaches, make meals together, explore ancient Ancestral Puebloan ruins, and practice Leave No Trace techniques. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to navigate a river using inflatable kayaks, taking a seat on the paddle raft, or even taking the helm on the oar rig. Deer Hill Expeditions guides groups on the San Juan, Colorado, and Green Rivers.
Some options include:
- 3-5 Night Expeditions of the Upper or Lower San Juan River
- 7+ Night Expedition of Desolation and Gray Canyons on the Green River
- Day trip on the Colorado River near Moab, Utah
Deer Hill Expeditions leads backpacking trips in Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, Lizard Head Wilderness, and the San Juan National Forest as well as the canyons of southeastern Utah. Field staff teach participants essential and/or technical wilderness skills and Leave No Trace practices while exploring these remote and beautiful landscapes.
Some options include:
- 3-4 Day Expedition of Sharkstooth Pass or High Camp Hut-based day hikes
- 5-7 Day Expedition, mountaineering and rock climbing in the Weminuche Wilderness
- 7-Day Expedition of Dark Canyon, from ponderosa forest to sandstone canyons
- 6-Day Canyoneering Expedition in Southeast Utah
At Deer Hill, service learning can refer to anything from meaningful and interactive conservation service, to homestays with Native American hosts, to enriching community projects. Deer Hill Expeditions has been a guest in the Navajo Nation and in Zuni and Hopi Pueblos for over twenty years, has a longtime partnership with the Forest Service for wilderness conservation projects, and stays in contact with numerous community members who run interactive small, sustainable farms. Through interactive projects, meal preparation, and shared life together for 4-6 days, Deer Hill students and our various service hosts interact in rich cultural exchange. Service is one of the most mentioned program elements when talking to our alumni about what made their trip the most meaningful.
Some options include:
- 2-3 Day Experience engaging in conservation service guided by Forest Service Rangers
- 3-6 Day Sustainable Farm Stay in the Four Corners Region
- 4-6 Day Experience on the Navajo Nation, Hopi Pueblo, or Zuni Pueblo
Create Your Expedition with Deer Hill
You provide the group, we guide the experience. Certain activities are dependent on the season, but Deer Hill operates year-round. Inquire online to find out if Deer Hill is the right outfitter for your group.
- Review the suggestions above (more options available)
- Contact the Program Sales Manager by submitting an inquiry (see below)
- The Program Sales Manager works with you to design a program for your group
The program you run at Deer Hill is just amazing and top-notch. Your obvious love and devotion to outdoor life is evident in every little thing that you do. Our guides were exceptional and Mr. Smith, our Navajo host, impacted my group in a profound way. Our sweat lodge was life-altering. On behalf of all my children and all their parents, thank you.Elizabeth, teacher
Through Deer Hill and its Staff’s commitment and capacity to fulfill its mission for our Waldorf 8th grade group, the words the students spoke at our closing Circle made clear the experience met my wildest hopes for them. Their world views changed dramatically. They expressed whole new levels of gratitude for their privileged lives.Amber Fitts, teacher
Our trip with Deer Hill, so tactfully facilitated by our guides, brought us to a meaningful conversation with the forces of nature and, as importantly, a profound encounter with ourselves.Rev Bowen, teacher
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