River and Service Quest

Green River Expedition and Cross-Cultural Service Project

This expedition includes:

  • Rafting
  • Inflatable kayaking
  • Native American service project

The Soulquest series was designed exclusively for Summer Search in order to support you in reaching your life’s goals. You’ll discover unknown aspects of yourself on a seven day river rafting trip, before immersing yourself in a cross-cultural community service project.

“Deer Hill holds a unique and irreplaceable spot in my heart. It feels like a second home.” – Laura, participant

Arrive at Basecamp

Days 1-3
Participants arrive at Basecamp throughout the first afternoon. Their expedition leaders help them become acquainted with Deer Hill, as participants meet each other and the group begins to form. In addition to playing games, and eating home-cooked meals, the group will pack group and personal gear for the first part of their trip.

Rafting “Deso-Gray” of the Green River

Days 3-10
All prepped and packed, the group heads out across the Colorado Plateau toward Moab, UT and the launch site for the Desolation – Gray Canyons section of the Green River. The group will float 84 miles through a deep wilderness of sandstone canyons whose wall reaches up 5000 feet to its unseen rim. With over 60 rapids to navigate, participants have the opportunity to learn how to read the river, find a safe route, and paddle through it.

Native American Service

Days 11-17
Service projects have you working alongside Hopi, Navajo or Zuni families on meaningful projects that they have proposed. Host families share cultural knowledge, stories, and arts with Deer Hill participants.Your service project might be to herd sheep on a high mesa top, or to help build a shade arbor with your host family. When the day’s work is done, gather round to hear traditional stories and learn about your hosts’ culture.

Return to Basecamp

Days 17-19
Participants return to Basecamp for program closure. The group cleans equipment and returns it to its storage locations at Basecamp, and returns any rental items to the Deer Hill Store. The group holds a closing ceremony to conclude their experience, and enjoys a cookout and slideshow on the final evening. On the last day of the program, expedition leaders drive participants to the Durango airport to return home.

High School Sophomores*

River and Service Quest

July 4 – July 22, 2020

19 Days

44 Service Hours


*For questions, call us at 970.533.7492.

Start and End at Basecamp

The expedition is bookended with time at Deer Hill’s Basecamp in Mancos, CO. From Days 1 to 3, participants get to know each other as they pack group and personal gear for their river expedition. At the end of their expedition, the group returns to Basecamp (Days 17-19) for hot showers and home-cooked meals. The final full day will include a closing ceremony and celebration with a cookout and slideshow.

Transitions between sections occur in the field. The group is at Basecamp only at the beginning and end of the expedition.

Arrival and Departure:

Durango Airport (DRO)

Arrive July 4, 12-6pm; Depart July 22, 8:30am-2pm

Travel Information



This trip has given me a sense of growth (physically and mentally), belonging, and purpose in life. It opened my mind to the endless possibilities of things I could do and the things I have never dreamt of doing.

Hannah, participant