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Partners in the Parks: Bryce Canyon National Park
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Immerse yourself in the otherworldly natural and geologic wonders of Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah! You will camp beneath ponderosa pines; travel to the canyon floor on horseback; backpack and sleep among the hoodoos; and participate in a service project to benefit the park. Gain confidence and skills in the outdoors, marvel at the strange beauty of the red rock hoodoos, and find inspiration under a sea of stars in Bryce Canyon National Park.

 Export to Your Calendar 7/29/2018 to 8/4/2018
When: July 29- Aug 4, 2018
Where: Bryce Canyon National Park
United States
Contact: NCHC Office
(402) 472-9150

Online registration is available until: 6/22/2018
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The BRCA project seeks to engage students in learning, recreation, creativity, and service. For some students the learning may be primarily academic, as they learn about the topics outlined above. For others, the most important lessons might be related to learning how to be comfortable and safe in the outdoors. We have not identified specific learning outcomes for this project, as we want to support each individual student as they confront the physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges they encounter throughout the program. Nevertheless, students will be actively engaged in a variety of learning activities from setting up a tent to describing the geologic process that create a hoodoo.

Student participants will have the opportunity to experience a variety of recreational activities, including camping, day hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. An underlying objective of the PITP program is to empower students with the skills and confidence necessary to pursue and develop their own interests in the outdoors. On this project, students will learn the ins-and-outs of both frontcountry and backcountry camping, outdoor cooking and food preparation, packing for a self-powered overnight trip, and how to plan and execute a successful and safe outdoor trip. We hope participants will leave the project feeling as though they can plan their own outdoor trips and having developed an interest in continued participation in outdoor recreation.

Participants will be engaged in a variety of creative endeavors. These could include journaling, creative writing, media arts (e.g. sketching/drawing, painting, etc.), photography, or music. Each participant will be asked to create something during the project that they will share with the rest of the group at the conclusion of the program. Based on availability, we will attempt to bring a guest instructor to facilitate a creative experience for the entire group.

It is customary for PITP projects to include a service experience in which participants complete a project to benefit the host park. In this way, students are physically and mentally connected to the park and given an opportunity to give back. High-impact service projects involve students’ hands, minds, and hearts, and provide a tangible benefit to the host park. The planned service project for this program is the restoration of backcountry campsites in BRCA. The service project will be integrated into the backpacking trip.



Students will arrange their own transportation to Cedar City, Utah (Cedar City and St. George Regional Airports are the best options). We will spend the first night at the SUU Mountain Center in Cedar Canyon, approximately 12 miles from the SUU campus. Students will have a chance to acclimate to the elevation (approx. 6,000 feet asl) and get to know the group. The lack of internet/cell service and rustic setting of the Mountain Center will provide a good introduction to the week ahead.

Before leaving for BRCA Monday morning, students will have an opportunity to rent any last minute gear from SUU Outdoors at the SUU campus. SUU Outdoors rents backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and other basic camping equipment at affordable prices for students. Students will be responsible for the cost and care of any rented gear. A price list is available at

Food for the trip will be purchased in Cedar City. Dinner the first night will be prepared at the Mountain Center. Additional meals will consist of a mix of “car camping” and backpacking meals prepared in the field. Meals will be planned based on participants’ dietary needs (i.e. allergies or restrictions).

SUU vehicles will be used to transport students between Cedar City and BRCA. A 15-passenger van and SUV will be sufficient to accommodate all individuals, personal gear, and group equipment.

We will camp in BRCA at either North or Sunset Campground for the majority of the trip. Campsites cost $20 per night and accommodate a maximum of 10 people. Backcountry group campsites that accommodate 15 people are located on the Riggs Spring Loop (8.8 miles) and at Yellow Creek. Individual backcountry sites accommodate a maximum of 6 people. A backcountry permit must be obtained at the Visitor Center prior to beginning the trip. A backcountry fee of $5 per person applies to the permit.

Shopping is available at the General Store in the park, at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City, and in Tropic, UT in case additional supplies are needed after arriving at BRCA.

The historic Lodge at Bryce Canyon offers guided horseback rides into the canyon, dining services, and a gift shop. A horseback ride will be included in the program, as well as a meal at the Lodge.


Tentative Itinerary




Sun. July 29

Throughout day

Arrive in Cedar City, shuttle to Mountain Center







Mon. July 30


Gear check-out at SUU Outdoors



Depart for Bryce Canyon



Arrive at BRCA, set up camp (North or Sunset), lunch



Hike Peekaboo Loop Trail






Free time, circle

Tues. July 31

AM 1

Breakfast at camp


AM 2

Guest activity (e.g. hike, meeting, activity, etc.)





PM 1

Guest activity (e.g. hike, meeting, activity, etc.)


PM 2

Prep for backpacking trip, personal time



Dinner, circle



Wed.August 1

AM 1

Breakfast at camp, break down camp


AM 2

Shuttle to backcountry trailhead


Remainder of day

Hike to camp; complete campsite restoration as necessary; set up camp; dinner; circle; camp at backcountry site

Thur. August 2

AM 1

Breakfast, break down camp



Hike out to trailhead, complete campsite restoration as necessary



Set up camp (North or Sunset)

Dinner; circle

Fri. August 3

AM 1



AM 2

Guest activity (e.g. hike, meeting, activity, etc.)



Lunch; activity or personal time



Horseback ride – meet at Lodge



Dinner at Lodge



Free time

Final circle/share projects

Sat.August 4


Breakfast, take down camp

Return to Cedar City; return rented gear



Depart for home


Program Size 12 Students
NCHC Member Price $610 (does not include airfare)
NCHC Nonmember Price $1220 (does not include airfare)
Deadline to Register June 1, 2018





Trip Facilitators

Kelly Goonan, Southern Utah University

Jason Kaiser, Southern Utah University

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