Trips and Classes Offered

We offer members of the community, students, and faculty the opportunities to take your education outdoors and learn through adventure. Our trips and certification classes include:

  • Grand Canyon backpacking
  • Wilderness First Responder courses
  • Verde River rafting expeditions
  • Havasupai Falls backpacking
  • Challenge Course facilitators
  • Leave No Trace training

Look at our calendars to see what trips, adventures and classes we are offering when.  Use the 'Courses' link in the left navigation bar to view course descriptions.

Hiking and Backpacking Trips

Spanning the southwest, our hiking and backpacking trips offer everything from introductory courses to more advanced courses, all with a focus on education and creating a safe and fun environment. 

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Grand Canyon Backpacking 

This introductory backpacking course is a field-based, hands-on backcountry excursion focusing on the basic skills necessary to safely plan, prepare for, and embark on overnight trips and to interact with natural / cultural history of the area visited. The Grand Canyon offers unique geology, animal and plant life, which will be a key component of this class. Safe travel, camping skills, equipment selection and operation, Leave No Trace minimum impact principles, and sound decision-making are all introduced as foundational skills for responsible backcountry travel in this course. The course is open to all, however, hiking anywhere in the Grand Canyon is strenuous hiking and strong physical fitness is recommended.

Havasupai Falls Backpacking 

This introductory backpacking course ventures to Havasupai Falls, a canyon system that runs down to the Colorado River. While exploring blue travertine waterfalls and pool, participants will learn foundational backpacking skills that make for safe, fun and responsible travel.

Sedona Yoga and Meditation Day Trip 

Join the NAU Outdoor Adventures staff and our Rec Center Yoga Instructor as we take a short day trip to the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Included in the trip will several yoga sessions, guided meditation and several short day hikes. Lunch will also be included. This is a Freshman Fusion Event, but open to all.

Zion Hiking Adventure 

Within Zion National Park, an incredible array of outdoor adventures exist for those willing to embark on the adventure. Students can expect spectacular views of canyons, waterfalls, and slick rock during extended hikes in and around Zion National Park. Students will gain perspective on natural and cultural history of the area, as well as, camping and hiking techniques while practicing Leave No Trace minimum impact ethics.

Water Based Adventures

White water rapids, waterfalls, swimming, hiking, geology and some of the best sunsets you will ever see are only a few of the things you will experience on our river trips. 

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Canoe Expedition 

Students will embark on a flat water canoe expedition, while learning paddling techniques and camping skills on waterways.  Student will also gain perspective on local natural and cultural history, with an emphasis on Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Verde River Expedition 

The Verde River Rafting Expedition trip is just that; an Expedition! This trip will launch from Clear Creek and take out at Gap Creek covering roughly 14 miles of one of Arizona's wild and scenic rivers. On this trip you will learn how to navigate white water, perform basic river rescue techniques, scout and portage rapids, rig your own inflatable kayak, and learn Leave-No-Trace practices. While running this amazing stretch of river we will be helping with some hands-on river restoration work by cleaning up impacted camp sites.

Intro to White Water Kayaking 

 The Intro to White Water Kayaking class is held at the Wall Aquatic Center on Campus. This class is taught by a certified American Canoe Association Kayak Instructor who will help you learn the very basic steps of being a safer and proficient paddler. Whether you are looking to paddle rivers, lakes or oceans this class is for you. By the end of this 5 week course you should be able to self-rescue and provide aided rescue to fellow paddlers. After completing the NAU kayak course you are eligible to sign up for Kayaking Trips on the Verde and San Juan Rivers. So come and join us for a fun and exciting class!

Grand Canyon River Rafting 

Come join us for this once-in-a-lifetime, trip on the Diamond Down stretch of the famous Colorado River.  White water rapids, waterfalls, swimming, hiking, geology and some of the best sunsets you’ve ever seen are only a few of the things you will experience on this trip.  If taking for credit, this course is experientially based, and will provide opportunities for skill, technique, and leadership development in whitewater rafting.  Emphasis will be placed on technical skill development as well as environmental ethics related to water based recreation activities.

Verde River Kayaking Day Trip 

The Verde River Kayaking Trip is a great first step in becoming a more proficient paddler. As a group we will work on the basic fundamentals of kayaking on rivers. You will learn how to catch Eddy's, Ferry, Surf and Read Water while boating on the very Scenic Verde River located in Central Arizona. Using a Hard Shell Kayak students must be able to Self-Rescue (Wet Exit or Roll) and T-Rescue along with having beginner paddling skills. The Intro to White Water Kayaking (PRM210) is an excellent primer for this river based trip. So if you have ever wanted to kayak a river before this is your chance! Come and join us for this very unique and exciting trip.


Biking Adventures 

Northern Arizona is home to some of the best trails, both road and mountain, in the country. Our trips and classes focus on gearing students towards education both on the trail and off with introductory courses in both bike maintenance and mountain biking. 

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Intro to Mountain Biking 

Northern Arizona is home to world class mountain biking.  This field-based, hands-on course is designed for beginners, but open to all, and is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of mountain biking. An experientially-based course focusing on the basic principles of mountain biking including safety, technical skills, trail etiquette, and trail protection. The course is designed for those who have their own equipment, but equipment may be provided on a limited basis.

Intro to Bike Maintenance

Do you have a clunk in your bottom bracket or does your bike shift when you least expect it? Do you need guidance on getting your bike tuned up and ready for spring? Course is held in house at the NAU Bike Hub. Class participants will have access to an incredible tool kit at a huge discount from purchasing your own kit. No prerequisites or prior experience is required.

Rock Climbing Adventures

With world class rock climbing just minutes from Flagstaff, our trips and classes offer everything from introductory courses to more advanced classes for the seasoned climber. Additionally, we offer courses through the American Mountain Guiding Association. 

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Intro to Rock Climbing 

The course will be conducted inside at Flagstaff Climbing Center on day one and outside - on real rock - on day two. Students will have ample time to practice their skills with other beginner climbers, focusing on safety practices, equipment use, climbing technique, belaying, and rappelling.

Wilderness Medicine Courses 

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Wilderness First Aid 

The 20-hour Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is designed to train people to cope with basic wilderness hazards and medical emergencies and is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast who wants a more wildness specific approach to first aid. The curriculum for this course includes a CPR certification that is valid for 2 years.

Wilderness First Responder 

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) has long been recognized as the standard in wilderness medical training for guides, trip leaders and outdoor professionals. This 80-hour WFR course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to respond to backcountry medical or trauma situations. Students will learn patient stabilization, treatment, and evacuation with special attention to extended patient care. The class culminates with an overnight mock scenario that gives students practical, hands-on experience. Upon successful completion of the course students will receive a WFR completion card valid for 3 years and a CPR certification that is valid for 2 years. Our curriculum meets the Wilderness Medical Society’s recommended minimum course topics for WFR.

Wilderness First Responder Refresher 

The 20-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is designed to update skills and knowledge of individuals with prior WFR training.  The course will be offered in conjunction with the Wilderness First Aid course, but will include an extra evening session to highlight WFR updates while working through WFR specific scenarios.

Outdoor Skills and Certifications 

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Leave-No-Trace Trainer

This 20-hour field-based workshop prepares participants to become instructors of the Leave No Trace (LNT) curriculum. LNT is an internationally recognized organization dedicated to ethical backcountry travel and wilderness use. Ever wonder the impact of campfires or the importance of leaving natural and cultural items in the wild? If so, this class is for you. While in the field, participants will develop lesson plans and provide outreach by teaching LNT to local outdoor enthusiasts.

Intro to Orienteering

Land navigation does not need to be a mystery or dependent on the batteries in your GPS. This two-day course will teach students how to navigate in the outdoors using a map and compass.

NAU Outdoors Trip Leader Training 

Would you like to learn the skills to be a leader for other in the outdoors? Look no further. This class will provide students with the knowledge of how to lead trips for NAU Outdoor Adventures. Topics will include leadership styles, risk management, equipment use, and principles of teaching outdoor ethics.

Professional Debriefing for the Outdoor Leader 

Participants will leave this course with a facilitators "toolbox" of several debriefing techniques and activities useful in any group leadership or experiential education setting. Sessions will be hands on and participants will gain experience peer leading debriefing activities. This course utilizes the text, A Teachable Moment; A Facilitator's Guide to Activities for Processing, Debriefing, Reviewing and Reflecting by J. Cain, M. Cummings & J. Stanchfield.

Intro to Challenge Course Facilitator 

The Challenge Course is a series of adventure-based learning activities designed to facilitate a unique community building experience. Students will learn how to facilitate teambuilding activities and high element challenges, monitor safety, conduct debriefs, understand hardware, and learn to belay. This course does not provide certification, it introduces topics taught in CCFT.

Challenge Course Facilitator Training 

The Challenge Course is a series of adventure-based learning activities designed to facilitate a unique community building experience. Students will learn how to facilitate teambuilding activities and high element challenges, monitor safety, conduct debriefs, understand hardware, and set-up/take-down the challenge course. The first weekend will focus on Low Course Facilitation the second on High Course Facilitation.

Outdoor Survival 

Outdoor Survival is intended as a hands-on course focusing on the basic skills necessary to help cope with a short-term survival situation and more importantly, the strategies necessary to avoid one in the first place. Using lecture, examinations of real-life survivors, and experiential training in the field, students will gain first-hand knowledge of how to make shelter, locate water, signal for help, light a fire in wet weather, and be prepared for treks into the wilderness. The first class is held on campus. The remaining two days are held in the field.