This fall, the 7th-grade students descended the Sundance Trail into Dark Canyon for a week-long backpacking trip. Dark Canyon is a primitive area in southeast Utah marked by steep canyon walls and a winding stream that feeds the Colorado River. It is one of Utah’s most beautiful and least visited canyon systems, and this was our home and classroom for a week of integrated field studies.
During the trip, they explored the canyon’s rim and floor, ran map-reading and orienteering classes, read wilderness literature, and journaled. During the days, students went on spectacular hikes, swam in crystal clear pools, sketched, and spent time reflecting in their journals.
Throughout the week, students prepared meals in cook groups, maintained the camp and worked together to take care of each other’s basic needs. Nights were dedicated to debriefs and appreciations, as well as journaling in the tents by headlamp.
Teachers were thrilled to have the opportunity to lead students through such unique and rich learning experiences, and were proud of how students responded to the challenges that the canyon presented.
Upper School Director and Trip Leader