Moab Spring Experiential Trip

This spring, while it was still snowy in Telluride, the third and fourth-grade class left to explore the wonders and wildlife of the Moab desert region. This destination afforded a multitude of opportunities for students to make real-world connections to their curriculum back in Telluride. Over four days and three nights, the trip was packed with learning experiences, adventure, and special moments together as a group.

The trip kicked off with an opportunity to volunteer at the Youth Garden Project and connect with the service aspect of our core value of responsibility. After a yummy garden tour, students planted seeds, pulled weeds, and painted tree stumps for a YGP classroom. Students enjoyed getting dirty, working together, and helping the YGP kickstart their harvest, which provides vegetables and greens for Moab High School, community members in need, local CSA members, and the farmers market. 

After spending a night under the stars along the banks of the Colorado River, the group made their way to Arches National Park. Arches is an ideal destination to see water's effect on an environment. Students encountered many arches while hiking in the Devil's Garden area. Specifically, students hiked to Landscape and Partition Arches and enjoyed having time to paint in the desert landscape. Next, the group went to Canyonlands Field Institute's Professor Valley Field Camp, where they stayed under the backdrop of desert towers, the Colorado River, and the La Sal Mountains for the remainder of the trip.

On the third day, the students woke from their teepees early and began preparation for a big day on the river. The group set out to raft the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River. In all, students rafted 13 miles from the Hittle Bottle boat launch to Rocky Rapid take-out. Class I-III rapids mixed in with stretches of calm and beautiful water made for an exciting trip down the river. That evening, students spent time journaling to reflect on their experiences. They also learned about desert animal adaptations through an Adaptation Auction game. Lastly, students participated in a highly anticipated talent show that featured a puppet show, a gymnastics demonstration, dance moves, and more! The show was filled with laughter, awe, and loving support from their peers. 

Before heading back to Telluride, students had a chance to work closely with a specialist in slickrock pothole ecosystems. Nestled in the slickrock overlooking Moab, students adventured down into the potholes and found an abundance of macroinvertebrates, including fairy shrimp, fly larvae, and horsehair worms. The lesson focused on how critters like these survive in the harsh desert environment. After four days in the field, the group traveled back to Telluride, eager to share their stories from a memorable trip together.

Click here to view a photo gallery.