What to expect
Most classes begin with a pre-trip meeting the week before spending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the wilderness. Depending on the activity and the course, the “classroom” may be sea kayaking through the sandstone coves on Lake Powell, rappelling the cliffs and towers near Arches National Park, day hiking along the rocky trails of the High Uinta Mountains, or bikepacking through the pinyon-covered mesas of Bears Ears National Monument.
Academic assignments are required for all classes, and these are designed to foster reflection, learning transfer, and broaden the meaning of the time spent outside. We have classes every weekend of the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters to accommodate your busy schedule and allow you the chance to connect with something greater than a campus made of concrete and mortar.
Frequently asked questions
What kinds of outdoor adventure courses are offered?
Hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoneering, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, swiftwater rescue, snowboarding, skiing, avalanche awareness, and more.
May I earn credits toward graduation by successfully completing a U-EXPLORE course?
Yes. These courses typically offer the opportunity to earn 2 credits, though a few are listed at 1 or 3 credits. Almost all of them are offered on a “credit – no credit” basis, and their successful completion does appear on your transcript and count toward graduation.
What demands on my schedule are required to complete these courses?
Due to the outdoor environment in which the field trips take place, courses start and end at various points throughout the semester, requiring different add and drop rules. Most involve one night of classes and a three-day field trip. Others have different schedules. Some involve overnight camping, some do not. Some require Sunday field trip involvement, some do not.
Where do I find these courses in the University of Utah’s Schedule of Classes?
Courses are listed under Parks, Recreation, & Tourism on the University of Utah General Course Catalog.
There are two ways to find courses from this page:
- Using search: At the top of the page, you can use the search bar with the following terms "prtw" for water courses, "prtl" for land courses, or "prts" for snow courses.
- Scroll to the drop-down menu: You may also scroll to the dropdown menus listed as “Parks, Recreation & Tourism: Outdoor Adventure – Land”, “Parks, Recreation & Tourism: Outdoor Adventure – Snow”, or “Parks, Recreation & Tourism: Outdoor Adventure – Water”.
Who can answer more specific questions that I have, or send a sample syllabus to me?
Contact the program coordinators, Nate Furman and Nate Bricker