Treks for Schools

Treks for Schools

During the school year, we lead customized treks for school groups to explore the wilderness, science, art, archaeology, and food of the Southwest. We work with 1st-12th graders, and treks range from 1 day to 2 weeks.  Most of the schools we work with are located in the Southwest, though each year we lead Treks for schools from all over the world. Some schools join us once a year, while others establish a year-round program that combines a variety of day trips and longer wilderness expeditions.  We work closely with teachers to design a Trek that is unique to your goals, timeframe, and budget.


Mt taylor signTraveling Field Expeditions

Similar to a mobile classroom, our expeditions take your students through culturally and scientifically significant and remote areas of the American Southwest. Whether camped at 11,000 feet on a mountain pass or in the wide open desert of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes, students learn about how the land and its people relate to each other. Each course is designed to meet the needs of your school. We will work closely with you to choose components for your expedition from our offerings in adventure, art, archaeology, cultural exchange, ecology, service learning, and wilderness skills and ethics. As a traveling expedition, the students and teachers get to know each other in ways they would not have imagined at school. We can operate a single group or multiple groups totaling 10-45 students each.


Treks at Base Camp (up to 80 students)

The Base Camp and nature preserve of Cottonwood Gulch is the perfect place to host your school’s camping trips for orientations, teambuilding, outdoor education, and workshops. Facilities are rustic and allow participants to live in nature, with basic conveniences. The 540-acre nature preserve includes accommodations, meeting spaces, and facilities for team building, art, ecology, and archaeology. Students live and work cooperatively with Cottonwood Gulch Staff, and you will find it is a unique place that inspires creativity, fun, and reflection.


Day Trips

For many schools, one trip per year isn’t enough.  Because of that, we often establish a year-round plan that involves multi-day trips and day trips in and around Albuquerque or Santa Fe (see below).  Day trips could involve hiking on nearby trails, teambuilding activities, or map reading and navigation practice with your students.  These are usually done in conjunction with a longer trip, in order to enhance the longer outdoor experience and help kids become comfortable spending time outside.


Treks Throughout The Year

Cottonwood Gulch is the outdoor classroom for many schools, and we have developed year-round options to get your kids outside more than once throughout the year.  This could mean several multi-day trips throughout the year, or a series of day trips and overnights that build student’s confidence toward a longer trek at the end of the school year.  We’ll work with you to create a customized schedule to get your students outside all year long, and we’ll help you find ways to make wilderness treks affordable.



Thanks to several different grant partnerships, we are able to offer scholarship funds to get your students outdoors. Learn more about Classroom GO.


Click Here to Connect with Us- and start planning your trek! 

Click here to read more about our curriculum options

Forms for School Treks