Experience The Gulch

The Gulch Way

Opportunistic learning

The Gulch Way = one part careful preparation, two parts improvisation.
The differentiating factor between The Gulch and other outdoor experiences is that we embrace unplanned opportunities.
We adjust our itineraries when we’re invited to a ceremonial feast day, local flea market, or rug auction.
We may be asked to help excavate an archaeological dig, or participate in a local art installation (both have happened!).

The nature of outdoor education reserves innate changes due to shifts in weather, wildfire, and trail or road closures.
This is all part of the adventure that distinguishes Cottonwood Gulch.


Anyone of average physical health can take part in these expeditions; it just takes the will to do it.
And the physical demands turn out to be incredibly rewarding. The experience will challenge you mentally as well.
You will learn to ask questions about yourself, your community and your surroundings.


Wilderness Immersion

  • Explore origins of wilderness
  • Wander less traveled trails
  • Experience solitude
  • Learn to “Leave No Trace”
  • Develop a technical toolkit

Visit our Wilderness Immersion page for more information

Science and Nature

  • Engage with STEM
  • Examine the high desert
  • Discover early cultures
  • Investigate earth’s origins
  • Analyze climate patterns

Visit our Science and Nature page for more information


Community Involvement & Service Learning

  • Help construct a new hogan or prepare for a kinaalda ceremony on the Navajo Reservation or in the Zuni, Acoma, or Zia pueblos
  • Improve trails alongside National Forest rangers
  • Restore a riparian area
  • Earn college credit and volunteer service hours

Visit our Community Involvement & Service Learning page for more information


Southwest Arts and Culture

  • Explore rich traditions
  • Engage traditional arts
  • Create land art installations
  • Express learning through art
  • Pause and reflect

Visit our Cultural Arts page for more information