Mountain Desert Trek
46 challenging days immersed in the wilderness and culture of the Southwest
Take on new challenges and join a group of peers who enjoy being outdoors to explore the Southwest. Among the backdrop of rugged desert canyons and stunning mountain summits, MDT Trekkers will develop skills through personal projects, planning expeditions, and communal living. Leadership skills like communication and group decision making will be central to this trek and serve as a great foundation for your next challenges at home, school, or work.
The itinerary varies from year to year (see below for a sample itinerary), but each year the MDT goes on three multi-day backpacking trips, visits unforgettable Southwestern landscapes, and dives deep into culture and ecology. They will learn skills like reading a topographic map, cooking on a single burner backpacking stove, route finding, working through conflict, selecting a campsite, and more. By the end, they come away with a close group of friends, outdoor and leadership skills, great memories, and new perspectives after six weeks of exploration and overcoming challenges.
MDT is the longest expedition we offer and as such, trekkers on this expedition have the opportunity to soak up more of what the Southwest has to offer. If spending six weeks immersed in wilderness adventure, arts, culture, and science in places like the deep canyons of Zion National Park or the alpine lakes of the San Juan National Forest with a small group of peers sounds like the best summer of your life, this trek is for you! While substantial wilderness experience is not a requirement to join MDT, trekkers who are already comfortable spending time outdoors and those who are excited to contribute to a positive group experience will have the most success.
Dates: June 21-August 5
Minimum Group Size: 8* (In multiple small groups to abide by NMDOH group size restrictions if needed)
Maximum Group Size: 20* (In multiple small groups to abide by NMDOH group size restrictions if needed)
Elevation Range: 5,000 to 14,000 feet
Average Pack Weight: 45-50 lbs.
Course Starts and Ends: Albuquerque, NM
Full Cost: $6,295, scholarships available