Wild Country Trek (ages 13-15)
An introduction to backpacking and the wilderness, science, and culture of New Mexico
The Wild Country Trek is a 21-day co-ed expedition designed for Trekkers who are excited to get out and explore the great outdoors! This is an exploratory, yet challenging Trek designed for both newcomers, and avid outdoor enthusiasts.. The itinerary includes hiking, music, art, science, culinary skills, archaeology, adventure, and personal development as well as time to learn basics of expedition planning, packing, and preparation. It’s a great fit for young teens with a sense of adventure and while there is no need for substantial wilderness experience, teens looking for a physical and mental challenge will have the most success.
The hiking, camping, and wilderness challenges of this trek are facilitated by highly experienced staff. Along with the support of their community of peers, Trekkers will dive deep into hiking, artwork, archaeology, earth science, ecology, culinary skills, and farming – as well as the chance to express themselves in a safe environment.
*If you’re already comfortable living outside in a small community, then the longer and more intensive Turquoise Trail or Prairie Trek may be a better fit.
Is this trek right for me?
- Great for young teens with a sense of adventure.
- No need for substantial wilderness experience, but looking for a physical and mental challenge.
- Best for beginner back-packers, youth eager to get outside and explore, and those seeking self-confidence.
The hiking, camping, and wilderness challenges of this trek are facilitated by highly experienced staff. Along with the support of their community of peers, Trekkers will dive deep into hiking, artwork, archaeology, earth science, ecology, culinary skills, and gardening – as well as the chance to express themselves in a safe environment.
*If you’re already comfortable living outside in a small community, then the longer and more intensive Turquoise Trail or Prairie Trek may be more ideal.
A note on “The Gulch Way”
The major differentiating factor between The Gulch and other outdoor experiences is “The Gulch Way”. It’s one part careful preparation, and two parts improvisation.
Each season we outline the Trek plans, then allow our knowledgeable staff to embrace unique opportunities that couldn’t otherwise be planned. We often 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.
What is included in the cost?
Tuition includes everything once you arrive in Albuquerque:
- All meals
- All transportation
- Staff, educators, field specialists
- All gear necessary for group expedition
- Special activities (rafting, mountain biking, art classes + more) and backcountry permits
Trekkers are responsible for covering travel costs to and from Albuquerque the first day and last day of the trek. Gulch staff will be at the Albuquerque Sunport to greet incoming Trekkers.
Consider adding Trekker spending money when you register (to use for gifts, souvenirs, and trinkets to remember their experience). Trekkers are also responsible for providing personal belongings outlined in the packing list for their chosen expedition.
For more logistical questions, visit our FAQ page, or give us a call: 505-248-0563.
- 2 backpacking trips in the Four Corners states
- Rock climbing
- Explore a pueblo
- 6 days at Base Camp
- See below for specific session itinerary highlights
Places We Go
Since all 3 sessions of Wild Country Trek have different itineraries, we can’t show all of the places on the map-Click these buttons to see where each session is going!