LGBTQ+ Canyonlands Backpacking

Starting From


Number of days


Start Location

Grand Junction, Colorado

End Location

Grand Junction, Colorado

Group Size




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A NOLS course. Except gay-er! Get ready for an unforgettable expedition in a stunning canyon wilderness. Join a group of folks who identify as LGBTQ+ to learn skills for backpacking, outdoor living, and leadership in a queer-positive space. All levels of outdoor experience are welcome: whether you’re a first-time camper or seasoned backpacker, you’ll find new challenges in Utah’s canyonlands. This expedition takes you through the unique canyon country of the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah. The course area is located on Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Uintah Ouray Ute, and Zuni ancestral lands and has a rich human history that dates back thousands of years. You’ll travel through red rock canyons that form maze-like terrain with plenty of rewards and challenges. Some days you’ll spend hiking through canyon bottoms. Other days will involve scouting for safe passage into canyons, lowering packs off of rock slabs, wading through chilly water, and squeezing through narrow slots. At night, you’ll set up camp in tents, cook meals on a camp stove, and live in a small, tight-knit community.This is an opportunity for positive identity development, individual empowerment, and belonging in a wilderness setting like no other.  Expect to return from the canyons inspired and ready to lead at home as well as in the outdoors.

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Additional Information

NOLS Prime: 

NOLS Prime Expeditions are immersive 1- to 3- week wilderness experiences designed exclusively for adults 23 and over. Our mission is to be educators, not guides. This means while learning how to climb, sail, backpack and more, you’re getting experience making decisions and mentorship from your instructors on managing risk with your group—with the goal that when your course is done you are ready to lead friends and family on your own wilderness trips! Vacations are great for a week or two away but wouldn’t you rather go beyond?


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