Colorado National Monument
HIKING - CANYONEERING - PADDLEBOARDING - FISHING
Featuring Colorado National Monument, you will get to spend the week hiking, stand up paddleboarding, and canyoneering to get an immersive experience among the red rocks and rivers. Explore one of the most stunning landscapes in Colorado and get a first hand look into Colorado canyons.
Activities & Skills
Canyoneering is equal parts hiking, climbing, geology lesson, and navigation challenge. The red rock desert landscape presents unique challenges and breathtaking experiences. Along the winding canyon paths, we will learn climbing and rappelling techniques, knot-tying skills, and learn to interpret the difficult terrain with a map and compass — all while feeling connected to the prehistoric past of this environment.
A fun way to explore and play on the water paddleboarding is an increasingly popular adventure sport. Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUPing, is an outdoor aquatic activity that involves standing on a long surfboard and using a paddle to navigate and move around the lake, or down the lazy river. It’s very easy to learn and it’s also a great workout!
Hiking on trail presents the perfect opportunity to slowly and quietly take in the beauty and wonder of our natural environment. Along the way, we will focus on map reading and compass skills, hiking etiquette, and leave no trace principles. We might stop to observe wildlife, or look closely at the different rock types— around every bend of the trail is a new vista, a new memory, and a new learning opportunity. Take one step at a time—a valuable life lesson—as each trail presents its own unique challenges to overcome.
First & Last Day
On the first day we'll meet at Keystone Science School's campus, get checked in and meet the rest of our group at the Trip Briefing. We'll go over our gear list and make sure our packs are ready. Then we'll load up the van and head to our Adventure location, usually an hour or more of travel. Once we get to our location, we'll learn some of the basics of the activities to follow, like gear, basic climbing systems or river safety. Then we'll cook dinner and have our first Evening Meeting as we get to know each other.
On the final day after activities are done, we'll head back to KSS, and have our Pin Ceremony where we award campers for their acheivements.
Backpacking or Basecamping?
This Adventure Utilizes Base Camping
Base camping allows us to set up tents and kitchen in one area which serves as a jumping-off point for multiple adventure activities. When we are base camping, we are only carrying with us what we need for that specific day and we are sleeping in an established campground next to or near our van. Base camping often means access to pit toilets or even bathrooms with running potable water. Because we don’t need to carry everything with us, our kitchen can be bigger with more supplies— like a double-burner propane stove, pots and pans, and access to picnic tables.
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Words of camper parents from our 2022 Adventure programs.
"My kid looks forward to this every year! It is so important for her to get out of her usual routine and meet new people and get a chance to be on her own."
"KSS is important to give my son experiences in nature and in new areas of the state."
"No phones. Dedicated time to focus on self. Reminders about gratitude. Getting in touch with nature. The counselors are strong, sweet, great role models."
"We love KSS. The growth our kids have each summer is priceless. Thank you for all the hard work, planning and everything (heart) that goes into what you do!"
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