Providing free nature outings and adventures to youth who would other wise not have such opportunities, Boulder Valley ICO is entirely volunteer run.

See our new website for more information on our program.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Canyonlands National Park Report

Just before Thanksgiving, sixteen youth and eight adults from Boulder Valley ICO and the Colorado Youth Program (thanks, CYP!) had a 4-day adventure in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah. We took full advantage of the school break and the fine late fall weather in Colorado and Utah. We left Boulder around 8AM, traveling in CYP's van and private vehicles. We stopped for lunch in Fruita, and had a final taste of civilization in Moab before arriving in the Needles at sunset (around 5PM this time of year). Camp was set at Squaw Flat, where we built a campfire and cooked hotdogs and veggie dogs on coat hangers. We discussed important subjects around the fire and had a trivia contest with S'mores as the reward for correct answers. The dark night sky of Canyonlands is spectacular, and we took an amazing night hike before tucking ourselves into bed. We awoke to a bright, sunny day that warmed up quickly. Our hearty breakfast of pancakes and sausage took a while to prepare, but it was worth it. We ran around like crazies gearing up for the next 2.5 days of backpacking. We split into smaller hiking groups and checked in at the visitors' center for our permits. Then it was time to hit the trail! Group 1's slideshow is below, and Group 3's (CYP's) pictures are linked below that. 

Group 1 enjoyed climbing rocks, identifying scat, filtering sand through our fingers, the hot conditions at our first campsite, and, to cap it off, our final silent skit at the end of our 2.5 day hike:

Colorado Youth Program's Canyonlands Photos.

On the 4th day, we met around noon at the visitors' center and drove back to Colorado. All in all, it was a great adventure, and we were very lucky to have such a wonderful group of youth and leaders!

Boulder Valley ICO is entirely run by volunteers and funded by donors like you. We spent over $1300. on Canyonlands, but including the in-kind donations by volunteers and CYP (such as vehicle mileage, gas, and some of the food), the trip cost at least $2500. That still doesn't count much of our gear, which has been supplied by donations and generous business sponsors like La Sportiva and REI, and the over 800 hours of volunteer time devoted to this trip. This is a valuable program that is free to participants, but it costs money to run. Won't you consider making a donation? Donations are tax-deductible, and you will receive an acknowledgment of your gift from the Sierra Club Foundation. Online donations will be available soon, but in the meantime you can mail a check to the address below. If you have questions, please contact us at

Checks payable to "Sierra Club Foundation - Boulder Valley ICO" can be mailed to:

Sierra Club Foundation - Boulder Valley ICO
637 B S Broadway
Suite B, No 117
Boulder, CO 80305

Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season!

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