May Term

Wilderness Adventures Leadership Institute
2021 May Term: Utah

The Wilderness Adventures Leadership Institute (WALI) is thrilled to offer a shortened version of our traditional Gap Semester program for students who are short on time but looking for a meaningful learning opportunity. This month-long program will provide participants with their Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications, preparing them to be professional outdoor leaders. A focus on backcountry skills and expanding leadership skills will well position any participant to recreate in the outdoors, whether your goal is to be a professional guide or simply have the skills necessary to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. Join like-minded students on an adventure that takes you away from the virtual, and into the real world.

Dates: May 9 – June 7, 2021

Start Location: Salt Lake City, UT
End Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Price: $6,195

Ages: 17-22 years old (must have completed high school)
States Visited: Utah
Activities: Canoeing, Backpacking, Whitewater Rafting
Certifications Earned on the Program
: Wilderness First Responder Certification and CPR
Lodging: Camping, students will have the opportunity to shower and do laundry after every course section

Included in your tuition are the following:
1. All activities, lodging and travel upon arrival
2. All food throughout duration of trip
3. A Wilderness Adventures shirt, face covering and water bottle
4. Reading materials and supplies for course study
5. Instructions on including May Term on your resume


Canoe Labyrinth Canyon

We will head out on an extended backcountry adventure down the Green River in Utah to explore Labyrinth Canyon.  The whispers of this beautiful area will draw you in this 5 day backcountry adventure. There you might see ancient dwellings and petroglyphs from times long gone. Towering canyon walls and this unique desert ecosystem will excite your senses as you paddle from one river camp to the next.

Wilderness First Responder Course

This 74-hour course will be conducted by Wilderness Medicine of Utah, a long-time partner of WA. The course will cover a wide range of topics relating to medical emergencies in the wilderness and decision making, as well as practical simulations. Students will earn their WFR and CPR certification, both valid for 2 years. 

Arches National Park

Southern Utah provides amazing opportunities for learning and personal discovery. Arches National Park will become our playground for a portion of the trip, when we will be seeing the awe-inspiring sites of the region. This ecosystem will stun the senses and leave an indelible impression on each of us. As Edward Abbey says:

“The beauty of Delicate Arch explains nothing, for each thing in its way, when true to its own character, is equally beautiful. If Delicate Arch has any significance it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful-that which is full of wonder.”

Backpack in Grand Staircase Escalante

One of our national treasures is the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Here we will have an opportunity to do a classic backpacking route through the monument.  This ecosystem will provide an amazing opportunity to learn about the flora and the fauna of the region. 

Whitewater Raft Cataract Canyon

Put an exclamation mark on your adventure with a multi-day whitewater rafting trip through the fast water of Cataract Canyon. Having mastered the flatwater of Labyrinth Canyon, now you will have the opportunity to learn the skill of whitewater rafting. Spring water flows will make for an exciting 5 days of fun and exhilaration as we conquer well known class III-V rapids.

Criteria for Acceptance

Wilderness Adventures is based on the community experience of the trip group. Consequently, we will work diligently to assemble an exceptional group of young adults for this expedition. To be considered for the program, an applicant must have the following:

  • The want and desire to be on the trip
  • A track record of being a great teammate
  • An interest in connecting with others and learning more about oneself
  • A commitment to being a positive and productive member of the community

Application Process

  1. Submit an online application via by clicking on “Enroll Now” on the top right corner of our website
    • Note that a $1,000 deposit is due with the online application. This deposit is non-refundable after February 15, 2021. Final payment is due April 1, 2021.
  2. Send the following to
    • Email Subject Line: “Full Name: Spring Gap Semester”
    • One letter of recommendation. These will be waived for WA alumni.
    • Statement of Interest: Why are you interested in joining this group? What do you bring to the group? What do you hope to gain out of the experience?