Policies, Participant Responsibilities, Cancellations

Please read this important information regarding CFI's cancellation policies and trip-related details:

Essential Eligibility Criteria

The health and well-being of participants on CFI programs are a priority. Canyonlands Field Institute is committed to minimizing and mitigating the risks associated with backcountry and wilderness adventure trips and programs. Our programs may involve physical exertion and exposure to the elements, including cold water, hot and cold temperatures, sun, wind, rain, and snow. Due to inherent risks associated with activities on our programs, as well as environmental considerations, CFI programs are open to individuals who meet the following Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”), and who acknowledge their ability to meet these criteria. Factors such as physical and emotional ability, fitness, heart and/or medical considerations, and others are considerations.

06.2020 CFI Essential Eligibility Criteria

Programming during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We have instituted the following specific policies and procedures in addressing the current health crisis. Note that these new protocols are specific to the COVID-19  pandemic response, and are supplemental and in addition to all of our normal operating standards and best practices.

COVID-19 Guide for Participants

Registration and Payment

Please refer to your Registration Form, our website, and the information below for specific information on registration, payment, program details, and costs.

Cancellation Policies Applicable to All CFI Programs

CFI has developed the following policies based on the nature of our business. Please note that we base our operations on your reservations and pay for services accordingly. Please take your reservation seriously. Since we work with small participant groups, secure services in small, rural towns, and schedule our staff, equipment and food purchasing far in advance, we have a limited number of seats and dates. Please make every effort to show up for this trip once you have registered.

Notify us of cancellation in writing by mail, fax, or email, as well as, by calling us at the CFI Office. We check our answering machine regularly when the office is closed. Please note that our staff does not carry cell or satellite phones and cannot be reached during a trip. If you cancel, any gear rental fees paid to CFI are non-refundable and non-transferable.

CFI reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to alter the itinerary or location or even cancel a trip, for reasons including but not limited to weather, water fluctuations, insufficient reservations, and other factors. If CFI cancels a program, your money will be refunded. If CFI alters a program, your money will be refunded if you choose not to attend the altered program. However, CFI is only responsible for the actual amount paid by you directly to us and is not responsible for any other costs incurred by you, in relation to a program that is altered or canceled. Please see Travel Insurance.

Cancellation of Specific Programs

Multi-Day Custom or Open Enrollment Adult/Family: 

  • The initial per person reservation deposit is non-refundable.
  • The final payment is due 28 days before the program start date.
  • 30 days before the start date or later your payment is not refundable.

CFI office staff are happy to discuss alternatives and our policies, please call us.

School Programs and Single Day Custom:

  • Reservation deposit is non-refundable.
  • Final payment is due 14 days prior to the program start date.
  • 14 days before the start date or later your payment is not refundable.

Summer Youth Programs:

  • Reservation deposit is non-refundable.
  • Final payment is due 14 days prior to the program start date.
  • 14 days before the start date or later your payment is not refundable.

Coyote Camp:

  • Reservation deposit is non-refundable.
  • Final payment is due 3 days prior to the program start date.
  • 3 days before the start date or later your payment is not refundable.

Dismissal, Non-Arrival, or Early Departure

If a participant doesn’t show up for a program they are registered for, or is dismissed or departs for any reason, no refunds can be granted, and participant and/or parent/s are responsible for paying all costs of early departure, whether for medical reasons, personal emergencies, expulsion or for any other reason. These costs include, but may not be limited to; helicopter or other evacuation costs, medical treatment, transportation costs and meals, lodging, and expenses for staff who may accompany participant.

Travel Insurance

CFI highly recommends that participants purchase travel and flight insurance coverage to protect your program fee, airline, and other trip costs. Inquire with your travel agent or other internet travel services. Please protect your trip at the time you pay your first reservation deposit.

Dietary Issues

While we are not able to offer, nor promise fully customized meal plans for individuals in a group, we will try to accommodate special dietary needs and restrictions where practical. In some cases, individuals may be required to bring some of their own supplementary food. CFI caters to vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and will consider other dietary requests. This information needs to be provided during individual registration.

CFI will review student/adult dietary restrictions and food allergies prior to the trip. Due to the remote location of field camp and outfitting conditions, CFI reserves the right to restrict enrollment to any student/adult.


Our regional elevation on the Colorado Plateau is about 4-5,000 feet with trips to the high mesas or our “island mountains” taking you to elevations of 6-11,000 feet. We have a high desert climate with great seasonal variation.  For spring and fall, expect sunny skies and pleasant day temperatures in the 60’s to 80’s, rain or snow is possible. Summer brings warm, dry temperatures, usually 90-100 degrees. Night temperatures are usually 20-40 degrees cooler. Surprise storms can come up anytime! Participants should bring items on the suggested gear list no matter what season. (“Do I have to bring the long underwear and rain gear for my river trip in June?” The answer is YES!)

Smoking, Alcohol, Electronic Devices, Cell Phones, and Pets

CFI operates facilities and trips as smoke-free environments in all buildings, boats, vehicles, and common areas in campsites. No alcohol is allowed on school trips including college trips. Adult Seminar Series participants are welcome to bring alcohol - excluding trips onto the Navajo Nation - on our adult/family trips in moderation and at “appetizer hour” once in camp/at the lodge (i.e. no alcohol consumption during the day or in vehicles).

All drugs defined as illegal by the federal government, including marijuana in any form, are not allowed on any CFI trip. You are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages in modest amounts; we prefer non-breakable containers.

No pets are allowed on our programs. Participants may wish to contact local Chamber of Commerce or lodging establishments about pet boarding options.

On CFI camping trips, we provide the chance to be “unplugged” from society, to experience the wilderness on its own terms and to encourage enjoyment of natural sounds and quiet. We request no electronic devices such as CD players or cell phones etc. The exception to this is photographic and video equipment.