Start planning your next Land or River Outdoor Education Adventure with CFI
Plan early! We suggest you begin planning for your group six to eight months in advance and no less than two months in advance. This will assure that we can create the best program for your group with dates and locations you desire. CFI takes pride in helping you select a School or Youth Program that best suits your group size, educational goals, time frame, and budget.
Call CFI to discuss the best options for your group. We are here to assist you!
Below is information you'll need to begin planning your school’s program.
We are here to assist you with the planning process, and this checklist will help you get started.
- Look through our program options. We have a variety of programs on both river and land designed to accommodate many different schools and groups. Here you can get an idea of what will work for your group.
- Estimate your group’s size. You can refer to our School Program descriptions for group size limits on all trips.
- Decide on a range of preferred dates. Some dates fill early. Many stretches of river have limited launch dates and public lands have seasonal use limits.
- Determine your overall budget. This should include program cost, your travel costs, and chaperone fees.
- Select a river or land program. CFI can help you fulfill your teaching goals specific to your age group needs.
- Carefully read about Deposits and Payments in the next section below.
- Decide on one program or more and review your choices with parents and school administration. We will provide information on permits, risk management program, sample registration/risk forms, insurance, and references.
Please note: CFI chooses to operate on nature’s terms, “unplugged” in the backcountry, without cell phones or other electronic devices. We offer traditional wilderness experiences and rely on preparedness, training, backcountry skills, and wise leadership. Be sure to have your administration’s approval prior to confirming your reservation.
- Confirm your program with CFI. We will send you an invoice for the non-refundable deposit, as well as contract by email. Please respond with a deposit payment by credit card or check within 28 days. Your dates are tentative until the deposit payment and the signed contract are received.
Program Details and Logistics
- Make your transportation plans to our area. Be sure you know exact dates for travel to match with your CFI program.
- CFI will send you a program brochure, gear list, behavioral guidelines, and registration and risk forms for all teachers, students, and chaperones attending the program. These are for parents information as well. Your packet will also contain curriculum objectives, program schedule, and a map to our area.
- On your contract, note due dates for final numbers of participants and for payments. Timely receipt of payments is required and a final number of participants is necessary for planning.
Get Your Students and Families Involved
- Start preparing your students for their Land or River Education adventure. Get them excited to come, and tie curriculum to your destination.
- Schedule a pre-trip meeting with parents and students, review clothing and gear lists and practice setting up your tents if you are bringing your own.
Get to know one of your Guides
A CFI naturalist-guide that will be with your group in the field will contact you several weeks prior to your trip by email or phone to firm up details, discuss any student health, diet or behavioral concerns, and work with you to insure your students to have a safe, fun, and “transformative” field trip experience.
Timely deposits and payments will ensure a smooth planning process for your school trip. The following outlines the deposit and payment cycle:
- To secure your reservation we require a non-refundable deposit equal to five student fees.
- Once you decide on a program, we will send out an invoice and contract. This deposit is due within 28 days.
- Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send program materials and participant registrations.
- Final payment is due 14 days prior to the programs start date.
For reservations made less than 60 days out, we request final numbers at the time of reservation. Payment may be made by credit card or check and are due within 10 days of invoicing to secure the reservation.
Teacher and chaperone fees, discounts, and numbers policies are outlined below:
- Each CFI required teacher/chaperone receives 50% off.
- BLM special use fees still apply to all adults.
- No more than six adults with each school group.
- On land programs, we require one chaperone per 12 students.
- On river programs, we require at least two chaperones per group.
CFI offers several discounts for School and Youth Programs.
Early Bird Discount
To encourage early commitments that aid our staffing and support planning, CFI is pleased to offer to ALL schools, colleges and youth groups Early bird discounts:
One participant free
- When deposit for a spring reservation is paid by October 15 or
- When deposit for a fall reservation is paid by May 15
To secure the dates that you want and to obtain our Early Bird Discount, we encourage you to act soon as our calendar fills quickly, especially for May and September of each year.
All required chaperones receive a 50% discount. See Adult Fees and Policies.
CFI Offers Scholarships for School and Youth Programs and Summer Camps.
Additional scholarship/discount is available to K-12 public schools and Indian Reservation Charter Schools.
Please start your application by completing:
There is a scholarship fund developed each year through annual fund giving at CFI and thus a cap exists on the total amount that can be awarded for this school year; so please apply early! The awards are based on the percent of the school's student body enrolled in the Federal Free & Reduced Lunch (FRL) program (not just students on this field trip).
The scholarship/discount will be as follows:
- If 5-25.9% FRL, then CFI regular school trip fees will be discounted 5%
- If 26-50.9% FRL, then 10% discount
- If 51% or more, then 15% discount.
- You are asked to provide documentation of the FRL rate on your scholarship application.
Summer Camp Scholarships
Scholarship assistance is available for our summer camps. Please contact CFI for more information and we will send you a form.
Our school programs vary so please check each type of trip as to what type of transportation is included. Additional bus services can be hired with notice.
You arrange transportation to our camp or river launch site or trailhead. CFI fees listed for multi-day river trips cover shuttle of two school vehicles or a hired bus to transport your entire group back to the launch point. Additional school vehicles can be shuttled for $100/vehicle. For a single day river trip near Moab, CFI works with your drivers to shuttle all vehicles, included in fee.
For your own travel planning, see the Moab Travel Council pages for camping, accommodations, and transportation. Furthermore, if you plan on camping before or after your trip BLM group sites are now available up to one year in advance.
Our general cancellation policy is outlined here but each school contract will have a cancellation clause tailored to meet the specifics of that trip.
Cancellation policies are applicable to All CFI School/Youth 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 give accurate numbers for your program, and arrive for the program on-time once you have registered.
Notify us of cancellation in writing by email in addition to 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 section 8 below for Travel Insurance.
CFI highly recommends that participants purchase travel and flight insurance coverage to protect your program fee, airline, and other trip costs.
Our public lands and river permits limit group size for our locations;.
If you have a group of over 60 students for our Professor Valley Field Camp programs or over 25 participants for river programs, please inquire how CFI can accommodate you through simultaneous trips in different locations, sequential programs, or simultaneous programs. Our Cisco to Professor Valley two night Colorado River Program accommodates groups with up to 45 participants.
Call us: 800-860-5262
Upon receipt of your deposit, CFI will send an email with the following attached materials:
- Program outlines
- Parent Brochure which includes "What to bring list" (Gear List)
- Teacher and Chaperone information
- Link to your school's online registration page
We request final numbers 28 days prior to assist our staffing and supply requisitions.
All participant registrations are due 14 days prior; if not received by deadline, late fees apply.
You can review our school student/chaperone registration and assumption of risk forms with your parents or school administration
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 the 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.
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 can now cater to vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, and will consider other dietary requests. This information needs to be provided during individual registration of students.
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.
CFI has set certain rules for the well-being of all those attending CFi programs. A participant will be expelled from the program and returned home or to the school if participant:
- Possesses or uses a drug of any kind, including improper use of or possession of any prescription or non-prescription drug.
- Possess or uses an alcoholic beverage or tobacco or tobacco-like product of any kind.
- Carries a personal knife, sharp tool or forearm.
- Engages in bullying or abuse of any kind, fighting, violence, or threatens violence.
- Engages in sexual activities or sexually harasses another person.
- Engages in theft or vandalism.
- Engages in the company of another participant who violates these rules and fails to report it.
- Fails to respect authority.
We maintain a zero tolerance policy for those who break the rules: parent and/or guardian and school administrator will be notified and the participant will be removed from the program as soon as possible, and at the expense of the parent/guardian.
CFI instructional staff may base their determination that an infraction has occurred on evidence that was reported to them but not directly observed by them, or on the behavior that results from the infraction.
CFI operates facilities and trips as smoke/vape free environments in all buildings, boats, vehicles and common areas in campsites. No alcohol is allowed on school trips including college trips.
On all CFI 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 radios, CD players, cell phones etc. The exception to this is photographic and video equipment.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: CFI provides equal opportunities to all, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
Or call us today: 800-860-5262. We’ll make it as easy as possible!
Relax, and know that CFI will have terrific instructors, great food, and smooth logistics waiting for you when you arrive.
“All lessons were hands-on, real-life, high impact, and were taught with meaningful expectations – therefore, they produced a great response from the students ... A highlight was the bonding among a diverse group of students in one of the most beautiful places on earth.”
Principal Melinda Snow, Grand County, Utah, Middle School.