Mental Health Hike Series

Taking care of ourselves and our community through nature

CFI’s free Mental Health Hikes provide a safe space for members of the community to spend time in nature and learn skills to improve physical, mental, and emotional well being.  Give yourself an opportunity to exercise body, mind, and heart while building community in nature.


Two Programs Per Month

Mental Health Hikes take place on one Wednesday and one Sunday of each month. See Trip Narrative for specific dates.

Wednesday programs are short, focused lessons that take place from 6 – 8pm in outdoor locations close to Moab. Snacks are included, and our group will meet at each location

On Sundays, we will host a day long, in-depth lesson on that month’s theme. The program will involve hiking, slowing down, and building community. These programs will begin and end at CFI, and include a free lunch and a shuttle to the location.

See the Trip Narrative below for more information on our monthly themes.

Advanced registration is required!

Register for Wednesday, October 11

Register for Sunday, October 22

Connect to Nature

Immersion in nature is essential to the human spirit. Connection to place can foster self-awareness while restoring balance and perspective.

Free Community Events

Thanks to generous supporters from the Moab Community, these hikes are completely free! The 2023 Mental Health Hike Series was funded through support from Grand County Economic Development, WabiSabi, and Moonflower. If you or your business is interested in supporting access to these valuable programs, please contact Alison Anders,


Learning about and discussing mental health can be an intense emotional experience. Please prepare yourself to engage with other participants respectfully.

While this event is free, consider supporting CFI's efforts to provide the Moab community with more free opportunities to spend time outside like this one.

Twice per month, see trip narrative
Drop Off/Pick Up:
Various Locatoins
Age Range:
Recommended for ages 18+

This is how we rate the challenges you might face on a CFI trip.

Level 1 - Easy

  • Low level of physical activity, minimal movement required
  • 0 nights spent camping or in the field
  • Hiking or walking 0-2 miles per day

Level 2 - Moderate

  • Medium level of physical activity, some movement required
  • 1-4 nights spent camping or in the field
  • Hiking up to 4 miles per day
  • Flatwater or mild whitewater rapids

Level 3 - Active

  • Medium or high level of physical activity
  • 1-5 nights spent camping or in the field
  • Hiking up to 5 miles per day
  • Class I - III whitewater rapids

Level 4 - Challenging

  • High level of physical activity
  • 1-6 nights spent camping or in the field
  • Hiking 5 or more miles per day
  • Class IV whitewater rapids
CFI's Essential Eligibility Criteria outlines specific challenges that you may face on CFI trips. Please consult the EEC for information on responsibilities of participants.
  • If you or someone you want to bring on this hike is younger than 18, reach out to

See other trips in these categories:

Trip Narrative

Our first Mental Health Hike took place in 2022 and has expanded with community support. Alison Anders and Elizabeth Bercel created the event to provide opportunities for people to come together and learn tangible skills for maintaining mental health.

Dates and Themes for Fall and Winter 2023:

September 13th and 24th: Mental Health and Technology

October 11th and 22nd: Tapping into Creativity

November 8th and 26th: Gratitude

December 13th and 31st: Rest as a tool for healing

January 10th and 28th, 2024: Creating a Growth Mindset

Guest Faculty

Elizabeth Bercel bio picture

Liz Bercel

Originally from Arizona, Liz found her appreciation for the outdoors through exploring Sonoran desert washes and marveling at summer monsoons. After studying Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, she has used her degree throughout the years to gain experience in Wilderness Therapy, Environmental Education, and Ecological Restoration.

Liz now uses her background, knowledge, and experience as the lead instructor for CFI’s Mental Health Hike series.

Need to Know

  • CFI staff are trained educators and guides with first aid and CPR certifications. Back-country trips carry satellite communications devices.  
  • All cook and dishware, meals, snacks, and river gear are provided by CFI.


Some people say food is the most important part of the adventure. On all our overnight trips, CFI will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a morning and afternoon snack, and an appetizer before dinner. If you have a dietary restriction or food allergy, note it on your medical form so we can best prepare.

Depends on the trip. As a general rule, CFI provides all group gear related to fully outfitting your trip. Specialized gear like PFDs, wetsuits, dry bags, educational materials are all provided by CFI. Additionally, we take care of all kitchen and dishware needs. 

Find out more about trip specific packing.

Most importantly, a willingness to slow down, connect to your surroundings, and experience the moment. Additionally, participants are required to bring a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, personal clothing, medication, and other essential personal items. Many gear items are available for rent. Reach out to us if you are interested in seeing a trip specific packing list, or learn more about trip specific packing here.

CFI provides options to rent gear:

  • Two person tent: $30 / trip
  • Sleeping bag: $20 / trip
  • Kid sleeping pad: $7 / trip
  • Adult sleeping pad (paco pad): $15 / trip
  • Package deal: Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and one tent per two people: $40 / trip

For any CFI summer camp, gear rentals are free!

Every CFI guide has either a Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certification. Your trip leader will have a Wilderness First Responder certification. Anyone working with youth has passed a background check, and shuttle drivers are insured with clean driving records. Backcountry trips carry In-Reach satellite communication devices for emergencies. All guides have been evaluated by Canyonlands Field Institute as possessing the judgement, skills, and disposition required for mitigating risk in the field. 

As technology grows more and more invasive by the day, CFI promotes connection to what matters. To achieve this, all school and youth programs are unplugged and students are not permitted to bring electronic devices. Not only is there rarely cell service, devices are a distraction to our ability to connect to the present moment. On Private Group Trips or Adult Seminars, the use of devices is permitted but discouraged.

CFI works hard to ensure a positive experience for all guides and participants. Because of the unpredictable nature of outfitting, we have created a series of policies so maintain our ability to manage risk in the outdoors.

For critical information regarding cancellations, deposits, and other participant responsibilities, please view our trip policies page or contact us with any questions.

Thanks for asking...We know this can be an awkward subject. The fact is, our guides work extremely hard and appreciate getting tipped! 

On school trips tips are greatly appreciated. 

On an adult or private trip, an industry standard is for each customer to tip $25 per day.

If you wish to include a gratuity, cash is preferred, but sending a check or a payment to CFI's Venmo: @canyonlandsfieldinstitute is also a great way to thank your guides for their hard work.  Tips are always pooled and distributed.

See related Community Events

CFI is a non-profit organization and fees are not taxed. By choosing CFI, you are supporting our efforts to provide lifechanging outdoor experiences for hundreds of children per year.  Scholarships are available on an as needed basis.