Mental Health Hike Series

Taking care of ourselves and our community through nature

The Mental Health Hike program continues in 2024!

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 wellbeing.  Give yourself an opportunity to exercise body, mind, and heart while building community in nature.

By taking time to hike, slow down, and build community, these programs help us create a state of wellbeing where people can realize their potential, cope with everyday stress, and contribute to their community.

Mental Health hikes are always free, and take place from 11am – 4pm on the first Sunday of every month. Each program starts and ends at CFI’s office in Moab and consists of an easy to moderate hike. Registration is required. Please reach out if you have any questions. See the Trip Narrative below for more information on our monthly themes.

 

Upcoming Hike – May 5th: Cultivating Gratitude

Join CFI, and guest expert Sydney Williams, on Sunday, May 5th to learn about the mental health benefits of gratitude and to practice incorporating it into daily lives! This program involves a short hike, partner and group exercises, and reflection, and features Sydney’s mental health expertise. This hike is free and includes transportation and lunch.

Sidney Williams is a speaker, author, and the founder of Hiking My Feelings, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the healing power of nature. Her work has been featured in Huff Post, Psychology Today, and the U.S. News & World Report. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder, an instructor at the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, an instructor at the Field Institute at Sequoia National Park, and a founding member of the Outdoorist Oath.

Advanced registration is required for these free programs, and hikes fill quickly.

Can’t make it this month? See the Trip Narrative section below and save your spot for any of our upcoming hikes throughout the year.

Register for the May 5th Hike

Nature based curriculum

Immersion in nature is essential to the human spirit. Through discussion based curriculum led by mental health experts, these programs teach skills and strategies that enhance connection to place and bring wellbeing into our day to day lives.

Free Community Events

Thanks to generous supporters from the Moab Community, these hikes are completely free! If you or your business is interested in supporting access to these valuable programs, please contact Alison Anders, development@cfimoab.org.

 

 

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.

Location:
Various Locations
Date:
See trip narrative
Drop Off/Pick Up:
Various Locatoins
Age Range:
Recommended for ages 18+
Cost:
Free
Challenge:
Level-

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.
Notes:
  • If you or someone you want to bring on this hike is younger than 18, reach out to development@cfimoab.org

See other trips in these categories:

Trip Narrative

Our first Mental Health Hike took place in 2022 and has expanded with community support. Each month contains distinct curriculum to explore various aspects of our mental health.

2024 Programs

April 7th – Communication and Listening, Hunter Canyon

May 5th – Cultivating Gratitude

June 2nd – The Mind Body Connection

July 7th – Emotional Awareness

August 4th – Building a Support Network

September 1st – Tapping into Creativity

October 6th – Coping with Stress

November 3rd – Rest as a Tool for Healing

December 1st – Goals and Growth Mindset

MHH Faculty

Elizabeth Bercel bio pictureLiz 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.

FAQ

How long are the hikes? The hikes range from 0.5 to 2 miles long.

What do the trails look like? The hikes can include paved pathways, rocky and sandy terrain, and uneven dirt trails. The trails are mostly flat, with some elevation gain and loss.

What is the pace of the hikes? We take our time on the hikes, pausing every 15-20 minutes to rest and do group activities.

Are there toilets? There are toilets at most of the trailheads and picnic areas we go to. The longest we will be without a toilet is 1 hour. If you need to go to the bathroom while we are on the trail we carry Wag Bags for poop. Learn more about Wag Bags.

Are there chairs to sit in? Do you have to sit on the ground? On some trails we may circle up to do a group activity while sitting on the ground. If sitting on the ground is challenging for you, let us know. Depending on the location, you may be required to carry the chair while walking. If this is challenging for you we can make accommodations. 

Do you have to participate in every activity or answer every question? Participation is optional; if you would like to take time to yourself while we are doing an activity we have solo journaling activities or art supplies you can use. Additionally, you are welcome to step away at any point, just let us know. 

Is there transportation? There is a shuttle to and from the CFI office. If you would like to drive yourself, you can meet us at the office and we can caravan together.

Can pets and service animals come on a hike? Pets are not allowed but service animals are.

Can children come on a hike? This programming is for people who are 18 and up.

Is there food and water? Lunch, snacks, and water are all provided.

What do you need to bring? A backpack, water bottle, sun protection, warm layers, and a rain jacket. If you do not have any of those items, we have some to loan.

What does an average day look like? The average Mental Health Hike starts at 11AM at the CFI office at 1320 S HWY 191. To start we'll do introductions and share our intentions for the day. Then we will drive 10 to 40 minutes to a trailhead in the Moab area. At the start of the trail we will ask a group question to either think about to yourself or talk about with someone while walking. After 15-20 minutes we’ll circle up and discuss the question. Then we hike for another 15-20 minutes before pausing again for a group activity. After getting back to the trailhead we will go to a campsite or a picnic area to have lunch. After lunch we'll more about the mental health topic of the day. We may do some solo journaling, have group discussions, run workshops on specific tools for maintaining mental health, or play some games. We'll end the day with a closing discussion before driving back to the CFI office by 4PM. 

Is this group therapy? This is not group therapy. This is a space to learn about tools to maintain mental health, explore the landscapes around us, and meet new friends. We may ask a question for a group discussion, which is optional to share. On mental health hikes we do not focus on processing trauma, but we do have resources to share if you are looking for a space to do that. 

Are the hikes confidential? Information about your participation in this program is confidential, however feedback forms will be requested to support program growth.  Participant experiences and information shared during Mental Health Hikes are private and not to be shared or discussed outside of Mental Health Hikes. We will advocate for confidentiality needs, but cannot ensure that other participants will not disclose information.

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.