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Deer Hill Expeditions

Categories: Outdoor / Adventure, Travel / Touring, Sports / Boating / Riding, Community Service / Activism, Featured

Ages: 13-18

Gender: Co-Ed

Type: Overnight/Residential

Physical & Mailing Address:
Deer Hill Expeditions, PO Box 180
Mancos, CO USA 81328

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Summer programs engaging teens in Wilderness Expeditions, Service and Native Cultures since 1984. Outstanding adventures, travel and service projects in the American southwest and Costa Rica. Read More!

Information about Deer Hill Expeditions

Inspiring journeys for young adults in the American Southwest and Costa Rica. A mature and experienced staff (average age of 28), lead small groups of 12-15 teenagers on expeditions into the rugged and pristine landscapes of the canyons, rivers, and mountains of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and the rain forests, beaches, and rural villages of Costa Rica. Deer Hill's 4:1 student to staff ratio provides personalized attention and instruction during two to four-week long programs. We integrate activities including rafting, canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and wilderness leadership with community service. A focus of each program is a service learning project (in most cases applicable to high school credit) and cultural exchange. Deer Hill partners with Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes in the Southwest U.S., and homestays with families in Costa Rica to provide an enriching service component to our adventures. Additionally, we coordinate conservation projects with the U.S. Forest Service in the San Juan Mountains. Learning about the wilderness, native cultures, new life skills and making deeper connections with each other and the Earth are essential to our programs. Deer Hill is for young people wishing to expand their horizons through the challenges of living in the wilderness while making new friends in a non-competitive atmosphere of respect and fun.

Deer Hill is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.

Q & A with Deer Hill Expeditions

Q: What makes your camp or program unique?

A: Our groups are small and provide each participant with the individualized leadership that creates a successful group dynamic. Unlike other organizations, Deer Hill is located in the heart of the Southwest. We share the best of the mountains, rivers and canyons in our backyard and the best of the tropics in Costa Rica.

Q: Describe a typical day in your camp or program.

A: Our programs aren’t typical and each day offers a completely different itinerary that may include whitewater rafting, canyoneering, rock climbing, backpacking, visiting archaeological sites or community service with our Native American families.

Q: What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?

A: Our participants are enthusiastic and engaged young adults. We don’t require experience only a degree of fitness and a willingness to explore not only the beautiful landscape that we travel to, but delve into the personal landscape.

Q: Where do your participants come from?

A: Our participants come from all over the world. We have participants coming from Norway, France, Belgium, Nepal, Russia, Indonesia, NY, Seattle, San Francisco and beyond.

Q: What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?

A: Our programs occur in the Great Outdoors and most of the trips involve tent camping under the stars. At the start and finish of trips you can enjoy the comfortable cabins and convenience of Basecamp. Our Costa Rica trip involves homestays, beach camping and hostels. Our food is organic, delicious, healthy and often grown right here in the Deer Hill gardens.  We take pride in our food preparation and know that we are providing the best food possible to fuel our participants.

Q: Please describe what teens have to say about your program.

A: “My Deer Hill experience was profound. Being able to connect not only with these diverse people but also with nature and most importantly myself is something I will always cherish. It truly changed my life, and I thank everyone at Deer Hill for making the experience so rich.” KB

“The Heart of the Rockies was unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life before. There was tons of fun to be had on this trip, and I really enjoyed being immersed in the wilderness. I will remember these beautiful landscapes for the rest of my life.” Jonah

“Service was fascinating, powerful, and real. I got a taste of how the Hopi live and the struggles they face. Watching a Hopi Kachina Dance was so incredible. It was such a powerful thing to watch something so ancient and spiritually rich. I have never experienced anything more fulfilling than breaking a sweat for the sake of someone else.” CC

Q: Any other information you think teens should know about your program? 

A: Deer Hill Expeditions offers a truly unique wilderness experience.  For 29 years we’ve led journeys in our backyard- the mountains, rivers and canyons of the Southwest and exciting adventures through the gentle country of Costa Rica.

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Comments about Deer Hill Expeditions

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langnerl said...
Feb. 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Whether I was mountain biking in Colorado, cooking pancakes in the Weminuche Wilderness, or hiking through the Costa Rican rainforest to an eco-reserve, Deer Hill has been a life-changing experience. Friends who spot each other over precarious areas throughout the day have the ability to get to know each other on a deeper level. Every night they share their challenges, hopes, and fears in Circle. Deer Hill leaders help the participants to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, teachi... (more »)
REED said...
Feb. 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Deer Hill is a great place. The combination of the outdoors and the people at Deer Hill are really what make it such a special place. My favorite part about Deer Hill (besides food at base camp) is going out into the wilderness and building great relationships with such cool people who are so knowledgeable. Deer Hill is a great chance to do really cool activities like rafting, hiking, biking, and climbing through canyons; all with an incredible group of teenagers from across the country. Thro... (more »)

Reed Young said...
Feb. 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Deer Hill is a great place. The combination of the outdoors and the people at Deer Hill are really what make it such a special place. My favorite part about Deer Hill (besides food at base camp) is going out into the wilderness and building great relationships with such cool people who are so knowledgeable. Deer Hill is a great chance to do really cool activities like rafting, hiking, biking, and climbing through canyons; all with an incredible group of teenagers from across the country. Thro... (more »)

reisman said...
Feb. 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm
I spent two summers at Deer Hill and they were the two best summers of my life. I couldn't say what was best about them -- the breathtaking mountain and canyon scenery, the satisfaction of finishing a tough hike and looking down to where you started thinking "I just climbed that," the unforgettable cultural exchanges on the reservation, or the amazing bonds you form with your group members. I came home with a new sense of confidence, a refreshed view of the world, and a collection of memories ... (more »)
Julie said...
Feb. 9, 2012 at 5:48 am
Deer Hill is magic. I won't never forget this experience. If you are looking for something new, friendly, sporting this is the place to be. I saw wonderful landscapes, i had so much fun and i met incredible people. Deer Hill changed my life forever. Deer Hill is not about writing but about living something you will never forget.
cchristy said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm
I have always had a great love of the outdoors, but nothing allowed me to embrace this passion like my experience with Deer Hill. Participating in the Wilderness Leadership program is something that I will remember for the rest of my life, not only for the genuine connections I formed with my peers, leaders, and surroundings, but for my experience of personal growth. Deer Hill is special in that it provides a physical and spiritual challenge that enables you to get in touch with yourself and the... (more »)
iKarki said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm
My name is Indra and I attende one of the Deer Hills trip during the summer of 2009. Deer Hill is more than hiking and camping. Deer Hill has changed my thinking in many ways. I profoundly found that I have potential to achieve my goals and be a strong person. I was worried at first, it was hard at first but later as I became close to other friends I realize that I am the part of Deer Hill family. Nothin in life is easy at first. I felt lonely sometimes during the trip but if I did not felt that... (more »)
ADobs said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm
I have spent four summers with Deer Hill expeditions, and I cannot imagine myself today without these life-changing experiences. Deer Hill teaches the value of wilderness, cultural exchange, and service, while still leaving plenty of room for self discovery. The leaders are knowledgeable and committed to the welfare of participants. DHE is fun and challenging, and its traditions nourish friendship and community.
MBurkhalter said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm
I still can remember my first time on a Deer Hill course. I have to say it changed my life and my view on life as well. I cannot even remember exactly how many courses I completed through Deer Hill but its probably somewhere between 5 or 6. These summers were incredible. Its an experience unlike any other. The landscape plus the instructors where so inspirational that I couldn't seem to stay away. Something that stands out to me when I look back was the amazing few days spent on the reservations... (more »)
DCapelin said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm
I spent two years at Deer Hill Expeditions and they were the best two summers of my life. The small group of friends that I made over the trip was amazing. We bonded and became closer as we experienced amazing thrills. We scaled mountaintops, backpacked through awe-inspiring canyons, and had the amazing opportunity to receive the knowledge and generosity of a kind Navajo family as we volunteered beside them, building fences and doing other jobs that needed to be done in order to help the Nava... (more »)
CWhite said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm
My best summers ever were spent at Deer Hill. The friends you make, the places you go to, and the things you do are all worth while whether it is scaling the peaks of the Rocky Mountains or taking part in community service at a Hopi reservation. I would highly suggest Deer Hill Expeditions to anyone looking for adventure and fun in the great outdoors!

Reviews of Deer Hill Expeditions

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