- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Credit Awarded: None
- Program Length: Two Weeks, Three Weeks, Five Weeks
- Start Month: January, March, April, July, August, September, October, November
- Category: Outdoor Adventure
- Selective: Yes
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Tents
- Affiliation: Gap Year Association
- Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships
- Minimum Cost: $3,000 - $4,999
DownWest offers 14- to 34-day backpacking, hiking and biking gap and summer programs for 17-22 year olds in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Alaska, with a focus on leadership, engagement, and fun. Learn and grow through our Sense-of-Place and Leadership Curriculum, while trying new activities like rock climbing and rafting. We strive to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders through thoughtful adventures rooted in the stories, mountains, rivers and deserts of the West.
- Backpack or bike tour through the American West or Alaska.
- Learn how to travel responsibly in the backcountry, carrying everything you need and setting up camp at night during five-to-ten-day backcountry sections.
- Try something new, like rafting, sea kayaking, or rock climbing.
- Earn a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification and learn Leave no Trace (LNT) principles.
- Be an integral member of a team-first group.
- Experience the West under the guidance and instruction of inspirational & caring leaders.
- Learn about the history, people, landscapes and issues facing the West today through interesting readings & small-group discussions.
- Immerse yourself in the deserts, canyons, mountains and waterways of Colorado, Utah & Arizona, and Alaska.