Natural Bridges

Freshman Wilderness Experience

Join USU Outdoor Programs for the Natural Bridges Freshman Wilderness Experience. Enhance your transition to USU by building bridges with the natural environment and your fellow incoming freshmen while spending five days backpacking in the Mount Naomi Wilderness or five days canoeing on the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon. Registration opens March 2022.

Who can join?

Natural Bridges is for incoming freshmen only. All students who register for Natural Bridges are encouraged to enroll in one of three sections of USU 1010 to complete upon return from their wilderness experience. Though not required, through this USU 1010 course you will continue to build bridges in the classroom with the friends you made in the wilderness!

What will you do?

Participants will spend five days in the Mount Naomi Wilderness exploring Cache Valley's amazing mountain backcountry OR spend five days in the southern Utah desert canoeing among red rock cliffs and cacti. You will be led by the OP's outdoor experts and travel alongside a master naturalist that will provide you valuable insights about the geology and ecology of the area. You will build bridges to the natural world through the formal process of observing and recording the details of nature and get acquainted with one of two spectacular ecosystems. You will also build bridges with your fellow incoming freshmen as you unplug (No WiFi or cell service!) and connect with each other through this shared wilderness experience.

How to register?

Incoming freshmen must register and pay to be enrolled. Only 32 spaces are available (20 backpacking, 12 canoeing). Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning in March 2022.

Labyrinth Canyon

Located nearly 300 miles from Logan, near the town of Green River Utah, Labyrinth Canyon was carved out of the desert rock by the south flowing Green River. Named by John Wesley Powell during his 1869 expedition for it's meandering characteristics, Labyrinth Canyon provides a beautiful classroom setting to learn about desert ecology, build bridges with the natural environment and fellow Freshmen.

You will pack everything you need in a canoe and leave civilization behind as you paddle nearly 60 miles of this scenic flatwater river. Along the way, you will explore hiking opportunities, historical sites and learn about the desert flora and fauna. You will be led by the OP's canoeing experts and learn about bridges that connect you to the desert ecology from a master naturalist.

Requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to participate on this wilderness experience:

  • Be an incoming Freshman student Fall 2022.
  • Register and pay the fee.
  • Be able to swim.
  • Have no injuries or conditions that would limit ability to swim, paddle a canoe and/or hike up to 5 miles.
  • Be prepared to spend 5 days in a wilderness desert environment with potential temperatures above 100˚ F (38˚ C).
  • No canoe experience necessary.
  • All Natural Bridges participants are encouraged to participate in the USU 1010 Connections course following the canoeing field experience.

Itinerary

  • Thursday August 18th: Arrive in Logan. Trip Orientation at Outdoor Programs at 1:00pm.
  • Friday August 19th: Depart Logan for Labyrinth Canyon and begin 5-day journey on the Green River.
  • Tuesday August 23rd: Depart from Labyrinth Canyon and return to USU Campus late in the evening.
  • Wednesday August 24th: Clean and return canoeing equipment. Prepare for USU 1010 Connections Class (optional).

What is Included

  • Canoeing Equipment
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Dry Bag
  • Headlamp
  • Water Bottle
  • First Aid Kits
  • Group Cooking Equipment
  • Meals on the River
  • Transportation to and from River

What You Need to Provide

  • Transportation to Logan
  • Lodging for 8/18 & 8/23 if you will not be living on campus
  • Meals prior to and after the river (including $ for the drive down & back)
  • Clothes/personal equipment for the river (a detailed packing list will be sent once registered)
canoeing Labyrinth Canyon

Mount Naomi Wilderness

Right in our own campus backyard lies the Mount Naomi Wilderness in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This rugged and beautiful wilderness area contains towering peaks, alpine lakes and an amazing opportunity to learn about mountain ecology while building bridges with your fellow incoming Freshmen.

You will pack everything you need for five days on your back and hike for 20 miles through alpine peaks and valleys. You will be led by the OP's backpacking experts and learn about bridges that connect you to the local ecology from a master naturalist.

Requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to participate on this wilderness experience:

  • Be an incoming Freshman student Fall 2022.
  • Register and pay the fee.
  • Have no injuries or conditions that would limit strenous physical activity and ability to hike up to 5 miles per day with a 30 lb pack.
  • Be prepared to spend 5 days in a wilderness mountain environment at elevations up to 9,000ft (2,700m).
  • No backpacking experience necessary.
  • All Natural Bridges participants are encouraged to participate in the USU 1010 Connections course following the canoeing field experience.

Itinerary

  • Thursday August 18th: Trip Orientation at Outdoor Programs 5:00pm.
  • Friday August 19th: Depart Logan for Mt. Naomi Wilderness and begin 5-day backpacking experience.
  • Tuesday August 23rd: Depart Mt. Naomi Wilderness and return to USU Campus. Clean and return backpacking gear. Prepare for USU 1010 Connections class (optional).

What is Included

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Headlamp
  • Water Bottle
  • First Aid Kits
  • Group Cooking Equipment
  • Meals in the field
  • Transportation to and from trailhead

What You Need to Provide

  • Transportation to Logan
  • Lodging for 8/18 & 8/23 if you will not be living on campus
  • Meals prior to and after backpacking
  • Clothes/personal equipment for backpacking (a detailed packing list will be sent once registered)
mount naomi wilderness area