Outdoor Skills Workshop: Surviving and Finding Yourself in the Sonoran Desert
Have you ever watched one of those epic adventure movies that features a vast, barren yet almost mythical desert? Our Yuma Retreat wants to transport you to a real world desert location that will create memories for you that last a lifetime. Join us in the Sonoran Desert for a one-of-a-kind retreat experience that combines the magic of the desert with the vestiges of the past and the harsh realities of daily life along the southwest border.
We will start our journey by bonding over dinner before starting out the very next morning for one of the most unique but overlooked location in the whole of the US, The Imperial Sand Dunes. Hiking to the top of the dunes you can view the vastness of this incredible natural formation, as well as, the US/Mexico border fence. As we come back down off the dunes there will be an opportunity to get a "Mad Max - into the wasteland style" photo that give you a profile picture like no other!
From the Dunes we will take you to the Mexican bordertown of Los Algodones. The difference between small towns in the US and the ones in Mexico are instantly recognizable. Sidewalk vendors cover the streets and all manner of souvenirs can be found. After walking and shopping there will be time to lunch at the Mi Casa restaurant. After Los Algodones and an afternoon break we will have a private tour at the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum. The prison is a powerful reminder of what life was often like during the western expansion. Here on the banks of the Colorado River the prison was build, as well as the town of Yuma, and prisoners from all over the southwest were brought here - even ones the Earp brothers sent from Tombstone. After a full day we will have time to discuss and process everything we have experienced over a courtyard dinner in downtown Yuma. A border patrol agent will join us to enlighten the group about many of the aspects of border issues we never hear about in regular news coverage.
The following day our group will tour one of the large farms that dot the area surrounding Yuma. It is a surprising juxtaposition that in this barren landscape so much produce that ends up on US tables is grown here. This has became possible because of the life giving waters of the Colorado River. After time for lunch we will put on our hiking shoes and travel to the historic gold mining town Tumac. Tumac once sat where some of the earliest gold discoveries were found in California. There are mining operation ruins, home foundations, mining shafts and graves. After an extensive survey of Tumac we will head back to the hotel where everyone can clean up and rest before our cook out and campfire session beside the Colorado River. Our final dinner together will be a time us to share thoughts and feeling about our time together, new perspectives and hopefully new friendships.
On Sunday morning anyone who has the time and the energy we will be doing a hike to the top of Telegraph Pass. From the top of the pass (part of the Gila Ridge) is an incredible view of the Yuma valley on one side and the Dome valley on the other. It is a 5+ mile hike that includes a steep climb with a 1200+ elevation gain. It's a great workout and the perfect way to finish up the retreat weekend.
This is the kind of weekend that will be remembered for a lifetime and will impact your life in such positive ways! We hope you will join us!
Before registering this retreat, please check our ability range chart, to best determine if you will be able to complete any physical challenges.