Southern Utah Canyonlands Wilderness Medicine

May 15- May 22, 2016
Cost: $2,490


Learn Wilderness Medicine and Desert Skills in the Spectacular Canyon Country of the Southwest.

Explore slot canyons, discover hidden arches, and climb desert towers on this classic introduction to Southern Utah’s amazing canyon lands. Learn and practice hands-on and field-based wilderness medicine skills, with an emphasis on self-care and small group leadership.  Become skilled in desert camping, travel, and survival techniques and learn basic canyoneering skills.  Perhaps encounter the secreted signs of the mysterious Ancient Ones – the Anasazi Indians who predated the Hopi and Navajo. Revel in and truly experience the spectacular beauty of this iconic landscape.  All meals, tours, and adventures covered.  Limited to 12 participants to allow for optimal small group learning, authentic wilderness experiences, and efficient travel.


   - Ground transportation from Las Vegas
   - All food, supplies, and group camping gear for 6 field days
   - Two nights (double occupancy) lodging in Las Vegas
   - Camping, permit, and entrance fees to parks
   - Final night celebratory banquet in Las Vegas
   - 21 CMEs


Aaron Billin, MD, MS, FAAFP, FAWM
Treasurer, Wilderness Medical Society; Board Member, Wilderness Medical Society; Emergency Medicine Physician, Powell, WY; Medical Director, Powell Valley Healthcare EMS; Park County, Wyoming Search and Rescue.
Liz Edelstein, MD, FACEP, FAWM
Emergency Medicine Physician - San Diego, CA; WMS Board Member - 2013-Present;  Co-director, WMS Medical Student Elective; Faculty Director – Mid-Atlantic Student Wilderness Medicine Conference; Instructor – Cornell Wilderness Medicine Elective since 2007; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine – Thomas Jefferson University, 2007 – 2014; Associate Director, 4th Year Student Clerkship in EM and Advanced Clinical Skills, Director of Wilderness Medicine – Jefferson Medical College, 2007 – 2014.
Loren Greenway, PhD, FCCP, FAWM
CEO, Wilderness Medical Society; Assistant Director, Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Professor in the Health Sciences Department of Brigham Young University. Dive/Specialty Instructor with Scuba Schools International and consultant in Dive and Hyperbaric Medicine.

Todd Miner, EdD, FAWM
Instructor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Education Director for the Wilderness and Environmental Section, University of Colorado School of Medicine. He previously taught and worked at Cornell University and the University of Alaska. Miner has led climbs of the 7 highest peaks on the continent and logged more than a thousand days of outdoor leadership and education.


Previous day hiking experience recommend.  Appropriate for those in good health, capable of carrying a 15-20 kilogram pack over rough distances for up to 10 kms. Physical challenges: 4 (1-5).


This week long expedition will focus on wilderness medical and survival issues, especially those experienced in arid and desert areas.  This include hypothermia, hyperthermia, trauma, musculoskeletal soft tissue issues, dislocations/fractures, toxic animals, and lost persons.

The program will be start and end in Las Vegas, NV, with hotel stays at both ends.  It will begin with car camping and work up to a three day backpack before going back to car camping.  The program will be held in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks.  Activities include day hiking, backpacking, slot canyon explorations, and a possible peak scramble.  On the expedition, in addition to classes, participants will experience a number of real world wilderness medicine scenarios.  Participants will sleep in and practice wilderness living (navigation, cooking, tent camping, etc.).  The program will also include a short service or research project.  The program will conclude with the final banquet in Las Vegas.

All food, group camping gear, and ground transportation from Las Vegas will be provided.  Participants will be responsible for their own clothing, eating utensils, and sleeping bag/pad.  Enrollment is limited to 12 participants to allow for optimal small group learning, authentic wilderness experiences, and efficient travel and logistics.


1 Arrive Las Vegas Airport (by 2 pm)
Shuttle to local hotel
Orientation and overview meeting
2 Bryce Canyon National Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park
3 Classes;  Day Hike;  Kodachrome Basin State Park
4-6 Drive to trailhead
Start three day backpack mini-expedition
6 Hike out to trailhead
Drive to Cottonwood Canyon Rd and hike Cottonwood Canyon Slot Canyon
Drive to and camp at Whitehouse Campground

Hike Buckskin Slot Canyon

8 Drive to Zion National Park
Hike Angels Landing or the Virgin River Narrows
Drive back to Las Vegas
Celebratory banquet
9 Fly home


The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The WMS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

TOPICS (order of educational lectures will be determined by the faculty dependent upon conditions and status of the group):
Wilderness medicine overview and differences, Hypothermia, Hyperthermia, Trauma, Musculoskeletal soft tissue issues, Dislocations/fractures, Improvised packaging, litters, carries, Toxic plants and animals, Desert skills and survival (camping, shelters, navigation, water procurement, fire starting, etc.), Basic rope skills, Search and rescue.

*CME Information:


This course is designed to educate participants in the pathophysiology, recognition and treatment of a variety of medical problems commonly encountered in wilderness environments and settings remote from hospital or definitive care.
Upon completion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

  • Establish a set of treatment priorities for care of the sick or injured in wilderness settings.
  • Demonstrate basic aspects of improvised care, rescue and evacuation.
  • Learn basic field skills enabling a physician to be more capable in a ssetting remote from definitive care. 

Target Audience:
Physicians and other Medical Care Providers who have an interest in providing medical care in “remote” environments such as wilderness settings or in developing countries are encouraged to attend.  Physicians counseling their patients traveling to remote areas will benefit as well.

Physician Assistants:
The American Academy of Physician Assistants accepts Category 1 CME approval from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Other Professionals:
Check with your governing entity to determine usefulness of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Academy of Wilderness Medicine:
Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM™) is designed for individuals who want to be acknowledged for their professional achievement in Wilderness Medicine and validate their training for their patients and clients.

FACULTY DISCLOSURE:  It is the policy of the Wilderness Medical Society to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor.  All faculty members are required to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation. Accordingly, the Wilderness Medical Society has determined there are no conflicts to report associated with this conference.


To register yourself for this event, visit the WMS Trading Post
(you must be a current WMS Member)

After you've registered, we'll need to get several things from you:

  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Adventure Medical Review Form
  • A copy of your passport (if applicable)
  • Evidence of Evacuation and Medical insurance coverage
  • Evidence of trip interruption/cancellation insurance
  • Release of Liability

Use THIS LINK to upload required documents, or scan/email to teri@wms.org, or fax to 801-990-4601.

Also, here's a suggested gear list for the trip.

Refund Policy: Cancellation within 120 days of event: 20% cancellation fee, 60 days or less before event: 50% cancellation fee. No refund will be given if cancelled within 30 days of event.