October 14 - 21, 2018
Cost: $2,500


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

Discover hidden arches and signs of the ancient Anasazi, explore slot canyons, and climb desert towers on this classic introduction to Southern Utah’s amazing canyon country. Learn and practice hands-on, 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. Revel in and truly experience the spectacular beauty of this iconic landscape. All meals, group gear, and adventures covered. Limited to 16 participants to allow for optimal small group learning, authentic wilderness experiences, and efficient travel.



Aaron Billin, MD, MS, FAAFP, FAWM
President, Wilderness Medical Society; Emergency Medicine Physician, Powell, WY; Medical Director, Powell Valley Healthcare EMS; Park County, Wyoming Search and Rescue.


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.



We will be doing mainly primitive camping and day hikes. Participants will be sleeping in tents, participating in day hikes on rough and at times steep terrain, carrying a full day pack, up to 10 miles (16 km) in length, and exploring deep and narrow slot canyons, as well as slickrock. All activities are "challenge by choice" (if one is not comfortable participating in the activity that can be worked with and ideally an alternative will be suggested and/or provided). Weather can range from hot (30 degrees C/90 degrees F) to cold (-5 degrees C/20 degrees F), with rain, snow, and gusty winds are often experienced.


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.

We will meet in St. George, UT (could also fly into Las Vegas, NV) then drive to Bryce National Park and to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument where the majority of classes and hikes will be held. We'll have additional classes at Zion National Park before returning to St. George.

All food, group camping gear, and ground transportation from St. George will be provided.  Participants will be responsible for their own clothing, eating utensils, and sleeping bag/pad.  Enrollment is limited to 16 participants to allow for optimal small group learning, authentic wilderness experiences, and efficient travel and logistics.



Day 1 Arrive St. George Airport (by 4 pm)
Shuttle to local hotel
Orientation and overview meeting
Day 2 Bryce Canyon National Park
Campcraft Classes
Overnight in Kodachrome Basin State Park
Day 3 Day hike, Lower Calf Creek, Classes
Camp, primitive camping, Dixie National Forest
Day 4 Day hike, Phipps Arch, GSENM Classes
Camp, primitive camping, Dixie National Forest
Day 5 Hike, Cottonwood Canyon Slot Canyon, Classes
Camp, primitive camping, Cottonwood Canyon
Day 6 Classes, Hike Hackberry Canyon
Camp, primitive camping, Cottonwood Canyon
Day 7 Classes, Hike Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon
Camp, primitive camping, Cottonwood Canyon
Day 8 Drive to Zion National Park
Hike Angels Landing or the Virgin River Narrows
Drive back to St. George
Celebratory dinner
Day 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.


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:

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.


(you need to be a current WMS Member to register for WMS Adventures - more information.)






If you cancel 120 days or more before event, you will receive a 50% refund. Sorry, but no refund will be given if cancelled after this date.


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

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

Suggested gear list for the trip.