May 9 - 15, 2017
Cost: $2,750


Learn Wilderness Medicine while River Rafting the Spectacular San Juan River of Southeastern Utah.

The San Juan River in southeastern Utah provides an inspirational and classic desert river rafting expedition. Enjoy a spectacular five-day float along the remote stretch between Bluff and Mexican Hat, Utah with wilderness medicine classes interspersed between (and sometimes during!) float time. Experience Class I-III whitewater in paddle and oared rafts. The San Juan River is an erosional giant cutting a meandering course through hundreds of millions of years of exposed sandstone and limestone layers. This class will include plenty of hiking - up to 3 miles round-trip with options for longer jaunts. Visit unique geologic formations, ancient ruins, and rock art panels left hundreds of years ago by Ancestral Puebloan people. Excellent guide-cooked meals, comfortable river-side camping, and hands-on wilderness medicine classes under the shade of green cottonwoods or crystal clear starlit skies.


  • Includes food from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7
  • River guides
  • 2 nights motel (shared accommodations), Day 1: Bluff, Utah, Day 6 in Durango, Colorado
  • Group rafting, cooking equipment and supplies
  • Transportation to and from Durango, Colorado (or Bluff, Utah or Mexican Hat, Utah)
  • Personal items are NOT included. (Tents, sleeping bags and pads are available for rent for $5/person per day for a tent and $5/person/day for a sleeping bag and pad.)
  • 21 CMEs


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.



Requires fitness adequate to get in and out of rafts, for day hiking up to 3 miles round-trip, over moderate terrain, willingness to camp, readiness to enjoy a group experience.


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.



Day 1, Tuesday, May 9 Arrive at Durango Co airport by 2pm or Bluff, Utah by 6 p.m. If you fly to Durango we will transport you in a 15 passenger van to Bluff (3 hours). Stay in Bluff motel. Dinner and orientation by staff.
Day 2, Wednesday, May 10 Launch on the river by 10am. Float on downriver visiting Ancestral Puebloan rock art and ruin sites along the way. Learn about the natural and cultural history of San Juan River. Camp near River House ruin.
Day 3, Thursday, May 11 Wilderness Medicine classes and layover day.
Day 4, Friday, May 12 Raft downriver, float through rapids, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding canyon. Camp below Eight Foot rapid.
Day 5, Saturday, May 13 Wilderness Medicine classes and layover day.
Day 6, Sunday, May 14 Enjoy our final day floating down the river, view Mexican Hat rock, look for fossils. Raft to Mexican Hat take out by 1pm. Drive to Durango (3 hours) for final night in a motel and farewell dinner.
Day 7, Monday, May 15 Transport to Durango airport after breakfast for flights after 9am.



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:

  • 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.




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.