Desert Writing Workshop with Craig Childs

A story is told in the way a boulder splits. A narrative follows the bends of a narrow, hollowed-out canyon. The desert writes itself. Learn to write with it.

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May 8-14, 2020

Our days will involve 2-3 hours of writing instruction by Craig Childs with readings at night, plus Lauren Bond as a naturalist on hand. The rest is floating a remote flatwater river in canoes, paddling, hauling camp to high-ground, walking canyons with daypacks, and listening to the echo of our steps. Poets, fiction, nonfiction, scientists, naturalists; every style of observation and writing is welcome.

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8 days, 45 miles of canoeing, daily writing instruction,
delicious food, 16 participants max.

Guides: Craig Childs, Lauren Bond
Pricing: $2195, payment plans upon request

Meet Craig Childs

Writing Instructor & Author

Craig Childs will be your instructor. He has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness, and science, including House of Rain and The Secret Knowledge of Water. His most recent is Virga & Bone: Essays from Dry Places. He has won the Orion Book Award, the Galen Rowell Art of Adventure Award, the Spirit of the West Award for his body of work, and thrice the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. He is a contributing editor at Adventure Journal Quarterly, and his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, and The New York Times, the latter calling him “a modern-day desert father.” He brings a lifetime of experience field-writing in dry country.

Utah Week Long Canoe Trip FAQ

$1695, $1495 early bird

*Ecstatic River Contact Pricing: $2695, $2495 early bird

50% nonrefundable deposit is due upon signup.  The full payment is due 4 weeks before the trip. 

The 50% deposit is not refundable. 2 weeks before the trip, the full amount is non-refundable

( Payment plans are available upon request )

We will meet in Moab at 2pm on the first day of your trip. Our meeting location is the office of Canyonlands by Night and Day (1861 N Hwy 191 Moab, UT 84532) who will do our shuttle.

We will fill out paperwork for Canyonlands by Night and Day and they will shuttle us to the put-in at Ruby Ranch.  We will camp at Ruby Ranch on the first night and launch on the river the next morning.

Our trips have 4 to 12 participants, with 2 to 4 guides.

If you have a custom group you would like to float Labyrinth Canyon with, we can take up to 20 people.

The River’s Path will provide canoes, paddles, lifejackets, dry bags, group gear, kitchen supplies, and all meals. You will be responsible for:

personal gear
day pack
Sleeping bag
Personal sized tarp
Sleeping pad
Daypack for hiking
Travel pillow
Extra stakes (2)
2 water bottles (or 1 plus a camelback)
Cup for coffee/tea/ hot chocolate
Pocket knife
Bowl for food (I like a Tupperware with a lid)
Spoon and fork
headlamp or flashlight
2 pens/pencils
Shoes for hiking
River sandals
Flip flops for camp
Bathing suit
SMALL towel
Nylon/polypropylene/wool clothing:
shorts (3 pairs)
long pants (2 pairs)
Short sleeve shirts (4)
Long sleeve shirts (3)
underwear (7)
socks (2)
long underwear top and bottom (1 each)
warm fleece/sweater, (1)
warm jacket (1)
Rain coat
Rain pants
Warm hat
Sun hat with brim (I use a cowboy hat)
Warm gloves
Warm shoes
Bug spray
Lotion (essential!)
Lip balm
Biodegradable soap
Feminine products
Plastic ziploc for used feminine products
Handkerchief or Kleenex
Hammock (and ropes for hanging it)
waterproof camera (or a camera with a pelican box to protect it, can purchase at REI)
Colored pencils/crayons/etc
Neck gaiter (I like to have one)
Waterproof Binoculars
Do not bring!
Wear no cotton!
Phone (no reception anyway)
(You can leave these in the car for the end if you would like)

Yes! If you appreciated your guides and would like to offer a tip, we would welcome your generosity.

Labyrinth Canyon is a flat water float trip- no whitewater!  The major hazard is weather.  It can get windy, and thunderstorms can happen at any time.  We will take every precaution to avoid difficult weather conditions while we are paddling. We schedule our days in a way that we can do a layover day in camp if weather conditions are not conducive to paddling.

No.  Your guides will teach you everything you need to know!  Be prepared for a learning curve.  It may be a little difficult at first, but you will get the hang of it quickly.

Yes!  We can accommodate up to 20 people for a float through Labyrinth Canyon. Length of trip can be 45 to 68 miles long, and 4-14 days long, depending on how many layover days you would like to have! Contact us to inquire.

The Utah trips are on the Green River just north of Canyonlands National Park. We usually put in at Ruby Ranch and take out at Mineral Bottom.

The women’s and couple’s trips are for adults 18 and older. Most participants are in their 30s to 60s, but we have had several people in their 20s and 70s as well!

If you are interested in a custom trip, children ages 5 and up are welcome.

We have a diverse background including training at Naropa University, Animas Valley Institute, Wilderness Awareness School, Tom Brown’s Tracker School, the School of Lost Borders, Matrixworks, Newfield coach training, and Transformational Wilderness guide training with the Earth Based Institute. Specific information can be found on our “About” page.

Still Have Guided Canoe Trip Questions?

Call 303-859-7174

Or Email Us