Environmental Institute Expeditions

The Environmental Institute

The Environmental Institute was created in 2019 with the purpose of bringing students outside to engage with nature through hands-on field science experiences. Combining field investigations and adventure education, Environmental Institute programs take students behind the scenes to connect with real-world scientific studies in a cooperative learning environment. We believe in a future where all members of our community have the skills, knowledge, and passions to engage with environmental science topics in a positive way.

Whether you join us for a day trek, hybrid camp, or field expedition, EI programs give participants the chance to take an active role in scientific study, applying the same science and engineering practices students work on in the classroom to projects out in the real world.

The landscape is a laboratory, there are countless phenomena to discover. Join us for one of our programs and get ready to explore!


Thank you to our title sponsor, Alpine Bank. Their generous support makes these programs possible.

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Our adventure camps are rated based on physical ability levels. Please reference the suggestions below:

  • Beginner: Little to no experience camping or hiking. Students should be able to hike Mica Mine Trail or Serpents Trail.
  • Intermediate: Some prior experience camping or hiking. Students should be able to hike Serpents Trail and Monument/Wedding Canyon Trail.
  • Strenuous: A lot of experience camping or hiking. Students need to be able to carry a pack with camping items throughout the day between campsites, and while gaining elevation. Students should be able to hike Mt. Garfield and Liberty Cap Trail.

EUREKA! will be requiring immunization records for all adolescent campers for Summer 2020. Registration will not process without uploaded records to camper account. Please follow these steps to upload the documents.

  • Log into Dashboard
  • Click FAMILY & FRIENDS on the left
  • Click EDIT on the student's account
  • On the right, you'll see a button +ADD DOCUMENT



Fall 2020

September 20 - 22: Fall Equinox Camp Out (3rd - 5th) Three days and two nights

Did you know the Autumnal Equinox marks the first day of Fall? Cooler days, changing leaves, and apple picking aren’t the only great things about Autumn. Join us for a 3 day camp out where we will celebrate the arrival of fall. We’ll spend our days learning about how plants and animals prepare for winter and our nights using telescopes to check out the Autumn stars.

November 30: Outdoor Living Skills (3rd - 5th) 1 day

Ever wonder what it takes to survive outdoors? Want to practice your survival skills and make Bear Grylls jealous? We’ll spend the Monday after Thanksgiving learning the science behind some of our most important survival skills like starting a fire, purifying water, and building an insulating shelter.

December 28: Winter Ecology 101

Do you know what happens to the plants and animals when the world gets cold in winter? Where do all the insects go? How do trees survive freezing temperatures and frigid winds? What does it feel like to lay in a snow cave and hibernate? We’ll answer these questions and more during an epic day of snowshoeing and winter ecology on the Grand Mesa.

December 29: Snow Science

Snow is vital to the survival of many plants and animals in the grand valley (including humans). Spend a day with us on the Mesa learning the science of snow, how it forms, where it falls, and what it means to the ecosystem. We’ll learn to snowshoe, have fun and learn how important snow is to our life here in Grand Junction.

December 30: The Science of Ice

Ice abounds in winter. Take a day trip with us into the Colorado National Monument to learn about ice falls and how they form. We’ll explore an ice fall, investigate ice crystals under a microscope and get hands-on with some of the tools scientists use to study (and climb!) water ice.

October 12 - 13: Mountain Biking and Riparian Restoration (4th - 8th)

This mountain biking no-school-day camp will get your student outdoors, connected to conservation and adventure. We’ll spend mornings helping to restore the native ecosystem and afternoons in the saddle.

Conservation is a deeply important part of responsible recreation and this camp will give your student the opportunity to give back to an area we all love, the Lunch Loops trail system. Each morning, we’ll weed, water, and nurture some native plant plots as part of the Monument Corridor Restoration Project, helping them to get established while boning up on our terrestrial ecology knowledge.

After lunch, we’ll gear up and head out with our mountain bike instructors to enjoy some of the best trails the west slope has to offer. Giving back to the ecosystem through hands-on conservation work AND practicing our shredding skills? Being an adventure scientist has its perks...

November 22 - 25: Thanksgiving Climb and Canyon Adventure (5th - 8th) 4 days and 3 nights

Are you ready for a holiday adventure like never before? Join us for 4 days as we tour Eastern Utah and climb, camp, and canyon our way to an unforgettable Thanksgiving. We’ll visit some of Utah’s most amazing places, practice our climbing skills, and learn everything you need to know to plan your own big adventure.

December 27 - Dec 30: Winter Ecology Expedition (5th - 8th) 4 days and 3 nights

Winter provides an amazing opportunity to watch the world grow quiet and find serenity in peaceful places. It is also a chance to cut loose and get a little wild on a snowy landscape. On our 2020 Winter Ecology Expedition, we’ll do both. Spend 3 days and 2 nights, hut trip style, while we explore the wonder of the winter world as you’ve never seen it before. Our days will be packed with snowshoeing, avalanche study, snow science, and sledding and in the evening we’ll take time to relax and watch the sunset over white mountains while the stars come out. Come learn the wonder of a dedicated snow adventure and never think about winter the same way again.

Here is a sneak peak of previous adventure camps!