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Because it has been dropped from the Elderhostel program, Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI) has openings on many of its popular outdoor educational programs.

CFI offers educational programs in the 130,000-square-mile Colorado Plateau in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Course topics cover areas such as hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking and writing. Participants also learn about geology, human history and wildlife in the area.

"The Elderhostel organization informed many of its participants that it was reducing the number of its programs by cutting out several of its smaller organizations," said Karla VanderZanden, director of CFI. "We fell into that category, and we now have many programs that are available to the general public that would have been closed out in previous years."

Canyonlands Field Institute offers programs at classrooms at its headquarters in Moab, Utah as well as at its Professor Valley Field Camp, a breathtaking setting 20 miles from Moab. Participants venture into Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Study Areas and U.S. Forest Service lands in the La Sal Mountains. River study programs are conducted on the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Dolores Rivers and on the Navajo, Hopi and Ute Indian Reservations.

Examples of CFI's programs include "Monument Valley Hiking and Touring." Based at a charming lodge in the quaint town of Bluff, Utah, visitors explore the world-famous Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, a traditional Navajo home and the San Juan River canyon. "Rainbow Bridge: Hiking with Pack Stock" is an authentic traditional pilgrimage from the north side of Navajo Mountain along the Rainbow Trail hiking four to five miles per day. Camp life is filled with stories of Navajo culture, instruction by CFI staff and time for personal reflection. The hike ends at Lake Powell where the group boards a boat and travels to Hall's Crossing and returns to Bluff, Utah.

Because CFI's programs are moderately active, they are appropriate for families as well older adults. The schedule features courses from April to the end of October with a break during July.

To register for a CFI course, contact the organization via telephone at 1-800-860-5262 or1-435-259-7750 or E-mail at info@canyonlandsfieldinst.org.

For more information about the Canyonlands Field Institute, go to www.canyonlandsfieldinst.org.

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