Grand Canyon, AZ

Mar 3rd, 2018 to Mar 10th, 2018
Cost: $818.00 Partner Organization(s): National Park Service Service Type: Environmental Conservation Number of Participants: 10

Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements

During the trip, we’ll be exploring everything the Grand Canyon has to offer, from its world renowned hiking trails to its stunning beauty. Most importantly, we will have the opportunity to help the National Park Service preserve and protect this national landmark by participating in a Wildland Fire program!

We will leave Charlottesville either on Friday evening and head over to Julie’s house in Northern Virginia to spend the night or head up to DC on Saturday morning depending on flight times. Early Saturday morning we’ll fly out of Reagan National Airport and arrive at Las Vegas where we’ll pick up our HYPE rental van and drive down to the Grand Canyon. On Sunday we’ll do some exploring around the park and Monday is the first day of our service work. Depending on how everyone feels after work days, we plan on going on group adventures around the park in order to discover what the Grand Canyon truly offers.

Our returning flight to Reagan will depart from Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon and we’ll be getting back to Northern Virginia Saturday evening. We are planning on driving straight to Charlottesville after our flight in order to have everyone wake up in beautiful Cville on Sunday morning.


Service Activities

We were recently notified by our Grand Canyon contact, Todd Nelson, that for the service portion of our trip, we will be working with the Wildland Fire Program March 5, 6, 7, and 9. We will be thinning and stacking wood adjacent to infrastructure to help reduce the forest fuels within the wildland urban interface. The goal is to protect nearby cultural and natural resources. Our workdays will begin at 8:30 am and finish at 4 pm. Wildfire thins competing species, recycles nutrients into the soil and opens the canopy to allow in more sunlight. These are all necessary to promote forest health and natural growth and decomposition.

The rangers are always highly appreciative of the service we provide to the park and our work will be very rewarding. We will even get to see some cool sights while we’re out and about working on our projects!


Regional Background

Over the course of 5 – 6 million years, the Colorado River carved out what we know today as the Grand Canyon. Located in Arizona just a few hours north of Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. It’s no surprise that it is one of the most highly frequented national parks in the country. The Grand Canyon, which spans hundreds of miles, is home to unique geological formations, flora and fauna, which differ drastically from that of the Mid-Atlantic. Many American Indian tribes also call the Grand Canyon their home.


Community Background

The National Park Service was founded in order to manage and preserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources. ASB has been working with the NPS in the Grand Canyon for several years and we are excited to continue this relationship and give back to an organization that has given us so much!


Recreational Activities

We’ll have plenty of time to fully embrace the epicness of the Grand Canyon! We’re looking into whitewater rafting, visiting nearby parks, stargazing, and of course hiking. We have planned out a couple groovy hikes that sound amazing and the stars are supposed to be spectacular. If we are feeling particularly optimistic, we are hoping to do a sunrise hike one morning. We’re also hoping to visit the city of Flagstaff to get us a dank meal, enjoy some ice cream, and see another cool part of Arizona! Also, if you’ve been to the Grand Canyon and have any suggestions from experience or if you’ve always had a burning desire to do something at the Grand Canyon let us know and we’ll do our best to fit it in the trip! We really want to know what YOU want to do.


About the Site Leaders

My name is Julie Cortes (jc8fr) and I was born and raised in Falls Church, VA. Both my parents come from Buenos Aires, Argentina so my name is in fact pronounced “hoolie”. I am currently a 3rd year majoring in Computer Science and Finance in the Comm School. I had the awesome opportunity of visiting Zion, UT last spring break with my amazing ASB group who are now some of my closest friends and wanted to be able to share my experience with others. This past summer I had the journey of a lifetime studying and interning in Cape Town, South Africa! It was the most incredible summer filled with the most beautiful scenery, absurd hikes, and LOTS of food. I love travelling and exploring new places – whether that is internationally or domestically. I’m incredibly excited to explore the Grand Canyon with y’all and I can’t wait to see what this ASB trip has in store.


My name is Brooke Castleberry (bhc5tt) and I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. I’m a Math and Econ major and also on the UVA field hockey team. Last year I went on the Death Valley National Park ASB trip and, despite fearing its name, I had an AMAZING time in the desert with a group of complete strangers who became great friends. This past summer I was given the opportunity to study abroad and intern in Sydney, Australia where I also did lots of travelling and adventuring (including a scary bungee jump) in a beautiful new atmosphere. I’m all about exploring and doing activities outside of my comfort zone and hope you guys are ready for some fun also! Both Julie and I hope to help provide y’all with an adventure of a lifetime in the beautiful Grand Canyon and we can’t wait to meet everyone!