First Descents (FD) program participants experience legitimate outdoor challenges with their peers in some of the most beautiful places in the world. FD’s programs are facilitated by experienced staff and passionate volunteers. Designed to normalize and de-stigmatize cancer and associated trauma, First Descents guarantees a shared experience in a safe and comfortable environment.
In addition to the inherent challenges and excitement surrounding the primary activities offered at programs, FD incorporates a range of traditions and ceremonies that have proven effective in creating a bond amongst participants.
First Descents offers domestic week-long adventures for first-time participants, year-round local adventures that ensure ongoing support, and fundraising incentive programs for alumni who go above and beyond to support FD’s mission. Scroll down for available programs and eligibility.
The experience is entirely free of cost for first-time participants. All food, lodging, instruction, gear, and activities throughout the week are included. FD does ask participants to cover the cost of travel. Travel scholarships are available if costs are prohibitive.
We look forward to working with you to provide the best possible experience!
• Week Long (FD1) – Our free program for first timers available to young adults ages 18-39 diagnosed with cancer after the age of 15.
• Multi Day (FDtribs) – Local adventure communities that provide weekend outdoor experiences for first timers as well as FD alumni right in your backyard.
• International (FDX) – International adventure programs (FDX) are open to all alumni that have attended an FD1 program.
Programs ensure individualized care, medical attention and intimate experiences with fellow survivors. First Descents programs are offered free of cost to participants.
Say what'SUP to your Denver Local Adventure Community as we paddle the beautiful Upper Colorado River! This multi-day adventure will be true to FD style: full of epic adventure, goofy games, crazy colors, and powerful connections.
Known for its towering purple cliffs, abundant wildlife, warm water, and friendly rapids, the Clark Fork River is one of the best places to learn how to kayak in the world. Tarkio River Lodge has a firm place in the history of First Descents and the kayaking community. There is…
Our beautiful home base at Overlook Ranch will offer spectacular views and easy access to Rocky Mountain National Park, home to some of Colorado’s most renowned climbing. With sunny weather and panoramic views of 14,000 foot peaks, Estes Park is a heavenly adventure spot.
The Rogue River starts its journey at Crater Lake and winds its way through 215 miles of Oregonian wilderness. The warm water, friendly rapids, and lush scenery make it the perfect kayaking playland for both beginners and experts alike. The Rogue is the perfect place to paddle your first strokes!…
The historic Donner Pass is set in a landscape of serene alpine lakes and granite domes. The San Francisco local adventure community will spend this multi-day adventure exploring the Truckee region, climbing crags and splashing in Donner Lake and the gorgeous Truckee River.
Join the thriving Minneapolis crew on one of our favorite local adventures--whitewater kayaking the Saint Louis River! The Saint Louis winds beautifully through northern Minnesota, offering an ideal landscape to hone your kayaking skills and connect with others doing the same.