The UI Challenge Course is designed to enhance personal and group growth through team challenges that improve communication, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Fun brings the experience to life and keeps people focused, engaged, and connected. All of our programs use an experiential education approach, meaning that individuals and teams will learn by actively participating and reflecting on their experiences. 

We offer a variety of program options to meet your group’s needs. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact Steve Campbell for more information.

Our facility is comprised of both low and high elements. These elements are similar to obstacles you might find on a military obstacle course, where challenge courses often have their foundations, with a slightly different approach. Most elements are inherently physical, yet do not require a person to be physically fit in order to participate. We strive to include everyone in our programs and adapt activities to meet the needs of our participants.

Low elements range from being directly on the ground to 10 feet high.

  • Teams must work together to overcome various challenges, with activities focused primarily on group dynamics that are designed to elicit different methods of problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Some elements are physically challenging, while others require more mental effort to be successful.
  • Our course has eight unique low elements, each requiring different strategies for completion.

High elements are roughly 30 feet off the ground.

  • These elements are intended to give individuals a chance to step outside their comfort zone and offer a different challenge for everyone. While personal achievement is a large component of the high elements, the group still plays a critical role in supporting its members as they work through the elements. 
  • We provide all personal protective equipment (harnesses, helmets, ropes, hardware), and our trained staff provide belay service.
  • We have nine exciting high elements, including a zip line!

Our philosophy towards participation is based on the concept of “challenge by choice,” meaning the individual chooses the level at which he/she participates. We encourage all participants to challenge themselves and step outside of their comfort zones, but no one is required to do anything they don’t want to do!

When you are ready to reserve your day at the course, please:

  1. Fill out the Online Registration Form or complete the PDF Registration Form and email it to Steve Campbell (steve-campbell@uiowa.edu) at least four weeks prior to your desired program date.
  2. When completing the form, please list at least two dates and times that will work for your group. While we will make every effort to accommodate your preferred choice, we cannot guarantee your first choice will be available.
  3. We are happy to host smaller groups, but please note that there is a minimum charge of 12 participants. If your group size is greater than 60, please contact Steve Campbell to discuss programming options.

Half-Day Program | 3-4 hours (Low Elements only)  
UI Student/Faculty/Staff groups $35 per person
Community/Non-profit groups $45 per person
Corporate groups $55 per person

Half-Day Program | 4 hours (Low and High Elements)  
UI Student/Faculty/Staff groups $40 per person
Community/Non-profit groups $50 per person
Corporate groups $60 per person

FULL-Day Program | 6-8 hours (Low and High Elements)  
UI Student/Faculty/Staff groups $55 per person
Community/Non-profit groups $65 per person
Corporate groups $75 per person

 

We are located on the far west side of campus near the Ashton Cross-Country Course. Parking is available on-site.
Address:  3310 Hawkeye Park Rd., Iowa City, IA 52242

Location information:

Address:

3310 Hawkeye Park Rd., Iowa City, IA 52242

Map to UI Challenge Course

Request a team building activity

Frequently asked questions

To secure your date, we require that you pay 25 percent of your anticipated number of participants as indicated on your Registration Form in advance. University of Iowa groups may provide an MFK, groups not affiliated with the University will need to provide a check or credit card number. If you cancel your event 21 days or less before your scheduled date your deposit will not be returned, otherwise, an invoice for the remaining amount will be sent to you after your day at the UI High Adventure Challenge Course.

  • Completed Waiver Forms - The facilitators will collect them at the beginning of the day and review them. If you have any medical conditions or other information that we need to be aware of, please make sure to speak with your facilitators at the beginning of the day.
  • Water - There is no running water or electricity at the course, so please bring water for the entire day.
  • Sun Protection
  • Lunch (if you are staying the whole day)
  • Extra clothes and layers

You should dress comfortably for the weather. You will be outside the entire day, so wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty. There is climbing involved on the high elements, so we recommend wearing loose-fitting pants or shorts. Open-toed shoes and sandals are not allowed on our course.

We use a 'challenge by choice' approach so that each participant measures success by his or her aspirations. There are levels of physical demand for the high and low ropes course, but in no way does one have to be an "athlete" to participate.  If a participant chooses not to attempt an event, we respect this decision and offer other ways in which the person can participate including providing support through belaying, coaching, or spotting and continued team problem-solving.

If someone is afraid of heights, simply climbing up the ladder or a foot or two up a pole of the course can be a major accomplishment and source of pride. If a participant chooses not to attempt an event, we respect this decision and offer other ways in which the person can participate including providing support through belaying, coaching, or spotting and continued team problem-solving.

During Low Course challenges, the focus is on the team. These activities draw on the knowledge and ideas of every group member and require the participation and cooperation of the entire team for success. The High Course challenges provide further opportunities for teamwork with an additional emphasis on individual challenges. The high elements provide opportunities for participants to expand their comfort zones, sometimes dramatically, and to overcome fears that can block personal development and achievement.

To help ensure the safety and enjoyment of our participants, individuals must be at least 12 years old or in the 6th grade to participate in the UI High Adventure Challenge Course. This is due primarily to the size of the participants in relation to the size of the elements and safety equipment. 

Contact us

Steve Campbell headshot

Steve Campbell

Assistant Director of Adventure Recreation
Lifetime Leisure Skills Classes
UI Challenge Course