UI Challenge Course | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa
No hours information available.

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, Assistant Director of Recreational Services, for more information.

Course Information

Our facility is comprised of both low and high elements. Elements are similar to what most people would picture when they think of obstacles on a military obstacle course. In fact, challenge courses have their foundations in military obstacle courses, yet have 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 are given the opportunity to work together to overcome various challenges. These activities focus primarily on group dynamics and are designed to elicit different methods of problem-solving and engage in critical thinking. Some elements are physically challenging, while others require more of a 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 and are intended to give individuals a chance to step outside of their comfort zone. Whether simply exerting oneself physically or overcoming a fear of heights, high elements 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.” This means, the individual chooses the level at which s/he 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 fill out the Online Registration Form or complete thePDF iconPDF Registration Form and email it to Steve Campbell (steve-campbell@uiowa.edu) at least four weeks prior to your desired program date. When completing the form, please list at least two dates & 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. 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.


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

Map to UI Challenge Course


Contact Us

Steve Campbell
Assistant Director of Outdoor Recreation & Education

Session Options and Pricing 

Half-day Program (3-4 hours): Low elements only

Groups Cost (per person)
UI Student/Faculty/Staff: $30
Community/Non-profit:  $40
Corporate: $50

Half-day Program (4 hours): Low & High elements

Groups Cost (per person)
UI Student/Faculty/Staff: $35
Community/Non-profit: $45
Corporate: $55

Full-day Program (6-8 hours): Low & High elements

Groups Cost (per person)
UI Student/Faculty/Staff: $50
Community/Non-profit:  $60
Corporate: $70