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Alumni Trips: Lifelong Learning for Grads, Friends and Families


NOLS alumni trips are a great way to introduce non-grad friends and family to the school. Photo: Rich Brame

Are you interested in getting back into the wilderness with NOLS, but you're faced with a calendar too crammed for a long expedition?

Usually one week in length, alumni trips are specifically designed for NOLS graduates and their friends and families. These trips allow busy grads to reconnect with the school, enjoy an outdoor vacation, and have the chance to introduce loved ones to the NOLS experience.

Instruction on alumni trips is informal and the atmosphere relaxed. We review and practice Leave No Trace camping skills, teach technical skills and touch on a host of other NOLS information—depending on interest. We can also create a custom trip if you and your cohorts have a hankering for something eclectic, yet NOLS-flavored.

Non-grad friends and family are welcome to join you on most NOLS Alumni trips!

Questions? Call 800.332.4280


"...a perfect balance of learning and playing... "

—Monnie B.-BVI Sailing Trip

"It was great to return to the Winds' alpine sights and environment with my sons."

— Mark F., 1981 NOLS Wilderness Course grad and alumni llama trip participant.

Paddle the turquoise seas with NOLS. Photo: Nick Braun


Sea Kayaking in the Bahamas

Date: November 15-21, 2015

Days: 7

Price: $1,995 (includes pre and post-trip lodging!)

Paddle the Bahamas scenic cays with a stalwart team of NOLS alumni adventurers. Learn paddle strokes, navigation, rescue techniques, and more. There will be opportunities for walks on the beach, snorkeling, and just enjoying the Bahamas! This trip is suitable for all levels of paddlers.

If you are up for a paddling adventure in the Caribbean this fall, contact us now for more information.

Photo by Dave Anderson.

Rock Climbing at Red Rocks in Nevada

Date: February 14-20, 2016, watch for details!

Days: 7

Price: $TBA (includes pre/post trip lodging)

Learn new rock skills or hone your existing tecniques with a convivial squad of NOLS grads and guests.

If you are interested in learning rock climbing skills on warm sandstone, contact us now for more information.

Incredible canyons, scenery and ancient human history! Photo: Nick Braun

Hike Utah's Canyons

2 Dates: April 3-8, 2016 and April 10-16, 2016

Days: 6 or 7 depending on date

Price: $995 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

This trip travels in Utah’s desert canyons with a focus on the area’s natural and incredible human history. Exposed landforms provide textbook illustrations of the land’s geologic past, and thickly vegetated riparian zones contrast the stark expanses of rock, sand, and black bush. This 6-day trip traverses a 26-mile section of Grand Gulch and Bullet Canyon, one of the top NOLS hiking destinations in Utah.

If you are keen for a trip through southwest human history contact us now for more information.

stay tuned for a photo...

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Date: April 5-14, 2016

Watch for details!

Days: 10

Price: $3,575 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

Join NOLS on a climb to the top of Africa. Porters will help with the loads as the team ascends through the bush, jungle and into the alpine zone of Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet). Experience the culture of Tanzania on this once in a lifetime trip.

Contact us now for more information. 

Explore the depths of narrow slot canyons. Photo: Jamie O'Donnell.

Technical Canyoneering in Southern Utah

Date: April 10-16, 2016

Watch for details!

Days: 7

Price: $995 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

Explore the natural wonder of desert erosion as you explore tight canyons while learning technical systems and the necessary rope work to navigate the slots and manage the risk. Based out of two different camps throughout the week, you’ll travel with daypacks and technical canyoneering gear as you drop into a new slot canyon each day. After challenging days, enjoy camaraderie and stories in camp as you relax and camp in style!

If you're keen to develop technical rope work while exploring tight canyons, contact us now for more information. 

This trip will increase your confidence, technical abilities and prepare you for the summit!

Glacier Mountaineering Training on Washington's Mt. Baker

Date: July 20-26, 2016

Days: 7

Price: $1.600 (Alumni Only)

Watch for details!

Mount Baker, one of the Northwest’s stunning volcanoes, is the ideal place to learn and develop your technical mountaineering skills. On this alumni trip, you will focus your learning on the technical skills required to attain the summit of Mount Baker and similar, snowy peaks. Technical rope work, crampon and ice axe use, snow and ice protection placement, and crevasse rescue training are features on this trip.

For focused skills training, contact us now for more information or to reserve a spot.

Come wander the Winds with these furry creatures. Photo: Brad Christensen.

Llama Packing & Fly Fishing in Wyoming's Wind River Mtns.

Date: July 24-30, 2016

Days: 7

Price: $TBD

Refine your NOLS skills while embracing new ones such as fly-fishing, and llama packing in the beautiful Wind River Range. Instructors will help with the technical skills, and you will still be able to soak in the fantastic scenery and experience of this alumni trip. Learn to pack and lead llamas. This is a fantstic trip for families and guests.

If you're keen on light packs and beautiful scenery, contact us now for more information or to reserve a spot.

Hiking Ireland's "Cliffs of Insanity." Photo: Rich Brame

Walking Ireland's West Coast

August 3-9, 2016
August 11-17, 2016 (email for 2016 details)

Days: 7

Price: $2,350 - includes pre and post-trip lodging!

Explore the trails and tracks of western Ireland's incredible coast from Ennis north to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, Killary Fjord and the Connemara region with a group of stalwart NOLS grads, friends and families. Lodging is in small hotels and B&B's so packs are light, music is traditional and the food is incredible.

Check these shots from last year's trip!

If you are interested in this adventure, contact us now for more information.

Stay tuned for a photo...

Gannett Peak Mountaineering Expedition

Date: July 24-30, 2016

Price: $TBA (expedition alumni only)

Hidden deep in the Wind River Range, above jumbled moraine and glacial ice, Gannett Peak is Wyoming's highest summit.

Reaching this remote 13,804-foot summit requires an approach of several days, followed by the climb itself. You'll travel on snow and ice, cross Dinwoody Glacier and work up the rock to the summit.

If you are interested in this adventure, contact us now for more information.

Hard work and camaraderie make for a great experience. Photo: Rich Brame

Alumni Service Project in New York's Adirondacks or Washington's Wilderness

Date: TBA - August 2016 - email us!

Days: 7

Price: $595 (Subsidized by NOLS!)

NOLS grads and families venture into New England’s backcountry for a week of camping, camaraderie, and service. Conduct a service project to protect public lands and enhance visitors’ backcountry experience. Projects include trail construction, bridge maintenance, or campsite rehab. Service work is demanding—we’ll use shovels, hammers, pry-bars, and team muscle—but there is also time for photography, socializing, and possibly summiting a peak or fishing.

To Join the crew and give back through a rewarding experience, contact us now for more information or to reserve a spot.

Participants rave about the scenery, food and their trip cohorts. Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking Italy's Dolomites

Dates: Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2016
Sept. 9-16, 2016
(email us for 2016 details)

Days: 8

Price: $2,575 (includes pre and post trip lodging!)

Hiking hut-to-hut on this "classic route" means light packs, outstanding scenery, alpine trails, fantastic meals and the best of Tyrolean culture.

"My Italy trip was a casual and rustic respite from my daily life with all the NOLS basics— teamwork, unpredictable elements, varied terrain, and astounding scenery! "— Sarah Hiza, Salt Lake City, UT

This trip fills very quickly, so contact us right away for more information.

Design your own adventure. Photo: Rich Brame

Custom Trips

Date: you decide!

Price: varies by trip

If you're keen to develop a custom trip for your friends, family, colleagues or posse, give us a shout to design your own adventure.

Past custom trips have sailed in Baja, hiked in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains, explored Utah's canyons, paddled Arctic rivers and much more. Custom trip group sizes range from four to 12 and ages eight to 80, so we can be creative.

To start the ball rolling and see some model itineraries, contact us or 800.332.4280.



Past Trips: Let us know what you've liked and what you would like to see offered again.



Hiking in Italy's Dolomites.

NOLS alumni trips mean light packs and jaw-dropping scenery like this shot of the Dolomites.
Photo: Rich Brame

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Design Your Alumni Trip

Click here to make suggestions about future alumni trip design, dates, content and locations. It's as anonymous as you want it to be, but this survey format exercise helps us understand the trip interests of our large and diverse alumni group.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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