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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.

Is that rainbow a coincidence? Not in the Bahamas. Photo: Lynn Petzold

Bahamas Sea Kayaking

Dates: November 13-19, 2016

Days: 7

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

Ready for sandy beaches and turquoise seas?

The Bahamas' coastline is pristine, remote and often uninhabited; the sea is rich with marine life and coral reefs. Sea kayaks let us explore the area's stunning cays and beaches. Polish your paddling skills or learn them for the first time with a cadre of NOLS adventurers.

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

Firing the rads. Photo: Dave Anderson.

Rock Climbing in Joshua Tree

Date: February 12-18, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $1,750 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

More info coming soon!

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

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

Photo by Marco Johnson

Hike Utah's Canyons

Date: March 26-31, 2017
          April 2-7, 2017

Days: 6

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

Backpack Utah’s desert canyons with a focus on the area’s incredible human history. Explore the canyon’s secrets and hidden paths. Navigate the slickrock’s variegated topography and enjoy the shade in oasis-like canyon bottoms. You’ll traverse a 26-mile section of Grand Gulch and Bullet Canyon, one of Utah’s top hiking adventures.

Teamwork in the canyons. Photo: Cody Brundidge

Technical Canyoneering in Utah

Date: April 2-7, 2017

Days: 6

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

More info coming soon!

Explore tight canyons using ropes to navigate slots and manage risk. Fast-
paced and physically challenging, this trip is a base-camping, vehicle-supported expedition that maximizes opportunities to rappel, scramble,down-climb, wade, and practice creative rope skills in remote canyon terrain. After challenging days, enjoy camaraderie, natural history, and technical systems practice in our canyon base camp.

Join us at the top of Africa.

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Date: April 5-13, 2017

Days: 9

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. 

Hike from the mountains to the sea! Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking in Scotland

Date: May 15-22, 2017

Days: 8

Price: $2,200 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

More info coming soon!

Explore the Scottish highlands from the mountains to the sea with a group of stalwart NOLS grads and guests on this exploratory  trip. Lodging and dining in guesthouses and inns keeps our packs light.

The hiking is robust, the scenery incredible and the authentic Scottish culture is beyond compare. This challenging trip starts/ends in Aviemore in Cairngorms National Park.

And did we mention the distillery? Contact us now for more information.

Explore the villages, landmarks and rural areas of Tuscany and the Ligurian Coast. Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking in Tuscany

Dates: May 25-June 2, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $2,950 (includes pre and post trip lodging in Florence!)

Join a small group of NOLS grads, friends, families, and instructors for nine days of exploration and camaraderie along the Ligurian Coast and Tuscan countryside as we use trains, shuttles, and foot power to connect small hotels and B&B’s in Italy’s early autumn. This trip mixes hikes with exploration of the region’s iconic towns, villages, rural areas and ancient landmarks.

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

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

Walking Ireland's West Coast

Dates: July 17-23, 2017
            July 25-31, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $2,350 (includes pre/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.

Explore the Land of Fire and Ice.

Backpacking in Iceland

Date: Two trips, late July 2017

Days: 10

Price: $2,350 (includes pre/post trip lodging)

Join a small group of NOLS grads, friends, and instructors for some challenging and spectacular hiking in southeastern Iceland as we hike between huts during Iceland’s summer months. The Laugavegur, or "Hot Springs" route, is one of the most popular trails in Iceland. Some highlights include the dramatically colored mountains, Lake Alftavatn, great glaciers and ice caps leading into big glacial rivers, midnight sun and hot springs.

This trip fills fast! If you're interested in joining for summer 2017, contact us now for more information. 

Paddle Alaska! Photo: Tracy Baynes

Sea Kayaking on Prince William Sound

Date: July 23-29, 2017


Price: $2,375

More info coming soon!

This trip paddles on Alaska’s iconic Prince William Sound. You’ll travel by towering tidewater glaciers that moan and crackle, crystal-blue icebergs bobbing on the ocean’s surface, and wooded coves perfect for camping. You’ll learn to paddle and perform Alaska-specific outdoor living and expedition skills.

Wander the Winds with these furry creatures. Photo: Brad Christensen.

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

Date: July 23-29, 2017
            August 6-12, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $1,295

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.

Climb Gannett Peak in the granite heart of Wyoming's Wind Rivers. Photo: Mary Furman

Climb Gannett Peak

Date: July 23-29, 2017

Price: $1,895 (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.

Rainier: it's high, snowy and prone to high winds.


Climb Mt. Rainier

Date: July 3-7, 2017

Days: 5

Price: $1,695 (Expedition Alumni Only)

A fast-paced attempt to summit this iconic Washington peak. Due to the short timeframe, the Mount Rainier Expedition is much more like a guided tripand devotes less time to the instruction and practicing of mountaineering skills. Expect long days, heavy packs, steepand exposed terrain, challenging conditions, and, hopefully a well-timed weather window to reach 14,409'!

This trip fills fast! If you're interested in joining for summer 2017, contact us now for more information. 

This trip increases your technical abilities and prepares you for the summit!


Glacier Mountaineering on Washington's Mt. Baker

Date: July 19-25, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $1,600 (NOLS Alumni only)

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.

Explore Wyoming's Wind River Mountains with NOLS. Photo: Rich Brame

Wind River Hiking and Wilderness First Aid

Date: August 6-12, 2017

Days: 7

Price: $1,295, includes NOLS's 16-hour Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification.

The trip begins in Lander, WY with 8-hours of classroom and scenario-based Wilderness First Aid instruction at the beautiful Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus. The trip then travels into the Wind River backcountry for a 5-night backpacking expedition where the remaining 8- hours of first aid curriculum is interspersed with classic wilderness and travel topics like camping, cooking, map reading, navigation, non-technical peaks and fly fishing.

It's like two trips in one: explore Wyoming's Wilderness and up your first aid game!

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

Service Project in New York's Adirondacks & Wyoming's Tetons

Date: August 13-19, 2017 - Adirondacks
          August 20-26, 2017 - Tetons

Days: 7

Price: $595 (Subsidized by NOLS!)

More info coming soon!

NOLS grads and families venture into the 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.

The Wind Rivers: Wyoming's last, best place. Photo: Rich Brame

Wind River Traverse

Date: August 6-14, 2017

Days: 9

Price: $1,295 (Expedition Alumni only)

This backpacking trip is fast-paced and high-mileage and will travel through the heart of Wyoming's Wind River Mountains and cross the Continental Divide, potentially multiple times. Elevations will be consistently above 10,000' and terrain will include high mountain passes, boulder fields, possible peak ascents, established trails, and, in general, glorious alpine splendor!  There will be a focus on fine-tuning backcountry travel and living skills, such as map reading, route finding/navigation, cooking, and fishing.

Anticipate lots of mileage, plenty of big hills, team camaraderie, iconic scenery and an unforgettable adventure.

Because of the pace and challenge of this trip, it is for NOLS Expedition grads only. Please contact us now for more information or to reserve a spot.

Join us this challenging route. Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking the Italian Alps - Gressoney to Mount Blanc

Date:  August 16-25, 2017

Days: 10

Price: $2,575 (Alumni Dolomite grads only)

More info coming soon!

Join a group of NOLS grads for a week of spectacular hiking in the Italian Alps along the Swiss border. Hike from Gressoney to the Matterhorn and on to Mont Blanc between rifugios (small, hostel-style lodging with meals provided). This challenging trip is reserved for graduates of our past Dolomite hikes.

Let's find some cables to clip! Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking the Dolomites - Alta Via #2

Dates: August 28-September 4, 2017

Days: 8

Price: $2,575 (includes pre- and post-trip lodging! NOLS Dolomite grads only.)

This challenging trip for people who have completed our classic Alta Via #1 hike travels hut-to-hut which means light packs, outstanding scenery, alpine trails, fantastic meals and the best of Tyrollean culture.

This particular route includes three "ferrata" or technical trail sections that require cables, harnesses and rope work as well as nimble feet and a head for airy heights.

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

People rave about the scenery, cuisine and their trip cohorts. Photo: Rich Brame

Hiking Italy's Dolomites

Dates: Sept. 7-14, 2017

Days: 8

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

Hiking hut-to-hut on this "classic" Alta Via #1 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.

Explore Croatia's coast by sea kayak. Photo: Nick Braun

Sea Kayaking in Croatia

Dates: Sept. 15-21, 2017

Days: 7

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

This trip travels in the Elaphiti Island Archipelago just north of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Traveling the coastline by sea kayak offers a beautiful lens through which to explore the culturally and historically rich region of southern Croatia.

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

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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