Alaska Backpacking

Alaska Backpacking


  • Travel up to 150 miles in Alaska's remote backcountry, mostly off-trail
  • Make your way through tundra, shrub thickets, and gravel river bottoms
  • See Dall sheep, moose, and other wildlife as you travel through high ridges and low valleys
  • Travel in the Arctic Circle means long daylight hours
  • Potential to attempt non-technical peak ascents reaching up to 7,000 feet
  • 16- and 17-year-old only options available (see dates below)
An Alaska Backpacking course is a wilderness expedition in every sense, allowing you to explore beautiful landscapes in the Talkeetna Mountains, the Alaska Range, or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, where the trees disappear and the land stretches into alpine tundra plains with a backdrop of rugged and heavily eroded mountains.

Up here where it's still light at midnight, you'll follow the tracks of the seasonal caribou migration. Learning to hike on tundra; identify the birds, flowers, wildlife, and plants of the North Country; and keep warm, dry, and happy even when it's wet are all part of your backcountry curriculum.

You'll become a seasoned wilderness traveler, learning how to read a map, navigate off trail, and scan the horizon for grizzly bears, black bears, moose, wolves, and Dall sheep.


Location NOLS Alaska
Tuition $4,650 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $400
Minimum Age 16
Duration 30 Days
Types Classic and Classic - 16 & 17 Only
Start/End Palmer, NOLS Alaska
Fly in/out Anchorage, NOLS Alaska
College Credit
  • 6 Credit Hours
  • 2 Hours Environmental Studies
  • 2 Hours Leadership Techniques
  • 2 Hours Skills Practicum
Learn about College Credit
High School Credit
  • 1.5 Carnegie Units
  • 0.5 CUs Physical Education
  • 1 CU Leadership
Learn about High School Credit

“It was an empowering experience to create our own trails through such untouched land, especially through terrain that seemed impassable at first glance.”

-Margaret L.

Alaska Backpacking Grad