Alaska Packrafting

Alaska Packrafting


  • Explore Alaska on foot and by boat on this cutting-edge course
  • Paddle class I-II rapids while learning paddling techniques, risk management, and group management on the river
  • Possible fishing
  • Travel through NOLS Alaska's remote mountains and rivers, transitioning between backpacking and packrafting as the route and conditions demand
  • Mostly off-trail hiking, giving you the ability to master your map reading skills
Packrafting is at the forefront of Alaskan exploration and NOLS is right there with it. Designed for students 18 and over, this 30-day land- and water-based expedition uses packrafts—single-person inflatable rafts weighing four pounds each—to open up some of the world's most remote country that would be otherwise inaccessible to overland travel.

With this equipment and the help of experienced instructor teams, you will navigate the rivers of the eastern Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains that would otherwise be obstacles on a traditional backpacking course.

On this self-sustained monthlong expedition, you'll learn how to live comfortably in the backcountry, hike through mountains and across tundra, and paddle your packraft through Class II rapids. You might even see Dall sheep, moose, caribou, wolves, and black and grizzly bears along the way.


Location NOLS Alaska
Tuition $5,290 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $450
Minimum Age 18
Duration 30 Days
Type Classic
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

“Every single day was better than the next. I was challenged every step of the way but having the constant support of my peers and instructors enabled me to persevere. The natural beauty, simplicity of the lifestyle, and escape from the technological world was incredibly rewarding.”

-Taylor S.

Alaska Packrafting Grad