|Location||NOLS Rocky Mountain|
|Tuition||$14,405 Learn about Financial Aid|
|Types||Outdoor Educator and Semester & Year|
|Fly in/out||Casper, Wyoming|
“It is one thing to hear about something and it's quite another to see it put into practice from the first instant when you land at the branch.”
Backpacking, WFR, Rock Climbing, Canyoneering, Backcountry Skiing
There’s nothing quite like seeing the remote wilderness on your own two feet, carrying all your own gear on your back while gaining the tools necessary to become a great leader in the backcountry and at home.
Backpacking courses often hike three out of every four days. You’ll travel in small hiking groups so you have more opportunities to lead, make decisions, and map read as you move through beautiful wilderness. Hiking days begin early when you light your stove, cook and enjoy breakfast, and then organize and pack your pack.
You’re usually hiking by mid-morning. Lunch on the trail might be bread you baked the day before, or a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits. You may stop for a short class on natural history, or to learn how to cross a river, travel through boulders or snow, or move over a high pass. When you arrive at your new camp location, you'll first spend time choosing a Leave No Trace site and organizing camp, then you’ll prepare a well-deserved dinner. If the day was long, a short evening meeting may wrap up the day. If the hike was short, there may be a class or discussion.
Primarily 30 days in length, these courses focus on technical traditional climbing skills in addition to camping and travel skills. You'll learn knots and rope handling, belaying, rappelling, protection placement and hazard evaluation while working on improving your movement over rock and potentially lead climbing.
It is winter in the mountains. Cloaked in a blanket of glittering snow, the world is transformed into a quiet, magical place where icicles decorate the trees, animal tracks tell a story and pristine powder calls you to ski. Temperatures can plummet to well below zero and three feet of snow can fall in one storm, but hard work and a positive attitude make winter one of the most rewarding times to travel in the backcountry.
The first NOLS courses ventured into the wilderness here over 45 years ago. Generations of students have been exploring the stunning glacier-carved granite cirques of the famous Wind River Mountains, the sprawling meadows and deep rivers of the Absarokas, and the hidden red canyons of Utah’s slickrock country with NOLS Rocky Mountain.
The heart of our operation is in Lander, Wyoming, the small town that NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt handpicked in 1965 as the base of operations for his innovative outdoor school. We also operate the Three Peaks Ranch in Boulder, Wyo. Set on the western edge of the Wind Rivers, this working ranch is where we run our horsepacking courses and re-supply other courses on horseback.
Our river base in Vernal, Utah, specializes in whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.
With a wide range of course offerings and exquisite landscapes, being here—backpacking, climbing, skiing, scrambling, exploring, and paddling—is what NOLS is all about.