|Location||NOLS Pacific Northwest|
|Tuition||$4,225 Learn about Financial Aid|
|Fly in/out||Seattle, Washington|
High School Credit
“It was really great to be confident in so many skills (both hard and soft) by the end of the course that I had very little confidence, if any, in the beginning. Also simply living in the wilderness for 30 days and hiking each day while having fun is extremely rewarding.”
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.
Forest and ocean. Glacier and river. Heather and pine. This is the Pacific Northwest, with its temperate rain forests, stunning ice-covered volcanoes, hidden bays and coves, and lush old-growth forests.
Home to bald eagles, black bears, mountain goats, elk, porpoises, and whales, this will be your classroom. The Pacific Northwest is the birthplace of the outdoor industry, and NOLS has been the region’s outdoor education pioneer for more than 35 years.
We specialize in courses for outdoor educators and trip leaders, and our easy-to-access facilities in Conway, Wash., an hour north of Seattle, were specifically designed to support NOLS’ educational expeditions.
We’ll outfit you with everything you’ll need for an expedition into spectacular backcountry, from Oregon to British Columbia. Whatever your method of exploration—sea kayaking, rock climbing, glacier mountaineering, backpacking, or sailing—you’ll be in for the experience of a lifetime.