Wilderness Horsepacking


  • Develop your backcountry travel skills with NOLS on this unique expedition
  • Courses travel through the Red Desert, Absaroka or Wind River Ranges
  • Four days at the NOLS ranch and 17 days traveling through the backcountry
  • No expectation of previous horse experience prior to taking this course
There's nothing quite like seeing the wilderness on horseback.

We'll take you from the NOLS-owned and -operated Three Peaks Ranch into the wilderness and immerse you in the basics of Western horsepacking skills—care and feeding, horse behavior and herd dynamics, tack, saddling, and riding—and other unique experiences of packing and traveling with horses.

You'll care for your saddle horse and work together with a partner to load and lead your packhorse. You'll also be in charge of your own wellbeing in the backcountry, learning how to choose a good campsite and cook a good meal.

Share this wilderness experience not only with your fellow students and instructors, but also with the worthy companionship of horses.


Location NOLS Rocky Mountain
Tuition $5,560 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $300
Minimum Age 16
Duration 21 Days
Type Classic
Start/End Boulder, Wyoming
Fly in/out Jackson, Wyoming
College Credit
  • 4 Credit Hours
  • 2 Hours Environmental Ethics
  • 2 Hours Skills Practicum
Learn about College Credit
High School Credit
  • 1 Carnegie Unit
  • 0.5 CUs Physical Education
  • 0.5 CUs Leadership
Learn about High School Credit

“As we rode out of camp that morning, the rising sun at our backs, I realized at long last that we had truly become competent, confident horse-packers. The twenty-one days I spent on this course were some of the most exhausting, but most rewarding days of my life, and I will be forever grateful to your generosity in making this course possible for me. ”

-Emma P.

NOLS Scholarship Recipient