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AARP Wilderness Expedition

Photos: Rich Brame, Zach Snavely, Brad Christensen

The AARP Wilderness Expedition is designed specifically for ARRP members and their guests. The course takes place in Wyoming’s Wind River Range. This rugged, glacier-carved range is renowned for its sheer granite walls and uninterrupted panoramic views. For seven days, you'll backpack through these mountains surrounded by towering peaks, glistening alpine lakes, and perennial snow, all with the help of some friendly llamas.

AARP members with intrepid spirits who are seeking opportunities to learn new skills and expand their comfort zone in the wilderness will find exactly what they’re looking for on this course. You will begin with basic travel and camping skills: cooking and stove use, camping, map reading, practices for hiking and camping in grizzly bear habitat, and Leave No Trace techniques. You’ll get lots of coaching from your instructors while you learn new skills.  As you gain competence, you will be asked to help make travel decisions and aid in risk management. You may also have the opportunity to climb a non-technical peak and learn about backcountry fly-fishing.

Llamas will carry the bulk of your supplies. Having pack animals will help lighten your load and provide an opportunity to learn about traveling with livestock in the mountains. You’ll start traveling slowly to get used to the weight, new boots, and the elevation. As the group becomes acclimatized, your pace will increase and hiking distances will grow. And when you reach your destination each night, you’ll find yourself savoring homemade pizza and cinnamon rolls—gourmet delicacies that you made from scratch on a single-burner stove.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Practice “Life Reimagined,” reflect on your personal leadership experience and discover new ways to employ that knowledge
  • Practice expedition leadership, develop competency in wilderness travel skills, risk management techniques, campcraft, and backcountry cooking—skills important for future backcountry trips with family and friends
  • Share a remote adventure and develop lasting relationships with other AARP members
  • Re-awaken your lens of wonder for the natural world and enjoy first-hand one of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness areas in North America
  • Recharge yourself through enjoyable extended outdoor living and travel—learn to care for yourself, others, equipment, and of course, the llamas


AARP Wilderness Expedition

August 10 - August 16, 2014

Tuition (includes 5% AARP discount): $2,280, plus $200 equipment deposit
For AARP members and their guests: Guests are limited to immediate family members defined as spouse, child, parent, or sibling) aged 45 and over at the time of the course.
Application and deposit due: April 11, 2014 ($500)
Balance, equipment deposit and paperwork due: June 11, 2014 ($1,980)
Course start/end: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Lander, WY
Fly in/out: Riverton, WY
Activity: Backpacking
To register as an AARP member:


Phone: 1-877-926-8300 and ask for AARP WY NOLS

Visit AARP Wyoming or the registration page

For more information contact: NOLS Professional Training
Phone: 800-710-6657 ext. 2720


Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.

Photo: Kyle Duba

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