Adirondack Backpack Adventure

Credit: Meriwether Hardie

Adirondack Backpack Adventure

Find new challenges in the Adirondacks

Join a group of your peers for a month in the wilderness. On this course, you’ll dive into learning leadership and outdoor skills as you backpack through the hills and lakes of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, one of the oldest protected lands in the country. Climb high rocky peaks and cross chilly creeks. Learn about local ecology as you wander through ancient hardwood forests. Cook your dinner on a camp stove with a group of new friends, and fall asleep in your tent ready to take on the next day. Even if you’ve never been camping before, this course is a great way to learn more about the outdoors and yourself.

Leadership skills will be a key part of this course. You and your group will learn how to be leaders as you meet fresh challenges, and you’ll use your new skills every day. Making a decision about where to camp teaches you about good judgement, while resolving an argument teaches you about communication. These experiences will help you figure out what your leadership style is and how you support your group. At the end of this course, you’ll walk away with real experiences that will help you be a leader at school, at home, and for the rest of your life.



2018 Dates

June 19 – July 2, 2018

Tuition: $3,600
2 female spaces remain Apply now

July 1 – July 14, 2018

Tuition: $3,600
Full, Waitlist Available Apply now

July 15 – July 28, 2018

Tuition: $3,600

July 22 – Aug. 4, 2018

Tuition: $3,600
5 spaces remain Apply now

Aug. 2 – Aug. 15, 2018

Tuition: $3,600
5 spaces remain Apply now


All course information at a glance

Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships
Equipment Deposit
14 days
Minimum Age
14 yrs.
Maximum Age
15 yrs.
Academic Credit

0.50 High School Credits

  • 0.50 Physical Education
Learn about Academic Credit

Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics

Paul Smiths, New York
Fly in/out
Saranac Lake Airport
Skills learned


See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

What Our Grads Say

“Crawling out of my sleeping bag and putting on yesterday's still soaked hiking clothes was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We sourly packed our tents and prepped our backpacks. That evening, no one complained or frowned. The campsite was full of laughter and wet sleeping bags were hanging out to dry. The day started off cold and rainy, and even though that morning was the low point of the expedition, it is the first thing I think back on when people ask about my course.” 

— Chandler S., NOLS Adirondack Backpack Adventure grad

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