Alaska Backpacking - 16 and 17 Only

Credit: Betsy Winston

Alaska Backpacking - 16 and 17 Only

Explore the Arctic tundra and mountains

Dive into an unforgettable adventure north of the Arctic Circle. Join a group of new friends your own age to backpack through the towering mountains and lush green valleys of the Alaskan backcountry. Work your way up rugged peaks, pausing to admire sweeping views at the summit. Enjoy the long daylight hours of a northern summer as you hike across the tundra. As you travel, keep your eye out for Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and wolves.

Whether this is your first time backpacking or you’re an experienced outdoorsperson, expect to learn something new each day. Start with the basics, like pitching a tent, cooking on a campstove, and navigating off trail. As you gain confidence, take on more responsibility for route finding and decision making.

Along the way, expand your leadership skills. Practice effective communication and risk management as you work with your team to cross a glacier-fed river. Learn to lead in uncertainty as you encounter new challenges, like navigating a boulder field or finding your way up a steep slope. Return with the confidence to lead at school, on a team, and in your community.



2019 Dates

June 13 – July 12, 2019

Tuition: $4,925
2 spaces remain Apply now

June 19 – July 18, 2019

Tuition: $4,925
1 space remains Apply now

June 27 – July 26, 2019

Tuition: $4,925
2 spaces remain Apply now

July 2 – July 31, 2019

Tuition: $4,925


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Equipment Deposit



30 days

Minimum Age

16 yrs.

Maximum Age

17 yrs.

Academic Credit

6 College Credits
  • 2 Skills Practicum
  • 2 Leadership Techniques
  • 2 Environmental Studies

1.50 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Palmer, Alaska

Fly in/out

Anchorage, Alaska

Skills learned


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What Our Grads Say

“NOLS helped me see the value leaders hold, and the multiple ways one can be more than just a designated leader. I found the importance of being a peer leader and having active followership, roles that are sometimes belittled, the most useful. The greatest reward I got from the entire NOLS course was the idea of positive thinking....Learning to not let myself get into [a negative] mindset during a difficult, long day or even noticing others’ attitude change and helping them steer away from this, is something that I am grateful for and will use outside this trip.” 

— Gaviota C., NOLS Alaska Backpacking grad

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