Students backpacking by a body of water in Alaska with mountains in the distance.
Camera Betsy Winston

Alaska Backpacking - 16 and 17 Only


30 days


16 - 17 yrs


$7,600 to $7,650

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Explore Alaska's tundra and mountains

Join a group of new friends your own age to backpack through Alaska’s towering mountains and lush green valleys. 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.

Course Dates

8 courses

May 31 - Jun 29, 2025


Jun 9 - Jul 8, 2025


Jun 28 - Jul 27, 2025


Jul 12 - Aug 10, 2025


May 30 - Jun 28, 2026


Jun 8 - Jul 7, 2026


Jun 27 - Jul 26, 2026


Jul 11 - Aug 9, 2026


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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.” 

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