Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking

Credit: Cass Colman

Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking

Climb mountains & paddle coastal fjords in the Land of the Midnight Sun

This summer, set off on an unforgettable adventure in the rugged northern backcountry. Paddle alongside tidewater glaciers in Alaska’s famed coastal fjords, keeping your eye out for whales, porpoises, sea otters, seals, and sea lions. Backpack across the tundra and over high mountain passes. Enjoy the long daylight hours of a northern summer as you hike through lush green valleys and cross braided streams.

This expedition is an opportunity to expand your wilderness travel skills—in the mountains and on the water. Starting with the basics of outdoor living, like reading maps and cooking on a camp stove, you’ll work your way up to navigating off trail and leading river crossings. While sea kayaking, you’ll build your paddling skills in a protected ocean environment, beginning with paddle strokes, chart reading, and wet exits. Later, move on to more advanced topics, like assessing marine hazards and ocean currents.

Along the way, build your leadership skills. Practice effective communication while navigating up steep slopes off trail. Develop your problem-solving and decision-making skills while planning a hiking or paddling route. Learn conflict resolution techniques and get comfortable taking on different roles to support your group. Gain the experience and confidence to lead in the outdoors and beyond.



2020 Dates

May 17 – June 15, 2020

Tuition: $5,975

June 3 – July 2, 2020

Tuition: $5,975

June 16 – July 15, 2020

Tuition: $5,975

July 2 – July 31, 2020

Tuition: $5,975

July 11 – Aug. 9, 2020

Tuition: $5,975

July 15 – Aug. 13, 2020

Tuition: $5,975


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Equipment Deposit



30 days

Minimum Age

16 yrs.

Academic Credit

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

1.50 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Palmer, AK

Fly in/out

Anchorage, AK

Skills learned


Sea Kayaking

Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“I never realized the value that the outdoors has in our daily lives until I was fully and totally immersed in it for an extended period of time.”

— Isaias A., NOLS Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking grad

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