A student breaks into a huge smile after kayaking down a rapid.
Camera Kirk Rasmussen

Fall Semester in the Rockies


75 days


17+ yrs


$16,292 to $16,940

See Dates

Find new challenges on rivers, rock, and snow

Explore the outdoors from canyons to mountains on the Semester in the Rockies. This course will be your opportunity to learn a variety of outdoor skills across the western United States and earn a Wilderness First Aid certification. Paddle down rapids on Utah rivers, break trail through Wyoming’s snowy mountains, see ancient rock art, and climb high granite crags. The skills on your semester may include a combination of rock climbing, whitewater paddling, mountaineering, canyoneering and backpacking. Each new skill will start with the basics and your instructors will teach everyone at their own level of experience, so you’ll find plenty of support and new challenges whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoorsperson.

Leadership will be a primary focus. As you progress through your semester, you’ll build on the leadership skills you’ve learned throughout the course. For example, assessing a rapid is an opportunity to develop decision-making skills, while navigating hard terrain is an opportunity to practice tolerance for adversity. These experiences are real opportunities for you to test what you’re learning and develop your personal leadership style. By the end of this course, you’ll walk away prepared to be a leader in school, at home, and beyond.

Course Dates

4 courses

Sep 9 - Dec 4, 2022

Backpacking, Wilderness First Aid, Rock Climbing, Canyoneering, Winter (Gap Year: 17-19 only)


In Progress

Sep 12 - Dec 7, 2022

Climbing, Wilderness First Aid, Canyoneering, Canoeing, Winter (Gap Year: 17-19 only)


In Progress

Sep 4 - Nov 17, 2023

River Travel, Wilderness First Aid, Rock Climbing, Canyon Travel (Gap Year: 17-19 only)


Sep 19 - Dec 2, 2023

River Travel, Wilderness First Aid, Canyon Travel, Winter


See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

What Our Grads Say

“Going to NOLS revealed to me that my life was far from irreparable and through hard work and determination I can get to where I want to be in life. I realized if I can travel 100+ miles on foot living off of what's in my backpack, navigate through precarious terrain and endure torrential weather, I'm definitely capable of putting in the work and effort to have a good life.” 

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