A close up of delicate alpine flowers with a hiker's feet and snowy mountain in the background.
Camera Nacho Grez

Leave No Trace Master Educator - Backpacking


5 days


16+ yrs



See Dates

Learn to travel responsibly and sustainably in wild places. Within the rich ecosystems of our public lands, you will learn and teach the principles of Leave No Trace and discuss wildland ethics. Your course will begin in an indoor classroom where you will learn and discuss the history of the Leave No Trace program, receive an introduction to Leave No Trace principles, and make final preparations for backcountry travel. Throughout the remaining days of the course, you will put your new skills into practice on a multi-day, backpacking expedition in a stunning and remote natural environment.

Leave No Trace courses are conducted in a variety of settings. NOLS has unique access to state and national parks for these courses, from the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone, giving students the opportunity to practice Leave No Trace skills in stunning environments. In addition to hands-on practical application of skills, every student will hone their teaching style by presenting a 15- to 20-minute class on a Leave No Trace topic of their choice. Graduates of Leave No Trace Master Educator courses will have the skills to teach others about Leave No Trace. College credit is available for most NOLS Leave No Trace Master Educator courses.

For more information on Leave No Trace courses, credit or to host a course please email lnt@nols.edu.

Course Dates

4 courses

Aug 22 - 26, 2023

Adirondacks, NY, USA


Sep 11 - 15, 2023

Holy Cross Wilderness, CO, USA


1 space Apply Now

Oct 23 - 27, 2023

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, USA


Full, Waitlist Available Apply Now

Oct 23 - 27, 2023

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, CO, USA


2 spaces Apply Now


NOLS offers discounts for NOLS alumni and government employees for all 5-day Leave No Trace Master Educator courses except the Wolf Ridge, MN course.


  • NOLS alumni are eligible for a $70 discount.
  • Government employees are eligible for a $100 discount.

Leave No Trace Creation & History

The US Forest Service formalized a partnership with NOLS in 1990 to develop a written Leave No Trace educational curriculum for wildland visitors. NOLS' involvement in the program marked the beginning of the partnership model that continues to the present day. NOLS also developed the ethics and experiential training aspects of the Leave No Trace program, the capstone of which is the five-day Master Educator Course for land managers, outfitters and outdoor educators.

In 1994, NOLS helped to found the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Boulder, Colorado.