Two sailboats anchored offshore on the Sea of Cortez
Camera BJ Klophaus

Rockies to Baja Year


135 days


18+ yrs



See Dates

A Continental Traverse

Explore the breadth of North America on this yearlong expedition unlike any other. Starting in the snowy peaks of Wyoming and ending in the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, on this course you’ll challenge yourself and grow as a person and as a leader.

The expedition is divided into a fall and spring semester with a winter break in between, allowing for a deeply immersive wilderness experience. While the specific skills may vary depending on your course date, all courses feature a variety of outdoor skills that will prepare you to be a well-rounded outdoorsperson and leader. As with most NOLS courses, no prior experience is required.

The varying landscapes you may encounter include striking red rock canyons in Utah, soaring granite peaks in Arizona, the teeming waters of Baja California, and the sculpted landscape of the Sonoran Desert. As you learn to live outdoors, hike, sail, kayak surf (unique to this course!) and more, you’ll receive hands-on mentorship from dedicated instructors. 

As you travel, you’ll progress through NOLS’ recognized leadership curriculum. Though some topics will be covered in sit-down classes, most of your learning will be from your daily experiences. Crossing a river will teach teamwork and resilience, while summiting a peak will offer chances to grow in communication and navigation skills. Throughout your days, you’ll learn about each area’s wildlife and geology, gain insight into its history, and appreciate the simple living of the outdoors. A foundational course goal is building an inclusive community with your coursemates. Depending on your course, you will earn an industry-recognized Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certification—a perfect building block to a lifetime of exploring the outdoors.

Additional Details

Semester Scholarship Form

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Academic credit for 9/25 start date: 28 college credits

Course Dates

1 course

Sep 17, 2022 - Mar 15, 2023

Fall in Rockies: Backpacking, Wilderness First Aid, Rock Climbing, Canyon; Spring in Mexico: Sail, Sea Kayak, Kayak Surfing, Small Group Expedition; Holiday Break 11/22/22-1/05/23


In Progress