Rocky Mountain Instructor Course

Credit: Adam Swisher

Rocky Mountain Instructor Course

The Wind River mountain range is the place Paul Petzoldt chose for the first NOLS course in 1965, and we have trained instructors here ever since. Your Rocky Mountain Instructor Course will build on the technical outdoor skills you already have as you fine-tune your teaching skills through an in-depth examination of the NOLS curriculum. This 24-day course includes leadership training, a backpacking expedition, and basic training for setting up and managing top-rope climbing and rappelling with students. Successful completion of the instructor course will prepare you to work wilderness backpacking courses for NOLS.

Applications for Spring/Summer 2020 Instructor Courses are now closed. Applications for 2021 Instructor Courses will open on August 15, 2020.

Take a look at the FAQs to learn more about instructor courses with NOLS.

Here is a sample of the questionnaire that will appear on the instructor course application.



Stay tuned for upcoming course dates.


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



24 days

Minimum Age

21 yrs.

Academic Credit

4 College Credits
  • 2 Outdoor Educator
  • 2 Leadership
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Leave No Trace - Master Educator


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Lander, Wyoming

Fly in/out

Casper, Wyoming

Skills learned


Rock Climbing

Additional Details

Prerequisite: Minimum of a 70-hour Wilderness First Responder and current adult CPR certification

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What Our Grads Say

“The most amazing aspect of NOLS wilderness expeditions is they function like little microcosms of life. Put people together for an extended period of time, with internal and external stresses, and see how they react. The lessons gleamed from those interactions are not only applicable to the moment; they are transferable to life back at home, work and with friends”

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