Salmon Backpacking and Rafting Adventure

Credit: Elliot Johnston

Salmon Backpacking and Rafting Adventure

This course is for young teens who want to traverse a little known section of the Rocky Mountains near the Idaho-Montana border and raft the Main Salmon River, all in one action-packed month. In two very different environments, you'll learn how to make decisions, develop confidence, and work through challenges with your coursemates (we call this expedition behavior). While backpacking, you'll become a competent map reader and backcountry cook, and you'll develop your Leave No Trace skills and stewardship and sustainability values. Then, after climbing peaks, crossing rivers, and hiking through pristine meadows, you'll trade your backpack for a dry bag. For 10 days on over 80 miles of the wild and scenic Main Salmon River, you'll navigate deep canyons and whitewater in paddle rafts and oar rigs. You will learn basic river skills like paddle strokes, hazard evaluation, and boat rigging. Overall, you'll work hard, have fun, and return home with leadership skills to last a lifetime.

*The Salmon River is one of the original rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.



2019 Dates

June 24 – July 21, 2019

Tuition: $6,675
Full, Waitlist Available Apply now

July 10 – Aug. 6, 2019

Tuition: $6,675
3 spaces remain Apply now


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Equipment Deposit



28 days

Minimum Age

14 yrs.

Maximum Age

15 yrs.

Academic Credit

1.50 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Driggs, Idaho

Fly in/out

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Skills learned



Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“I was completely amazed with how much fun I had. It was great to get up every day, take care of group gear, and take care of group tasks like packing and cooking. One of my most important lessons was learning how to get along with people on the spot and to be given the chance to trust them, learn from them, and help each other get stronger while hiking and rafting.”

— Kenneth K., NOLS Salmon Backpacking and Rafting Adventure grad

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