Students hiking along the Olympic Coast at low tide.
Camera Alexis Alloway

Fall Semester in the Pacific Northwest


80 days


17+ yrs



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Make the coasts and mountains your classroom

Get outside the traditional classroom and find new adventures in the striking landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Take time for your future and grow your leadership skills as you explore quiet coves, dense forests, and rugged mountains. Summit soaring peaks while mountaineering in the North Cascades. Climb in world-class areas or paddle a sea kayak on sparkling blue waters. Learn about local ecology and earn an industry-respected Wilderness First Aid certification.

Whether it’s your first time camping or you’re already an experienced outdoorsperson, expect to challenge yourself each day. Start with the basics, like cooking on a camp stove and reading a map. Then, move on to more advanced topics, like completing a multi-pitch climb or using tide charts to help plan a coastal hiking route.

Along the way, participate in a guided leadership progression, gradually taking on more decision-making responsibility as the course and your skills progress. Practice good communication as you work with your team to sail to the next campsite or navigate thick forest. Develop your risk management and problem-solving skills as you lead a rope team across a glacier. Build lasting relationships, and return home with the confidence to lead in your community and beyond.

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Course Dates

1 course

Aug 27 - Nov 14, 2024

Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking, Wilderness First Aid, Coastal Backpacking, Rock Climbing


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What Our Grads Say

“I learned patience, teamwork and leadership skills, but I also learned about myself. NOLS is part of who I am now. I cook for myself and make many of the same recipes I learned with my small team in the Pacific Northwest. I can put up a tent anywhere and sleep anywhere and I long for the days alone in the woods.”

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