A course participant rock climbing on a large sunny face with a sweeping view at Cochise Stronghold in Arizona.
Camera Matt Hage

Spring Semester Teton Valley to Southwest


80 days


17+ yrs



Stay tuned for dates

Explore the peaks and valleys of the Mountain West 

Covering four different outdoor skills, this course provides you with a full introduction to wilderness exploration. By the end, you’ll have a full skillset of leadership and outdoor skills you can use for wilderness travel well into the future. 

As you traverse the western U.S. from north to south, you will explore striking red rock canyons in Utah, ski in the backyard of the Tetons, climb on soaring granite in Arizona, and backpack through the mesas and ridges of the American Southwest. As you learn to climb peaks and paddle whitewater, you’ll receive hands-on mentorship from dedicated instructors. 

Though some topics will be covered in sit-down classes, most of your learning will be from your everyday experiences, including a progression through NOLS’ distinctive leadership curriculum. 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 the area’s local wildlife and geology, gain insight into its history, and appreciate living simply in the outdoors. In addition, a foundational course goal is building an inclusive community with your coursemates. You will also earn an industry-recognized Wilderness First Responder certification.

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