Summer Semester in the Rockies

Credit: Juan Queirolo

Summer Semester in the Rockies

Climb mountains, paddle rapids, and learn to lead

This summer, find adventure in the Rockies. Embrace new challenges as you backpack through Wyoming’s snow-capped mountains, climb granite crags, and paddle whitewater rapids on the Green River. Wake up to the sound of wind in the pines, then make breakfast on a campstove with a group of new friends. Summit rugged peaks and rock climb at world-class sites. Go fly fishing on clear alpine lakes, and learn about local ecology as you hike over high mountain passes. As you explore beautiful and remote wilderness areas, work hard and laugh often.

On each section of the course—backpacking, climbing, and river travel—you’ll start with the basics, like reading a map, tying knots, and developing your paddle technique. When you’re ready, you’ll move on to more advanced topics, like navigating off trail, building climbing anchors, and scouting rapids.

Along the way, you’ll expand your leadership skills. Grow your problem solving and risk management skills as you lead a river crossing. Practice good communication while belaying a coursemate or working together to pilot a raft through a rapid. Learn effective conflict resolution and how to support your team in different roles. Return home with the confidence to lead in the outdoors, in your community, and beyond.



2020 Dates

June 8 – Aug. 14, 2020

Tuition: $11,950
Details: Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking
5 spaces remain Apply now

2021 Dates

June 7 – Aug. 13, 2021

Tuition: $11,950
Details: Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



68 days

Minimum Age

17 yrs.

Academic Credit

14 College Credits
  • 2 Risk Assessment
  • 2 Environmental Studies
  • 6 Skills Practicum
  • 4 Leadership Techniques

2 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 1.00 Physical Education
Learn about Academic Credit


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Lander, Wyoming

Fly in/out

Casper, Wyoming

Skills learned



Rock Climbing

Whitewater Kayaking

Additional Details

Semester Scholarship Form

Essential Eligibility Criteria



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What Our Grads Say

“Not only did NOLS teach me to place trust and faith in myself it also taught me to work with other people...and place my trust and faith in them as well. I learned values of teamwork that I had never opened myself up to before. I was beginning to develop myself into the person I came here to become.” 

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