A course participant whitewater canoeing rapids on the Yampa River.
Camera David Morgan

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Spring Semester in the Rockies


Feb 25 - May 21, 2025


87 days


17+ yrs



Apply Now *

* 1 female space remains

Find new challenges on rivers, rock, and snow

Explore the outdoors from canyons to mountains on the Semester in the Rockies. This course will be your opportunity to learn a variety of outdoor skills across the western United States and earn a Wilderness First Aid certification. Paddle down rapids on Utah rivers, break trail through Wyoming’s snowy mountains, see ancient rock art, and climb high granite crags. The skills on your semester may include a combination of rock climbing, whitewater paddling, canyoneering, and backpacking. Each new skill will start with the basics and your instructors will teach everyone at their own level of experience, so you’ll find plenty of support and new challenges whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoorsperson.

Photo credit: Brian Hensien

Leadership will be a primary focus. As you progress through your semester, you’ll build on the leadership skills you’ve learned throughout the course. For example, assessing a rapid is an opportunity to develop decision-making skills, while navigating hard terrain is an opportunity to practice tolerance for adversity. These experiences are real opportunities for you to test what you’re learning and develop your personal leadership style. By the end of this course, you’ll walk away prepared to be a leader in school, at home, and beyond.

Photo credit: Jess Fuller

Photo credit: Eric Page

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What Our Grads Say

“NOLS presented a unique combination of new challenges and activities that peaked my interest, and gave me something to work towards in a phase of transition in my life.”