Wilderness Expeditions


NOLS Expeditions Step Forward Video

Step into the Wilderness & Emerge a Leader

Find adventure and perspective. Develop lifelong leadership skills as you dive into our time-tested curriculum. Build courage and competence under the guidance of the best instructors in the industry. 

A NOLS course is an immersive expedition where you will spend time exploring remote, wild places with a tight-knit community of students and instructors.

No experience is required, but by the end you’ll have the skills and experiences to be a leader.  

NOLS Expeditions

Find A Course


Find the right expedition for you

Students sitting in a circle listen to a local villager in Tanzania.

Gap Year

You’re ready to take the lead and take time for your future. The extended and immersive lessons of a NOLS gap year are life-changing.
Gap Year Students walking with local villagers from the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalaya.

Study Abroad

Dive into a study abroad experience like no other. Embrace experiential learning in the wilderness, earning academic credit as you get to know a new culture.
Students loading up their sea kayaks on shore next to the stunning aqua waters of the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico.

Semester Program

Spend a semester learning and living in a wilderness classroom. Earn college credit while traveling through new landscapes and taking on new challenges.

Adult Expeditions

NOLS teaches real skills in wild places so you can adventure for a lifetime.
A student laughs while setting up tents in camp.

Teens: Ages 14-15

Designed for ages 14-15, Adventure courses are a fun way to get started learning leadership and outdoor skills.
Backpacking student with trekking poles hikes across meadow toward rocky peaks in the Wind River Range.

Teens: Ages 16-17

Designed for ages 16-17, Adventure courses are a fun way to get started learning leadership and outdoor skills.

Find your community

Women (Ages 23+)

Grow your wilderness skills and confidence in a community of self-identified women. Return empowered to lead in the outdoors and beyond.

People of Color

Explore, learn, and build community in the wilderness with peers who self-identify as People of Color.


Use your AmeriCorps education award to explore the world on a NOLS course.
Students pause while mountaineering at to watch the sunrise.


You’ve dedicated your life to service. A NOLS course can honor your experience and create opportunities to take your skills to new heights.
Four girls pose on a mountain slope in the Pacific Northwest while backpacking.

Girls (Ages 14 & 15)

You’re looking for adventure. Join a group of motivated teens to build your self-confidence and learn to lead in the outdoors.
Rainbow in Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains with cluster of NOLS tents nearby.


Explore the wilderness in a queer-positive community. Develop your outdoor and leadership skills with peers who self-identify as LGBTQ+.

Explore the World

See All NOLS Campuses


While I learned many skills that are important for success in rock climbing and the outdoors in general, the most valuable take away from this course were the relationships I have forged and the confidence I have to take on a leadership role in not only the outdoors but in other aspects of my personal and professional life. During my course, I learned how to create an environment where communication between an entire group leads to effective and positive decisions. I learned how taking into account individual differences can lead to different dynamics in cooperation. 

Max DeZarate Southwest Rock Climbing grad