Start Dreaming: Summer 2020 Expeditions Now Online

Posted by: NOLS on Jul 31, 2019

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Camping on a summer day in the Yukon. Photo by Ari Bruns. 

Dreading the end of summer? We are too, just a little.

But don’t despair: looking forward to next year’s outdoor adventures is a great way to shake off the end of summer blues. Our summer 2020 course dates are now live, so it’s time to start dreaming!

Maybe you want to focus on learning a new wilderness skill next summer, like rock climbing or mountaineering. Or maybe you’ve decided that next year’s the perfect time for your first international outdoor adventure.

Whatever the case may be, planning now means having something to look forward to, rather than dreading summer’s end.

To help kick off your planning, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite summer courses.

Explore Wyoming’s Wind River Range, home of the original NOLS course; paddle whitewater and climb mountains on a Summer Semester in the Yukon; or join a group of peers ages 14 and 15 for your first extended wilderness expedition.

Check out some more options below, and get excited for next summer.

Adventure Courses: Wilderness Expeditions for Teens

These 2- to 4-week expeditions are the ultimate summer break adventure for teens looking to find new challenges in the outdoors. From backpacking in the Adirondacks to paddling whitewater rapids on Idaho’s Salmon River, expect a fun-filled introduction to backcountry travel and outdoor leadership.

Salmon Backpacking and Rafting Adventure (Ages 14 & 15)

Get ready for an unforgettable wilderness expedition focused on two key outdoor skills: backpacking and whitewater rafting.

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two NOLS participants paddle a raft on the Salmon River on a sunny day
Paddling on the Salmon River. Photo by Col Lindemuth.
 

Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking (Ages 16 & 17)

Head to the Land of the Midnight Sun, where you’ll hike across the open tundra and paddle alongside tidewater glaciers in Alaska’s famed coastal fjords.

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NOLS students paddle a double kayak in Prince William Sound with mountains reflected in the water
Sea kayaking in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Photo by Cass Colman.
 

Girls Pacific Northwest Backpacking Adventure (Ages 14 & 15)

Join a group of girls your own age to explore the glacier-carved peaks and thick evergreen forests of Olympic National Park or the North Cascades.

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six teen students on raise arms in celebration while backpacking in the Pacific Northwest
Backpacking in the Lemhi Mountains. Photo by Lila Sternberg Sher.
 

Classic Expeditions: 30-Day Courses

Like the original NOLS courses, these immersive monthlong expeditions for teens and adults offer an opportunity to build competence in one or more types of wilderness travel, develop your leadership style, and form new friendships.

Wind River Wilderness

Explore the glacier-carved peaks, high ridges, and alpine lakes of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, home to the original NOLS course.

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NOLS participants hike beside an alpine lake surrounded by rocky peaks in the Wind River Range
Backpacking in the Wind River Range. Photo by Eric Page. 
 

North Cascades Mountaineering

Head to the Pacific Northwest for a comprehensive introduction to mountaineering on the snow-covered glaciers and jagged peaks of Washington’s Cascade Range.

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five small figures travel across a snowfield in a dramatic mountain landscape
Mountaineering on Mount Baker in the North Cascades. Photo by Reece Robinson.
 

Scandinavia Sea Kayaking & Backpacking

Backpack across the windswept tundra, paddle Norway’s ocean fjords, and interact with local communities as you explore above the Arctic Circle.

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sunset over NOLS tents scattered between rocks in the mountains of Scandinavia
Sunset over camp in Scandinavia. Photo by Molly Hagbrand.
 

Summer Semesters: Extended Expeditions

These courses are perfect for students looking for a summer break experience that sets them apart: an extended wilderness expedition that will prepare them to lead in the outdoors and beyond.

Summer Semester in the Rockies

Make this summer break one to remember: backpack across high mountain passes, climb granite crags, and paddle whitewater rapids in the Rocky Mountains.

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five NOLS participants hike past glassy alpine lake toward towering rocky peak
Hiking in the Rockies. Photo by Juan Quierolo.
 

Summer Semester in the Yukon

Leave the trails behind and dive into an unforgettable adventure in the mountains, glaciers, and rivers of Canada’s Yukon Territory, one of the most remote areas in North America.

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two NOLS students paddle a whitewater canoe in the Yukon
Whitewater canoeing in the Yukon. Photo by Ari Bruns.
 

Summer Semester in Alaska

Explore the Land of the Midnight Sun at the height of the northern summer, from backpacking across sweeping expanses of tundra and climbing across vast glaciers to sea kayaking in Prince William Sound.

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NOLS rope team pauses to rest while mountaineering in Alaska
Mountaineering in the snowfields of Alaska. Photo by Brandon Gell.
 

Summer Semester in the Pacific Northwest

Wake up before dawn to attempt a peak ascent and watch the sun rise over a glacier. Smell the salt air as you paddle a sea kayak through ocean straits in British Columbia.

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NOLS students circle up for a lesson in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest
Time for class! Photo by Willy Oppenheim. 
 

Orange arrow pointing right See all 2020 summer expeditions.

NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.