• United States of America
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Conservation Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Medical Post-High School Scuba Diving Instruction Social Justice Wilderness

Program Details

Animal Viewing Camping Farming Hiking Kayaking Scuba Diving Surfing Swimming
Cabin Guesthouse Hostel Lodge Tent
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Equipment Meals Park Fees Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance
Jan 12, 2022
Nov 12, 2021
12 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Explore the gems of the west on this road trip from the stunning peaks and plains of the Rockies, to the diverse rainforests and waters of the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Immerse yourself in Grand Teton National Park and take a quick plunge in a turquoise alpine lake and explore some of the most pristine wilderness of the west. We partner with local conservationists in Yellowstone National Park to understand the current threats to native populations of wolves and grizzly bears. Kayak through the San Juan Islands to learn about marine ecosystems and sleep on the shores of Orcas Island. Hike through the pristine wilderness of the Big Island of Hawaii and fall asleep to the sound of waves meeting the sand and soak up this unique volcanic landscape. Come away with forever changed appreciation for our backyard and new insights gained from this in-depth look at some of the most famous landmarks of the American West.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Work on a Permaculture Farm on Washington's Olympic Peninsula
  • Earn Your PADI SCUBA Certification on Hawaii’s Colorful Reefs
  • Research Grizzly Bears and Grey Wolves in Yellowstone National Park
  • Become Wilderness First Responder Certified
  • Volunteer in Volcanoes National Park Removing Invasive Species

Program Reviews

4.93 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • 5 rating 92.86%
  • 4 rating 7.14%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.75
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.65
  • Value 4.95
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 14 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Northwest Fall Gap Program Group A

This is an experience you will keep forever. No one else can understand how special it is. The places you see are absolutely worth it and beautiful. The people you will meet will become your best friends. Even if it can be scary do it! It will the best 70 days of your life. It will be hard yes. The hikes, sleeping outside, the weather, being with the same 14 people for 70 days but you make the best memories out of it. Only those people will understand it. You will grow and be the best version of yourself. You will the happiest when you go home after this crazy trip. But also really sad to leave your new friends. I 100% recommend it.

What was your funniest moment?
Honestly all the moments we joke in groups are always so funny.
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC Northwest

This semester has been really meaningful. I have learned so much and grown immensely. It has been really cool to be in such a tight knit community. We have done such a variety of activities which is something very unique to find in a gap semester. Also the leaders are amazing! I would recomend this semester for someone looking for a challenge, yet with support the whole time. I feel much more prepared for future endeavors and have gained an immense amount of confidence. I always felt very safe !

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Lots of camping! Now I feel much more comfortable :)
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing time!

This was a great program. It was really well led by experienced leaders who wanted to both support the students and have a fun time. The locations we visited were all beautiful, and I think we all felt that we learned a lot about the country and ourselves along the way. There was a great balance between adventure, service, sight seeing, and group bonding. By the end of the trip, we were really like a family. My only criticism is that sometimes there seemed to be a disconnect with the office that led to disorganization at times. However, I could not recommend this program more!

What was your funniest moment?
A lot of our funniest moments throughout the trip happened in our van, which we named Verna!
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience!

My son just finished the program and we can’t say enough how amazing it was for him. He loved the adventures, the learning, the instructors, and the friends he made. It was seriously the experience of a lifetime!

The program was both relaxed enough that the kids had a great deal of independence, but structured enough that they were busy every day learning, exploring m, and laughing. My son’s stories are so incredible and the pictures that they took tell the tale of a tightknit group who came together and learned so much. I highly recommend this trip in this program.

36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC Northwest Gap Semester

This experience was beyond incredible. I made lifelong friends and learned so much about the locations I traveled to. My leaders made sure everyone was happy and satisfied and getting the most out of this opportunity. I truly am a different person after this trip and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. I never thought I would hike 15 miles in a day, get my SCUBA open water diver certification, become a certified Wilderness First Responder, or hike through Glacier National Park and spit a bear and her cub next to the trail. I saw so many new things and places that I would never have been able to see without ARCC. EVERYONE should take a gap year and do a semester long program, it helped me understand exactly what I want to do for this coming fall and opened so many doors for me. Thank you ARCC for an incredible 2 1/2 months.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Manta ray night dive after our SCUBA certification.
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Northwest Review

Amazing trip where you get to see incredible places. Grow like a family within your group and learn all types of new skills. Learn to love camping and everything about the outdoors. Highly recommend anyone to anyone taking a gap year. This trip taught me all about living and interacting with a group, how to be more flexible, and how to act with different people. The instructors are also great mentors who are there to lead, guide and support everyone within our group. Overall a life changing experience.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When one of the other kids in my group was taken out my a rip tide in Hawaii. I had to go into the water and help him out. It was very nerve racking and life changing.
37 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Arcc Nortwest

I never thought I would be doing a gap program and the decision to go on the northwest gap program and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I grew as a person exponentially and I made life-long friendships. I also saw beautiful places that I will probably not see in a very long time. The curriculum was awesome because it was more hands on learning instead of learning in a classroom. The events that were planned were all very interesting and engaging. I really did not have a bad or boring moment on this trip.

What was your funniest moment?
We made bagels and didn’t cook them and everyone was disappointed.
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Northwest B review

I had an amazing trip. We went to incredible locations, met awesome people, created lasting bonds, and made unforgettable memories. It was organized really well! The people on the trip were amazing and our friendships were only strengthened through the places we went. Traveling as a group and camping in nature is a really unique and special experience, and even more special to do it in Northwest United States. Not often in your life will you be able to see a moose in your campsite at 9am, the beautiful teton mountains from your tent, and make such amazing friends.

What was your funniest moment?
Swimming in the Yellowstone River! It was soooo cold!
35 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers