• United States of America
4 - 26 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel College Credit Conservation Hands-On Learning Medical Post-High School Wilderness

Program Details

Backpacking Camping Mountain Climbing Remote Exploring
Fall Spring Summer
Cabin Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
70 days: Spring Gap Semester: Southwest - $15,325 (Feb 13 - April 23)

42 days: Summer Gap Semester: Rockies - $7,995 (Jun 7 - Jul 18)

70 days: Fall Gap Semester: Rockies - $14,995 (Sept 1 - Nov 9)

70 days: Fall Gap Semester: Pacific Northwest - $14,495 (Sept 1 - Nov 9)
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Some Equipment Meals Park Fees Transportation
What's Included (Extra)

Camping, Backpacking, Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Climbing, Community Service, Canyoneering

What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Visa
Nov 17, 2022
Aug 21, 2021
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

WALI Gap Semesters are for students 18+, offering opportunities to test your foundational outdoor skills and further your capabilities as a leader. At WALI, you and your cohort will earn your Wilderness First Responder and CPR / First Aid certifications, the industry standard for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor recreationalists, and international travelers. Other certifications may include Swift Water Rescue, Leave No Trace Trainer, and more. Focusing on a plethora of technical skills in each semester, you will learn how to backpack, climb, whitewater raft, mountaineer, canoe, and sea kayak. You will utilize your time outside of the traditional classroom setting to hone in your hard and soft skills, receive impactful leadership instruction, and build towards your capstone experience at the end of your term. With an outdoor classroom unlike any other, this is the adventure of a lifetime.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Wilderness First Responder + CPR/ First Aid Certifications
  • Backcountry Canoeing, Kayaking, and Whitewater Rafting
  • 6 College Credits available through University of Wyoming
  • Leave No Trace Principles, Conservation-Focused Curriculum
  • Service Work with Non-profits, Youth, National Parks and Forests

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing experience

My gap semester with Wilderness Adventures was nothing short of transformative, and I can't recommend the program enough to any student considering taking a gap year before or during their time in college. The WALI program takes a small group of college-aged students out into the backcountry to foster their outdoor skills while backpacking, canoeing, and rafting. Yet the true lessons learned are in students' leadership and relationship skills as the small student group reads and discusses texts on leadership while forming a tight group bond. The WALI program is the perfect choice for students who want to expand their outdoor skills and take time to explore themselves and their interests before beginning their college experience. WALI will change your life; it changed mine.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Rafting through the Big Drop rapids in Cataract Canyon through Canyonlands NP. They are class IV rapids and can get pretty gnarly! We followed the instructions of our river guide and made it through in one piece, thankfully. We celebrated by listening to our river guide play the trumpet he had packed with him for the week as we floated down the Colorado River.
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved this program!!

I took a gap semester this past spring with Wilderness Adventures and it was the best decision I could have made for myself this past school year. This past spring I traveled through the southwest for 67 days. My 3 leaders were amazing. They were all so energetic, kind, passionate about their job and the outdoors, supportive, inclusive, and really helped us all of us on this trip. It was truly inspiring and being someone who never really did outdoorsy things prior, I learned a lot about myself and have a newfound passion for nature. Overall, this program is really family oriented making the atmosphere a really cool place to do activities, travel, try new things, and go on adventures.

What was your funniest moment?
There were many but one moment was when one of my friends wrote a poem about Lizard doing Lizard stuff.
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Learning Experience!!!

I spent my first semester of college overwhelmingly disappointed with virtual learning that resulted from COVID. I felt as though I has wasted time and money on an experience where I retained little knowledge in the classroom and made few meaningful social interactions on campus. My Spring semester spent with WA contrasted my Fall semester in numerous way, but mostly in the knowledge and perspective I gained throughout the 70 days. The various backgrounds and personalities of the individuals on the trip enabled me to learn more about their views and understandings while also developing my own. Unreal scenery combined with the cultural and historical significance of most of the locations we visited stimulated conversation among us that cannot be replicated in a classroom setting. There truly is no substitute for in person interaction and hands on learning.

While normalcy begins to be reestablished and I return to in person classes this Fall, I continue to think how grateful I am for my semester with WALI. Though the pandemic did instigate my search for an alternative to conventional school, the value of this gap semester still holds true even in COVID were negligible. I learned essential lessons about wilderness safety, the environment, and myself, and did so in the absurdly beautiful American Southwest. Could not recommend enough.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Probably any food combination you can imagine, but in a tortilla. Nothing quite like peanut butter, turkey, trail mix, and string cheese burritos on the trail.
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester with WALI

This trip was phenomenal. The WALI crew as well as the other students quickly became my family. There’s nothing I would trade for this experience. I learned, grew, and had an amazing time while doing it. One of the biggest highlights for me was earning my Wilderness First Responder Certification! We gained hard knowledge about medical first response in wilderness areas but also just common sense medical care in every kind of situation. I strongly recommend this for anyone and everyone looking for an adventure!!!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We had a student on our trip who was from Israeli and she made us shakshuka, and Israeli dish somewhat like an egg/tomato soup. It absolutely blew my mind and I loved it. :)
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I wish I could relive this trip !

This program was 70 days long and man, was I nervous! But as soon as I met my trip leaders and peers, all my nerves were assuaged — the positivity and delightful energy of the leaders and the curiosity and kindness of my peers seamlessly smoothed my transition. From canoeing to backpacking to getting my wilderness first responder certificate, the adventure was nonstop! I’ll cherish the moments of laughter, tranquility and even discomfort (I know that’s where I grew the most), and especially the amazing, beautiful views. As time passed, the group turned into family. We shared triumphs and supported each other through tribulations (long days on the trail, bad weather, someone having a bad day etc.), I knew that these people had my back. The trip leaders were incredible, helping both the novices and experts of the group push themselves physically and mentally. I know I have changed from this program — not only do I have a deeper appreciation and excitement for outdoor adventure, but I have found a sense of community and a family in the group I met. I cannot imagine my year without WALI gap, I feel so so fortunate to have found this program !!

p.s. do yourself a favor and sign up immediately :)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I think the most surprising thing I saw was more to do with our groups ability to push ourselves — specifically during a day on a canoe section. It was a really windy day, and we were pushing ourselves so hard against the white-capped river. We couldn’t stop paddling for a moment — our boat would either capsize, or we would lose a lot of distance. It was really tiring and difficult, but we were all in it together and fed off each other’s intensity. Through determination, and a LOT of rigorous paddling, we got through that windy segment and all felt so much relief!! It was an amazing moment of hard work and reward (I’m pretty sure we all slept great that night!).
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Most amazing experience!

Going into this trip, I was very nervous about meeting everyone and what the next 67 days were going to be like. But right away the leaders made everyone feel heard and supported. As the weeks went by our group got incredibly close (definitely making it hard to leave at the end!), which made it easier for me to push myself outside my comfort zone, knowing I was supported whether I succeeding or not. I was able to gain both outdoor living skills, while also learning about Wilderness First Aid and Swift Water Rescue! Aside from those skills and certifications I obtained from this trip, I was also able to gain personal growth experiences and really become a stronger, more confident version of myself.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I attempted to lead climb for the first time and was very nervous. I had spent time practicing, but by the time I was tying in to do it for real, I started to get pretty shaky. One of my leaders, Will, was belaying me and he helped make sure that I felt comfortable and talked me through how everything would go, until I felt completely ready!
27 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers