• United States of America
12 - 26 weeks

Program Details

Backpacking Paddleboarding Rock Climbing
Fall Spring Summer
Cabin Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
$16,500 USD
Price Details
Students will live at Camp Pinnacle for the duration of their semester (when they’re not camping during backcountry trips). The open-air cabins are screened-in and rustic (no heat or A/C) but have electricity and are comfortable.

Adventure Treks gap semester tuition will include the following:

All meals and lodging
Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, and group gear
Technical gear for mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, and kayaking
Guided activities
Wilderness first responder course
Lifeguarding course
Not included in tuition:

Medical insurance
Personal clothing and gear
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Equipment Meals Park Fees Transportation Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Wilderness First Responder certification and Swift Water Rescue course

What's Not Included
Sep 14, 2021
Jul 07, 2021

About Program

This 74-day program is based at a 126-acre camp, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, just outside Hendersonville. Western North Carolina is consistently rated one of the top regions in the country for outdoor adventure, with more than a million acres of pristine wilderness and world-class backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking and canoeing, and mountain biking just a few steps out the front door. During the semester, we’ll spend time in areas like:

Pisgah National Forest
Nantahala National Forest
Linville Gorge
The Foothills Trail in Oconee and Table Rock state parks
French Broad River
DuPont State Forest
Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area
Gorges State Park

This Leadership Adventure Semester fall course will offer the ability to earn 14 hours of college credit (which equals four classes) through Western Carolina University (WCU).

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Receive 14 college credits from WCU
  • Swift Water Rescue course and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification
  • Advanced hard skill courses in rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, whitewater kayaking and backpacking
  • Life skills courses: Home repair, auto maintenance, plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and kitchen experience
  • Capstone 5-day student-led and planned backpack

Related Programs

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Decision I've Ever Made

The 11 weeks I spent at Adventure Trek's Leadership Gap Semester was the most personal growth I’ve ever experienced. I accomplished so many feats I never considered possible, from physical challenges to emotional breakthroughs. I learned many new skills in the outdoors as well as a new perspective on what really matters to me in life. I feel like I now have the confidence to push myself in tough situations and the independence to do my own thing in life. I have LAS to thank for it all. And I don’t think we could have had a better group of instructors. I always felt heard and valued; they all were funny and caring and made me want to spend time with them. Everyone was approachable. And this is not to mention the incredibly close friendships I made. I have a community that I can rely on for years to come, we really became a family during our time together. It was also so incredibly fun and rewarding. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. It truly was transformative, and I cannot begin to imagine my life if LAS had not been a part of it.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I took a nasty spill and broke my tooth clean in half one of my first times mountain biking. Luckily, I came out of it okay, but became very scared to bike again. I remember thinking, "Well at least I got out of that!", since mountain biking is a big part of the curriculum and something I was never really excited about. Getting back on that bike was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But, my instructors completely changed my mindset. They were so supportive towards me, and recognized that I would have fear and anxiety coming back to the sport. They let me ease it to it, provided additional options to make feel as safe as possible (because all adventure sports have inherent risk), and encouraged me the whole time. Without them, I never would have faced my fears in such a way. The confidence and strength I gained from challenging myself that way is irreplaceable. I take this lesson with me in so many of the things I do now. Plus, they helped me learn to love mountain biking, so much so, that I even taught mountain biking this past summer! I have only my instructors to thank for their motivation and helping me to learn to look at things with a new perspective, one of growth and resilience.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Trying to explain LAS is as difficult as it was 8 months ago because I still feel like it was all a dream. I loved my experience and I would strongly recommend to anyone who has the slightest pull to take a leap of faith and sign up. One of the best things about LAS and my experience is at the end I noticed my growth, and we all helped each other grow and adjust to the world when we left. I changed so much and I found a group of people that made me feel like I didn’t need to make another friend on this earth because I found all the support I needed. I have chills just thinking of it.

What was your funniest moment?
Hands down watching matt walk up a steep gravel path in crocs in the pouring rain on day 2 of our first backpack. I cried laughing I think about this moment a lot and smile. I was just so slap happy. I really was finding my place here.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure Treks Leadership Adventure Semester

LAS is an amazing, transformative experience for any young adult looking to become a better version of themselves while exploring the outdoors. This program offers students a beautiful landscape and facility to learn countless useful backcountry skills and leadership skills, all while having so much fun! LAS is a great fit for anyone looking to broaden their interests and work on themselves—whether or not they already have experience in the outdoors. Everyone i met there was so kind, understanding, and knowledgeable.

9 people found this review helpful.

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