• United States of America
    • Seattle
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Backpacking Mountain Climbing Rock Climbing
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Equipment Meals Park Fees Transportation
What's Included (Extra)

WFR certification

What's Not Included
Dec 17, 2021
Jan 29, 2022
3 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

This 42-day program begins and ends in Washington. Students will first embark on a 5-day backpack in North Cascades National Park in Washington, where students begin to learn the ins and outs of leading backcountry trips, get more comfortable with backcountry navigation and moving as a group through new terrain. Throughout the next two months they will get their Wilderness First Responder certification, learn the mechanics of mountaineering and attempt a summit of Mt. Adams and Mt. Olympus, go through a three-day climbing progression at Smith Rock in Oregon where they will learn to multi-pitch climb, and will build up to planning and leading their own 5-day backpack on the Olympic Peninsula.

- North Cascades National Park
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- Smith Rock State Park
- Olympic National Park

The Leadership Adventure Semester summer course will offer the ability to earn 8 hours of college credit (which equals two classes) through Western Carolina University (WCU).

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Receive 8 college credits from WCU
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification
  • Advanced hard skill courses in rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking and expedition planning
  • Capstone 5-day student-led and planned backpack
  • Being part of a strong community and learning leadership and community building skills

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure and Friendships to Last a Lifetime

Man, where do I even begin? Mere words will never adequately express my gratitude for the sunsets, laughs, mountain goat families, exhilarating rapids, sense of accomplishment, sore calves, breathtaking views, and universal growth shared among a group of 12 strangers that turned into family.

This trip is a highlights reel of the most stunning wild places in the American West (especially the PNW). I still have to pinch myself when I think back to paddling down 14-ft waterfalls on a river that flows through a collapsed lava tube. When I close my eyes, I can still imagine the endless expanse of stars in City of Rocks and the sheer power I felt while shouting an inside-joke battle cry into a canyon in the Goat Rocks. From daily practice in risk management, knots, Leave No Trace--to my River Rescue and Wilderness First Responder Certifications, I feel capable and confident to lead backpacking trips with friends and beyond. I also fell in love with rock climbing, and I am very involved in the outdoor scene on my college campus.

In an age of isolation and sleepwalking behind screens, this trip was such a necessary and timely reminder of what really matters in life. I learned that when you show up each day with your whole authentic self and actively invest in the growth of yourself and others, you are capable of anything. I learned to chase relationships and experiences (like AT) that make you feel so wholeheartedly loved, alive, and true. I highly, highly recommend this program to anyone my age. The transition to college is such an inflection point full of uncertainty and chaos, and this trip gave me time and space to reflect upon the person I am and the person I want to be, and I found the sense of direction and meaning I craved within the most supportive and encouraging environment.

Attending Adventure Treks last summer was undoubtedly the best decision of my life. (Thank you, THANK YOU, Mom and Dad). I grew immensely as an outdoorswoman, leader, friend, and human being, and I have epic stories and friendships to last a lifetime. I can't say enough good things about this program.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
At the end of our time rock climbing in City of Rocks, Idaho, we completed a 3-hour multi-pitch climb on Castle Rock that was easily the most exhilarating and terrifying moment of my life thus far.

Our guide would climb up a pitch first and set up the anchor while I climbed up, hooking up quick draw carabiners to set the path for a fellow student behind me. We would repeat this cycle, clipped into an anchor as we waited for the person ahead to complete each incremental ascent, as we slowly climbed higher and higher.

My forearms began to ache, and when I made the critical error of looking down, my legs started to tremble, which is less than ideal when you have maybe 6" of a rock ledge to stand on (at best).

But through jokes with a fellow student clipped into the anchor, cheers of support from above and below, reassurance and tips from the climbing guide, and the stunning surrounding views of The City, as they call it, I made it all the way to the top. It was such a great day.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Summer Ever!!!

The summer I had with Adventure Treks was definitely my best summer yet! I made so many friends that I still talk to and see to this day. I really appreciate all the support and learning opportunities AT gave me. Not only did this program take you to the most beautiful parts of the United States, it takes you through a Wilderness First Responder course and a Swift Water Rescue course, which I thought was very informative. I recommend that everyone who loves the outdoors and is looking for something to do during the summer to go on this trip. It is definitely the opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t miss out!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely live in the moment! You won’t regret it. I wish I could go back to this trip, so living in the moment and appreciating where you are at all times is the one piece of advice I would give.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure Treks Summer 2021 Gap Semester

Adventure Treks has been and always will be my second family. The people that I have met on these trips are some of the coolest people I have ever met and I am honored to call them lifelong friends. Everything about my AT experience has been positive as AT teaches you to truly become your best self. When I am on AT I am in my happiest state. The GAP semester taught so many outdoor and leadership skills, as well as life skills. This experience I had on this trip is one that I will remember and love for the rest of my life. I wish that everyone could take an Adventure Treks trip as it teaches you to become a better person as you make lifelong friends and memories.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
In Colorado I saw two male moose majestically come out of the haze around a pond near our campsite. It was like brother bear.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer ever!

I loved backpacking, rock climbing, and learning wilderness medicine skills while camping! I now feel prepared to lead my own backpacks and plan and cook meals while camping. The community that AT trips foster is one of a kind, and stays present long after closing day. Being in a small group allowed us to move around quickly and experience the Rockies, City of Rocks, and the North Cascades in one trip. Going on our student-led backpack was amazing, and our instructors were very close in case of emergency. Rafting was a great and fun-filled way to close the trip!

What was your funniest moment?
Too many to count! Maybe our spooky storytelling in the cheese caves.
21 people found this review helpful.

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