Location
  • United States of America
Length
1 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Activities
Backpacking Camping Kayaking
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
16

Pricing

Starting Price
5100
Price Details
Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Academic Credit available.
What's Included
Activities Some Equipment Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jan 13, 2021
Aug 03, 2015
10 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Come join us at NOLS Alaska for an adventure in the Land of the Midnight Sun. At our campus, a 40-acre former dairy farm, you’ll enjoy fresh veggies from our on-site garden and breathtaking views of the Talkeetna Mountains and Chugach Range. In the field, you’ll learn one or more technical skills—backpacking, mountaineering, or sea kayaking—in the famed Alaska backcountry. Whether you’re paddling a sea kayak in Prince William Sound alongside massive glaciers, hiking across the vast tundra above the Arctic Circle, or mountaineering in the Chugach Range, you’ll marvel at the enormity of the Alaskan wilderness.

As you explore Alaska, you’ll recalibrate not only your sense of scale, but also your self-confidence and competence in the outdoors.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Wildlife you may see: caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolverines, black and brown bears, and wolves
  • Skill selections: sea kayaking, backpacking, and mountaineering
  • Average group size: 12 students / 3 instructors

Popular Programs

Students rest on a glacier

A semester in Alaska will take you from forested coastlines to high mountain peaks, and the tundra and rivers in between. With almost 20 hours of daylight at summer’s peak, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the Alaskan wilderness. Whether this is your first time camping or you’re an experienced outdoorsperson, expect to try out and develop a variety of new skills on this expedition.

Students backpack past mountain vista

Dive into an unforgettable adventure in the northern wilderness. Backpack through Alaska’s famed mountain ranges and lush green valleys. Work your way up rugged peaks, pausing to admire sweeping views at the summit. Enjoy the long daylight hours of a northern summer as you hike across the tundra and cross braided streams. As you travel, keep your eye out for Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and wolves.

Students trek past mountain vista

Find your next adventure in the rugged terrain of southcentral Alaska, nicknamed the “mountain kingdom of North America.” Build your mountaineering skills while exploring the coastal Chugach Range, interior Alaska Range, or vast Wrangell-St. Elias Range. Enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight as you travel across sweeping expanses of tundra, massive glaciers, and towering peaks.

Students sea kayak past glacier

This summer, set off on an unforgettable adventure in the rugged northern backcountry. Paddle alongside tidewater glaciers in Alaska’s famed coastal fjords, keeping your eye out for whales, porpoises, sea otters, seals, and sea lions. Backpack across the tundra and over high mountain passes. Enjoy the long daylight hours of a northern summer as you hike through lush green valleys and cross braided streams.

View from a sea kayak

Join a team of current and aspiring outdoor educators to expand your teaching and leadership skills. Backpack across the tundra and paddle past tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound. Climb soaring peaks in Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains or Chugach Range. Keep an eye out for Dall sheep, moose, and caribou, as well as coastal wildlife like sea otters, seals, and porpoises. Along the way, develop the skills you need to lead, manage risk, and teach in the wilderness.

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Default avatar
Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

experiment

Living with the same 11 peers for seventy days forced me to clearly state my expectations. NOLS is a great place to fail. After growing up in Alaska, I have not felt as safe in the Alaskan wilderness as when I was with my NOLS instructors. This trust allowed me to reach for my comfort zone in terms of physical and emotional demands. With whom else can you loose your way in the Alaskan wilderness and have very little consequence? NOLS changed the way I live.

What would you improve about this program?
More readings. More lessons on what to do when things go wrong.
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Asa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

My semester in Alaska in 2013 was most likly the highlight of my life thus far. It changed me inside and out, and was a catlyst to many changes in my life. I would strongly encourage anyone even remotely considering it (and those who aren't yet) to do it. I could not have asked for anything better.

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Andrew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

My experience was amazing. waking up early and moving all day is the best. Every day is eventful and new. A semester in a tent was the coolest experience ive ever had. The meals were great and included a wide variety of options.

What would you improve about this program?
The bear protocol was really strict, this kinda took away from the ability to have self reflection time.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jack
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Leading a Rope Team for the First Time

During my NOLS Semester in Alaska, I was given the chance to lead a rope team over glacier travel. It was one of the most incredible experiences and will stick with me forever. The instructors were all great and very motivating. They pushed you to your maximum ability and taught you so much about the outdoors.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that my NOLS semester was one of the best experiences of my life. That being said I think that NOLS Alaska could improve by letting the students know what section they are going to start with before they arrive on the NOLS grounds.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Zoe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

MEGA semester in Alaska

The semester I spent in Alaska was the best decision I have ever made. With a group of 11 students and 3 instructors, we spent 23 days sea kayaking then 48 days backpacking and mountaineering. Though some days were long and taxing, the experience was one I couldn't have gotten anywhere else. Some highlights included river crossings, getting food drops via bush plane, summiting mountains, ice climbing, repelling into crevasses, kayaking with whales, and meeting unbelievably cool people -- this program is the best and I highly recommend it.

12 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers