Adventure Treks

Adventure Treks


Adventure Treks has been running programs since 1993, serving more than 18,000 teenagers through our one-, two-, three-, and four-week outdoor adventure camps. In 2020 we developed our Leadership Adventure Semester (LAS), which offers a profound and intensive opportunity to deepen outdoor, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Students will receive 14 credits from Western Carolina University for the 74-day fall semester program and gain mastery in outdoor skills like backpacking, mountain biking, mountaineering, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and canoeing. LAS also emphasizes non-cognitive skills like leadership, communication, collaboration, and community-building—skills necessary to succeed in today’s world.



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Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Way to Start a Gap Year

The Leadership Adventure Semester with Adventure Treks was a truly wonderful experience. For a such new program, it was thoughtfully planned and every aspect was excellent. The location was wonderful, as western North Carolina is incredibly beautiful and has plentiful opportunities for many different kinds of recreation. The staff are all amazing, skilled, charismatic, and kind people who are eager to help you learn and grow as a person. So beyond thankful for this community. If you're uncertain about signing up, just do it! You won't regret it. It gave me so much more confidence for leading wilderness expeditions, and for life in general.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure Treks Gap Semester

This experience was unique for me because it helped me grow as a person and push me to limits i didn't think were possible. I figured out so many new things about myself I didn't know I liked, could do or overcome. I recommend this Gap semester because it is a once in a lifetime thing and it will prepare you immensely for college. It is an amazing experience that will change your life forever and it will leave you seeing the world in a whole different perspective. I highly recommend this trip!!.

  • Mountain Biking
  • Climbing
  • community bonding
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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.
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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.
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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.


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