Outdoor Education

The Natural World

By Maggie Perkins March 14, 2024

With 50+ years of experience in youth summer wilderness trips, Wilderness Adventures knows a thing or two when it comes to outdoor education and recreation. We have seen, summer after summer, year after year, students leaving their Wilderness Adventures trips feeling a profound connection to the special places they got to experience and an improved sense of confidence in their ability to persevere through challenges. Whether it was a remote backcountry campsite on a lake in Yellowstone National Park, or snorkeling with Manta Rays in Hawaii, Wilderness Adventures understands that magic happens when students can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, and enjoy the simplicity of life around a campfire. The ability to unplug and connect with a new group of people in an unfamiliar place is part of the magic of our programs. 

Wilderness Adventures is lucky to hold many unique and hard-to-get permits to remote wilderness areas all across the United States. These permits allow our students to explore remote parts of our country, and marvel at all the natural wonders in our National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Some of our amazing locations include:

View of the Grand Teton in a wildflower field.

Grand Teton National Park – Jackson Hole, WY

  • Yellowstone Teton Discovery – This amazing introductory trip, designed with young adventurers in mind, offers a wide variety of adventures in the finest settings of the Old West. From alpine forests to hot springs, and camping at the foot of the Tetons, adventure awaits your student right in WA’s backyard!
  • Yellowstone Explorer – A budding 7th-9th grade outdoor enthusiast with a taste for adventure will love getting to experience the Tetons and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by sea kayak and on foot. This program will challenge students in backcountry settings, teaching them valuable camping skills and giving them a glimpse at the amazing ecosystems right outside of Jackson Hole, WY!
  • Grand Teton – High Schoolers with their sights set high need not look higher than 13,775’, or the summit of the Grand Teton! Young climbers will thrive on this program, designed to challenge and delight. Experience the TetonWilderness on a multi-night backpacking trip, enjoy the tranquil waters of Lewis and Shoshone Lakes in Yellowstone National Park, and see the valley of Jackson spread out below you from the summit of the Grand Teton!

Two people sea kayaking in the Prince William Sound.

The Prince William Sound – Whittier, AK

  • Alaska Explorer – Experience the Land of Midnight Sun on this adventure for 8th and 9th graders! Students will backpack through remote Alaskan wilderness, learning how to cook on backcountry stoves and purify water. Keeping their eyes peeled for wildlife all the while, students will walk away from their adventure with a profound appreciation for the simplicity of life in the wilderness!
  • Alaska High TrailsFor 4 days, students on this program will paddle through the pristine waters of the Prince William Sound, among stunning glaciers and wildlife. At night, they will set up camp on the beaches of the Sound and warm up by the campfire. 
  • Alaska Southcentral – Beyond days spent ice climbing, backpacking through the rugged Alaskan wilderness, and gliding down the Chickaloon River, students get to experience the pristine waters of the Prince William Sound as they sea kayak amongst whales past towering glaciers for 8 days on this great Alaskan odyssey. 

The Oregon Coast with two surfers carrying surfboards together.

The Oregon Coast

  • Pacific Northwest DiscoveryWith its snow-capped volcanoes, temperate rainforests, coastal headlands, and high desert rivers, the Pacific Northwest provides countless activities for 5th and 6th grade students! This trip includes hiking, surfing, rock climbing, and an overnight whitewater rafting expedition, with a little taste of just about everything, this trip will keep you moving and help the aspiring outdoor enthusiast within you blossom into a capable adventurer!
  • Pacific Northwest Explorer – A program that will excite and delight any young adventurer! Students will head to the beach to take on the waves of the Oregon Coast, and to the mountains to backpack through glacier-carved valleys, climb at the very first sport climbing crag in the US, and work with professional mountain guides to attempt to summit Mt. Adams!
  • Great Northwest – One of Wilderness Adventures’ most historic trips, this epic adventure will take students down the Salmon River, along the Olympic Coast, and up to the summit of Mt. Baker. Students will be in awe of the many different ecosystems they will encounter in their 35 days together, from rainforest to beach, to glaciers and high alpine forests. There is a bit of everything for any curious high school explorer!

We have an adventure for every type of student, the only prerequisite is a passion for trying new things – we will help with the rest! There is no better teacher than nature when it comes to grit and resilience. Lessons learned while on backcountry expeditions will be carried with your student for the rest of their lives. They will build their tenacity, test their limits, and expand what they thought they were capable of

A lot has changed in the world since Wilderness Adventures began leading wilderness experiences for youth in 1973. While the world may look very different than it did 50+ years ago, the core of the Wilderness Adventures experience has remained the same. On a Wilderness Adventures program, students will be presented with invaluable opportunities for personal growth and skill development. We have been passionate about leading youth and fostering a love of the outdoors in our participants. On Wilderness Adventures trips, students will:

  • Unplug from their devices and focus on the places and faces in front of them
  • Strip away the excess of daily life and learn to live simply, with only the things you can carry on your back or in your kayak
  • Learn valuable outdoor living  skills, such as building a fire, setting up a tent, and learning to navigate using a map and compass
  • Overcome challenges and step out of their comfort zones in new and different environments
  • Develop leadership skills, resilience, and tenacity

No matter where your student goes in the world, they will leave their program feeling a connection to the Natural World. Whether it be through the confidence they gained summiting a mountain with their group, stargazing at a campsite in the remote wilderness, or observing wildlife from the comfort of their sea kayak, students will experience a connection to nature that they will carry with them long after their trip ends. 

We believe that this sense of stewardship and respect for nature is essential, and a passion for the outdoors is the strongest way to foster a sense of responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world for future generations. Our amazing permits offer us the opportunity to take students outside and instill in them the tremendous responsibility of protecting and preserving these amazing ecosystems.