The Great Northwest hiking

The Great Northwest

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Tuition $6,495

Grades

9-12

Days

35

Dates
Jun 28 - Aug 1
Activities

Backpack, Hike, Mountaineer, Surf, Whitewater Raft

Arrival Location

Seattle, WA

Departure Location

Seattle, WA

Trip Overview

Travel through one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth as you adventure in the great states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Backpack Washington’s Olympic Beach Peninsula and surf the Oregon coast. Hit the trail once again in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon, then shift north to experience Idaho’s great Salmon River. Return to Washington to trek through the stunning North Cascades and culminate your trip by summiting the quintessential glaciated peak of Mt. Baker. This five-week adventure will take you to a land of lush rainforests and towering volcanoes where you will hone your outdoor backcountry skills. Wilderness Adventures is a permittee of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, the Oregon Marine Board, and Wallowa Whitman National Forest.

The Great Northwest backpacking
The Great Northwest hiking
The Great Northwest mountaineering
The Great Northwest mountaineering
The Great Northwest surfing
The Great Northwest surfing
The Great Northwest whitewater rafting
The Great Northwest whitewater rafting

Activities

Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.

Travelers standing next to a surf board

Itinerary

Starting off your adventure in Seattle, you will meet your trip leaders and fellow trip mates at the airport. With gorgeous views of the Cascade Range already in sight, you will travel to your first campsite on the shores of Dash Point State Park. Sitting around the campfire on the first night with unobstructed views of Puget Sound, you will rest assured that your adventure is off to a perfect start!

The adventure will begin in earnest in Olympic National Park with the first backpacking section of the trip. While traveling along the last remaining wilderness beach in the contiguous United States, there will be innumerable sights to see! From rainforests of Douglas Firs, Sitka Spruces, and Western Cedars to historic shipwrecks and ancient Makan whaling village remains, each day will provide new and different views. You may even see some wildlife along the way as this beautiful coastline is home to bald eagles, bears, deer, seals, otters, and, if you’re really lucky, whales! Along the way, you will practice backcountry living skills and essentials such as cooking, Leave No Trace principles, map and compass navigation, and more.

After a few days of trekking through the wilderness, it will be time to take a little break and hit the beach! You may not think of Oregon as a mecca for surfing, but there are fantastic opportunities to surf on Oregon’s northern beaches. Working with professional surf instructors, you will spend a couple of days learning about everything from ocean awareness and water safety to surfing etiquette and techniques. Hang ten! Every night after surfing you’ll camp in an oceanside park; it’ll be the perfect location for sunset watching and s’mores roasting.

After getting your feet wet, your group will pack your bags for your second round of backpacking. This time, you will head to the far northwest corner of the country, to the spectacular North Cascades! This extensive mountain wilderness of rugged, glacier-carved peaks; high lakes; and deep, lush forests is truly one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges. It has earned its nickname: “The “American Alps.” You will backpack through this incredible wilderness full of dense forests, snowfields, and meadows full of wildflowers.

Moving from the wilderness trails to the snow fields, you will join climbing guides as you prepare for your final challenge as a group. Mt. Baker is the highest peak in the North Cascade Range, towering at 10,781 feet. With ropes, crampons, and ice axes at the ready, you will proceed through an instructional mountaineering course at base camp to ensure that you and your group are ready for the big climb!

Following your summit attempt of Mt. Baker, you and your group will travel through the Columbia River Gorge and head to the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains. This is the largest wilderness area in Oregon and the views are spectacular. After mountaineering and snow climbing, you will be well prepared for this four-day, three-night high alpine backpacking adventure. Navigating through glacier-carved valleys and gorgeous lakes high above tree line, this section of backpacking will continue to stretch your backcountry comfort and knowledge.

As a fantastic reward following your adventure in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, you’ll set aside your packs and hop on the river! Rated as one of the premiere rafting trips in the country, you will embark on a 70 mile journey from the Lower Salmon River to the Snake River. You will have the opportunity to navigate your boat through exhilarating river sections full of rapids with appropriate titles such as Demons Drop, The Gobbler, and Wild Goose. Each night, you’ll find “home” on a white sand beach where the group will set up camp and cook delicious food over a driftwood fire.

After celebrating at the summit of Mt. Baker, you will make your way back to Seattle, where it all began. You’ll explore the local area on your last set of day hikes within the area. On the final evening of your trip, you will celebrate all of your accomplishments as a group and the friendships you have made throughout this incredible adventure at the traditional end-of-trip banquet. That next morning, you’ll fly back home with stories to tell and memories that will last a lifetime.

I had so much fun and I have a very accomplished feeling. I came out of this trip with great friends and great memories.

-May, 2019 The Great Northwest Student

Trip Price Includes

  • Accommodations
  • Activities
  • Meals
  • Group gear

Not Included

  • Personal gear and clothing
  • Airfare to and from the trip start and end
Travelers all jumping in the air

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Tuition $6,495

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