California Explorer

California Explorer

Explorer Adventure - Grades 7-9

Backpack the lofty peaks of the Sierra Nevada, raft thrilling Class III whitewater on the American River, trek along a wilderness coastline, paddle rolling waves in an inflatable kayak, surf the California Coast, paddle Monterey Bay in a sea kayak, and hike among the towering Redwoods in a paradise few people ever experience.

21 Days

$4,695

  • June 22nd - July 12th
  • July 15th - August 4th
  • San Francisco, CA

Day 1-2

Soaring into the fantastic San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll know your adventure has begun when you spot the famous Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. As you get off your plane and enter the airport, you’ll have no trouble spotting your new trip leaders – they’re the ones who are just as excited as you are! While gathering your bags, you’ll also meet your new trip mates, all of whom are kids your age with the same passion for the outdoors and adventure. It’s a guaranteed recipe for an amazing summer experience. Once you’re all together, you’ll travel just a short distance to your first campsite. For the rest of the day, you’ll learn to set up your tent, enjoy an awesome first meal as a group, and most importantly, hang out and get to know the people you are going to become so close to over the next several weeks. Following your compass north, you’ll travel over the Golden Gate Bridge and hop on the famous scenic coastal Highway 1. Along the way, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to learn about what makes this picturesque coastal region so unique. From the tiny little fishing towns, to the history of the Miwok Indians, to the dairy industry of the area, you come to find that this region moves at a different pace than the rest of the state does. Towards the end of the day, once you and your group reach camp, you’ll stop, hike around a little bit, have a picnic lunch, and maybe start a pick-up game of frisbee before retiring for the evening. All in all, a pretty good day.

Day 3-8

You will quickly find that the name, “The Lost Coast” of California is a rather appropriate one, as it seems to be a place that time has nearly forgotten. The King Range, an imposing wall of mountains towering 4,000 feet above the black sand beaches, is the reason why this unusual environment has kept itself so private and lost from view. You and your group will travel from the cityscapes to the Lost Coast. Then, over the next several days, you’ll spend your time backpacking along the shoreline, past harbor seals, and tide pools overflowing with starfish and crabs. You may even spot the infrequent surfer or two whom has hiked to the surf in order to truly earn his or her waves for the day. At night you’ll sleep under the Pacific Coast stars, listening to the gentle waves, enjoying your backcountry dinner, and bonding even more with your group over this incredible experience.

Day 9

Over the next day, you’ll plunge through the whitewater rapids of the American River! You and your group will be joined by professional rafting guides who will instruct us on proper paddling techniques, swift-water safety, and also tell us some of the intriguing history that surrounds this river. Rooted deep in Gold Rush history, you’ll sit by the campfire at night listening to your river guides tell tall-tales of adventure in these magnificent gorges.

Day 10-15

For the next several days, you’ll be trekking through the Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Here you’ll put your fundamental backcountry travel skills to work, as well as build on them, as you travel past granite domes, sprawling meadows, and twisting alpine streams. Although Yosemite is normally a frequently visited park, you and your group will reward yourselves with solitude by taking the path less traveled. Once you leave the trailhead behind, you’ll see virtually no one – the high alpine lakes, incredible vistas and star scattered skies will be left just for you!

Day 16-17

Following your time in Yosemite, you and your group will be treaded to showers and laundry, before making your way back to the Pacific Coast. You’ll take advantage of the azure waters off the coast of Monterey Bay. This beautiful environment is home to an abundance of marine mammals, including sea otters, harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins. It also lies on the migratory path of several species of whale. Because of the rich diversity of fauna in the bay, you’ll take the opportunity to visit the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium where you’ll learn about the ecosystem of marine life that you’ve just had the chance to see first hand from your stable, two-person kayaks.

Day 18-20

For as extraordinary as your past days have been, next up you’re going to change the pace a little bit by hitting the waves at Half Moon Bay! With the aid of professional instructors, you’ll hang-ten under the California sun. After your days of surfing are over, you’ll explore San Francisco as a group, before gathering around the table for our celebratory WA banquet. The end of trip WA banquet is a to enjoy each other’s company one last time before your morning departure – it’s truly a great closing event for our unforgettable California adventure.

Day 21

A day of goodbyes, you’ll exchange addresses and farewells before boarding your flight home. In view of all that you’ve experienced together, it’s clear how much you can all agree with Walt Whitman when he said, “Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”

Day 1-2

Soaring into the fantastic San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll know your adventure has begun when you spot the famous Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. As you get off your plane and enter the airport, you’ll have no trouble spotting your new trip leaders – they’re the ones who are just as excited as you are! While gathering your bags, you’ll also meet your new trip mates, all of whom are kids your age with the same passion for the outdoors and adventure. It’s a guaranteed recipe for an amazing summer experience. Once you’re all together, you’ll travel just a short distance to your first campsite. For the rest of the day, you’ll learn to set up your tent, enjoy an awesome first meal as a group, and most importantly, hang out and get to know the people you are going to become so close to over the next several weeks. Following your compass north, you’ll travel over the Golden Gate Bridge and hop on the famous scenic coastal Highway 1. Along the way, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to learn about what makes this picturesque coastal region so unique. From the tiny little fishing towns, to the history of the Miwok Indians, to the dairy industry of the area, you come to find that this region moves at a different pace than the rest of the state does. Towards the end of the day, once you and your group reach camp, you’ll stop, hike around a little bit, have a picnic lunch, and maybe start a pick-up game of frisbee before retiring for the evening. All in all, a pretty good day.

Day 3-8

You will quickly find that the name, “The Lost Coast” of California is a rather appropriate one, as it seems to be a place that time has nearly forgotten. The King Range, an imposing wall of mountains towering 4,000 feet above the black sand beaches, is the reason why this unusual environment has kept itself so private and lost from view. You and your group will travel from the cityscapes to the Lost Coast. Then, over the next several days, you’ll spend your time backpacking along the shoreline, past harbor seals, and tide pools overflowing with starfish and crabs. You may even spot the infrequent surfer or two whom has hiked to the surf in order to truly earn his or her waves for the day. At night you’ll sleep under the Pacific Coast stars, listening to the gentle waves, enjoying your backcountry dinner, and bonding even more with your group over this incredible experience.

Day 9

Over the next day, you’ll plunge through the whitewater rapids of the American River! You and your group will be joined by professional rafting guides who will instruct us on proper paddling techniques, swift-water safety, and also tell us some of the intriguing history that surrounds this river. Rooted deep in Gold Rush history, you’ll sit by the campfire at night listening to your river guides tell tall-tales of adventure in these magnificent gorges.

Day 10-15

For the next several days, you’ll be trekking through the Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Here you’ll put your fundamental backcountry travel skills to work, as well as build on them, as you travel past granite domes, sprawling meadows, and twisting alpine streams. Although Yosemite is normally a frequently visited park, you and your group will reward yourselves with solitude by taking the path less traveled. Once you leave the trailhead behind, you’ll see virtually no one – the high alpine lakes, incredible vistas and star scattered skies will be left just for you!

Day 16-17

Following your time in Yosemite, you and your group will be treaded to showers and laundry, before making your way back to the Pacific Coast. You’ll take advantage of the azure waters off the coast of Monterey Bay. This beautiful environment is home to an abundance of marine mammals, including sea otters, harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins. It also lies on the migratory path of several species of whale. Because of the rich diversity of fauna in the bay, you’ll take the opportunity to visit the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium where you’ll learn about the ecosystem of marine life that you’ve just had the chance to see first hand from your stable, two-person kayaks.

Day 18-20

For as extraordinary as your past days have been, next up you’re going to change the pace a little bit by hitting the waves at Half Moon Bay! With the aid of professional instructors, you’ll hang-ten under the California sun. After your days of surfing are over, you’ll explore San Francisco as a group, before gathering around the table for our celebratory WA banquet. The end of trip WA banquet is a to enjoy each other’s company one last time before your morning departure – it’s truly a great closing event for our unforgettable California adventure.

Day 21

A day of goodbyes, you’ll exchange addresses and farewells before boarding your flight home. In view of all that you’ve experienced together, it’s clear how much you can all agree with Walt Whitman when he said, “Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”