High Sierra

High Sierra

High Trails Adventure - Grades 9-12

Challenge and excitement best describe this incredible trip out in California. Experience the variety of the Golden State from alpine hiking in Yosemite’s high country to trekking among Redwoods to the spectacular snow-capped summit of Mount Shasta. Raft the whitewater of the American River and surf at Half Moon Bay.

21 Days

$4,995

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

Day 1

Passing over the unmistakable Golden Gate Bridge, your plane will set down in San Francisco. Excited to jumpstart your adventure, you will be greeted by your trip leaders and your group who will unmistakably share your enthusiasm. While new at first, it’s amazing how much you can have in common with your fellow trip mates from all over the country. After the entire group finds each other and assembles, you’ll hit the road towards your first beachside campsite. Once there, you’ll take the time to set up your tent for the first time, learn how to use the group gear, and get to know your group by playing games. That night you’ll enjoy your first meal under the Californian stars and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for the days to come.

Day 2-3

Your first activity will be two days of fun and excitement on the waves at Half Moon Bay! Working with skilled surfing instructors, you’ll spend the next couple of days quickly learning the basics of this fun sport. You’ll be hanging ten on the famous California surf within a couple of hours.

Day 4-6

Next up is spending time in Yosemite National Park! You and your group will explore the famous views and sites within this iconic destination. A day hike will warm up your legs and take you from thriving alpine meadows, to glassy emerald lakes, to valley fields of mountain wild flower. You’ll hardly believe you’ve covered such drastically diverse landscape by foot alone. All in all, your time spent in the Yosemite wilderness will surely set a positive tone for the rest of your trip. But most of all, you’ll be amazed at the noticeable transition you and your fellow trip mates have made from a group of students to an inseparable team.

Day 7-8

After your invigorating days in Yosemite have come to a close, your day of departure will be a welcomed change of pace. You’ll set out traveling westward toward the thrilling American River. You’ll take to the whitewater of the American River. Professional guides will teach you all you need to know in order to conquer these class III rapids. Your guides will also share tales from the Gold Rush days as you stop for lunch along the riverbank.

On your way though California’s Central Valley, you and your group will be sure to take advantage of the numerous roadside farmer’s stands to pick up some freshly harvested Californian vegetables. You’ll take the next day to prepare for your next excursion – backpacking through California’s Trinity Alps. Once you’ve finished grocery shopping, learning to properly pack your backpack, and divy out the group gear evenly, you’ll hang out at your frontcountry campground for the night and relax with some frisbee golf and a refreshing swim in the lake.

Day 9-14

One of California’s best kept secrets, the Trinity Alps provides a setting of Granite Spires, azure lakes, snow fields, and flower-filled meadows. The Trinity Alps is the second largest wilderness area in California and is a mysterious alpine paradise.  Here, as you backpack through these magical trails with your group, you will increase your strength and refine your backcountry skills. Route finding and navigation, food prep, Leave No Trace principles, and leadership skills will set the stage for your group’s upcoming summit climb of one of the most impressive peaks in the Coastal Range.

Day 15-18

Following your adventure through the Trinity Alps, you will set your sights north to the culminating activity of your High Sierra adventure – Mt. Shasta. You will spend a day preparing for your climb and gathering the specialized gear you will need for your summit attempt.  The following day, to further compliment your backcountry skills, you’ll spend two days in mountaineering school prior to your summit attempt. Among other skills, you’ll become educated on how to use ice axes, crampons and to travel in a rope team. Then finally, you’ll attempt to scale this impressive 14,179 foot spire. Climbing and working as a team, you will quickly see how naturally everything you’ve learned throughout your trip comes into play. Your summit experience will surely be a team victory, but truly a personal triumph as well.

Day 19-21

As you make your way south back towards to Bay Area, a visit to Muir Woods National Monument will allow you to experience the towering old-growth redwood trees. For your final two days together, you’ll be rejoining civilization. While exploring beautiful San Francisco sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll browse through stores and souvenir shop for friends and family. Lastly, when your days together have drawn to a close, you’ll gather for one last time to enjoy a feast fitting of your journey’s memorable moments and glorious victories in the traditional end of trip banquet. As you must part ways, you will do so with a world of memories, experiences, and reassurance that you’ll keep in touch with so many of the special individuals that seem like family.

Day 1

Passing over the unmistakable Golden Gate Bridge, your plane will set down in San Francisco. Excited to jumpstart your adventure, you will be greeted by your trip leaders and your group who will unmistakably share your enthusiasm. While new at first, it’s amazing how much you can have in common with your fellow trip mates from all over the country. After the entire group finds each other and assembles, you’ll hit the road towards your first beachside campsite. Once there, you’ll take the time to set up your tent for the first time, learn how to use the group gear, and get to know your group by playing games. That night you’ll enjoy your first meal under the Californian stars and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for the days to come.

Day 2-3

Your first activity will be two days of fun and excitement on the waves at Half Moon Bay! Working with skilled surfing instructors, you’ll spend the next couple of days quickly learning the basics of this fun sport. You’ll be hanging ten on the famous California surf within a couple of hours.

Day 4-6

Next up is spending time in Yosemite National Park! You and your group will explore the famous views and sites within this iconic destination. A day hike will warm up your legs and take you from thriving alpine meadows, to glassy emerald lakes, to valley fields of mountain wild flower. You’ll hardly believe you’ve covered such drastically diverse landscape by foot alone. All in all, your time spent in the Yosemite wilderness will surely set a positive tone for the rest of your trip. But most of all, you’ll be amazed at the noticeable transition you and your fellow trip mates have made from a group of students to an inseparable team.

Day 7-8

After your invigorating days in Yosemite have come to a close, your day of departure will be a welcomed change of pace. You’ll set out traveling westward toward the thrilling American River. You’ll take to the whitewater of the American River. Professional guides will teach you all you need to know in order to conquer these class III rapids. Your guides will also share tales from the Gold Rush days as you stop for lunch along the riverbank.

On your way though California’s Central Valley, you and your group will be sure to take advantage of the numerous roadside farmer’s stands to pick up some freshly harvested Californian vegetables. You’ll take the next day to prepare for your next excursion – backpacking through California’s Trinity Alps. Once you’ve finished grocery shopping, learning to properly pack your backpack, and divy out the group gear evenly, you’ll hang out at your frontcountry campground for the night and relax with some frisbee golf and a refreshing swim in the lake.

Day 9-14

One of California’s best kept secrets, the Trinity Alps provides a setting of Granite Spires, azure lakes, snow fields, and flower-filled meadows. The Trinity Alps is the second largest wilderness area in California and is a mysterious alpine paradise.  Here, as you backpack through these magical trails with your group, you will increase your strength and refine your backcountry skills. Route finding and navigation, food prep, Leave No Trace principles, and leadership skills will set the stage for your group’s upcoming summit climb of one of the most impressive peaks in the Coastal Range.

Day 15-18

Following your adventure through the Trinity Alps, you will set your sights north to the culminating activity of your High Sierra adventure – Mt. Shasta. You will spend a day preparing for your climb and gathering the specialized gear you will need for your summit attempt.  The following day, to further compliment your backcountry skills, you’ll spend two days in mountaineering school prior to your summit attempt. Among other skills, you’ll become educated on how to use ice axes, crampons and to travel in a rope team. Then finally, you’ll attempt to scale this impressive 14,179 foot spire. Climbing and working as a team, you will quickly see how naturally everything you’ve learned throughout your trip comes into play. Your summit experience will surely be a team victory, but truly a personal triumph as well.

Day 19-21

As you make your way south back towards to Bay Area, a visit to Muir Woods National Monument will allow you to experience the towering old-growth redwood trees. For your final two days together, you’ll be rejoining civilization. While exploring beautiful San Francisco sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll browse through stores and souvenir shop for friends and family. Lastly, when your days together have drawn to a close, you’ll gather for one last time to enjoy a feast fitting of your journey’s memorable moments and glorious victories in the traditional end of trip banquet. As you must part ways, you will do so with a world of memories, experiences, and reassurance that you’ll keep in touch with so many of the special individuals that seem like family.