High Sierra

High Sierra

High Trails Adventure - Grades 9-12

Challenge and excitement best describe this incredible California adventure. Experience the variety of the Golden State as you hike in Yosemite’s high country, trek among Redwoods, climb to the spectacular snow-capped summit of Mt. Shasta, whitewater raft the American River, and surf at Half Moon Bay.

21 Days

$4,995

  • June 20th - July 10th
  • July 13th - August 2nd
  • 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 equally enthusiastic group. Over the next three weeks  you will discover how much you can have in common with your fellow trip mates from all over the country. After the entire group assembles, you’ll hit the road towards your first beachside campsite where you’ll 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! The first stop will be at the Half Moon Bay Board Shop to get fitted for wetsuits. The surfing beach is quite conveniently located just a few miles up the road from where the group will be camping. Well protected by northwest winds, the beach here is perfect for beginner level waves. All of the lessons include a surfboard, safety instruction, the practice of proper surf etiquette, hands-on instruction, and a lot of fun! Working with skilled surfing instructors, you’ll spend the next couple of days quickly learning the basics. You’ll be hanging ten on the famous California surf within a couple of hours.

Day 4-6

Next up will be a trip to Yosemite National Park! You 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 and valley fields of mountain wildflowers. There are few other places where you can see such diverse landscapes while traveling by foot alone. Your time spent in the Yosemite wilderness will surely set a positive tone for the rest of your trip, and 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. Next, you’ll take to the whitewater of the thrilling 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 through 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 a 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 dividing up the group gear evenly, you’ll hang out at your front country campground for the night and relax with some frisbee golf and a refreshing swim in the lake.

Day 9-14

Despite its being the second largest wilderness area in the state, the Trinity Alps are one of California’s best kept secrets. This mysterious alpine paradise is full of  Granite Spires, azure lakes, snow fields, and flower-filled meadows. As you backpack through these magical trails with your group, you will increase your strength and refine your backcountry skills. You’ll practice route finding and navigation, food prep, Leave No Trace principles, and leadership skills as you prepare for your group’s upcoming 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. To further compliment your backcountry skills, you’ll spend two days in mountaineering school prior to your summit attempt. You’ll learn to use ice axes and crampons and how 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 be both a team victory and a personal triumph.

Day 19-21

As you make your way south back towards the 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 rejoin civilization. While exploring beautiful San Francisco sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll browse through stores and souvenir shops for friends and family. Lastly, when your days together have drawn to a close, you’ll gather one last time to enjoy a celebratory feast in the traditional end of trip banquet. You will part ways the next morning full of memories of new experiences and the reassurance that you’ll keep in touch with so many of the special individuals who now 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 equally enthusiastic group. Over the next three weeks  you will discover how much you can have in common with your fellow trip mates from all over the country. After the entire group assembles, you’ll hit the road towards your first beachside campsite where you’ll 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! The first stop will be at the Half Moon Bay Board Shop to get fitted for wetsuits. The surfing beach is quite conveniently located just a few miles up the road from where the group will be camping. Well protected by northwest winds, the beach here is perfect for beginner level waves. All of the lessons include a surfboard, safety instruction, the practice of proper surf etiquette, hands-on instruction, and a lot of fun! Working with skilled surfing instructors, you’ll spend the next couple of days quickly learning the basics. You’ll be hanging ten on the famous California surf within a couple of hours.

Day 4-6

Next up will be a trip to Yosemite National Park! You 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 and valley fields of mountain wildflowers. There are few other places where you can see such diverse landscapes while traveling by foot alone. Your time spent in the Yosemite wilderness will surely set a positive tone for the rest of your trip, and 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. Next, you’ll take to the whitewater of the thrilling 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 through 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 a 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 dividing up the group gear evenly, you’ll hang out at your front country campground for the night and relax with some frisbee golf and a refreshing swim in the lake.

Day 9-14

Despite its being the second largest wilderness area in the state, the Trinity Alps are one of California’s best kept secrets. This mysterious alpine paradise is full of  Granite Spires, azure lakes, snow fields, and flower-filled meadows. As you backpack through these magical trails with your group, you will increase your strength and refine your backcountry skills. You’ll practice route finding and navigation, food prep, Leave No Trace principles, and leadership skills as you prepare for your group’s upcoming 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. To further compliment your backcountry skills, you’ll spend two days in mountaineering school prior to your summit attempt. You’ll learn to use ice axes and crampons and how 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 be both a team victory and a personal triumph.

Day 19-21

As you make your way south back towards the 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 rejoin civilization. While exploring beautiful San Francisco sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll browse through stores and souvenir shops for friends and family. Lastly, when your days together have drawn to a close, you’ll gather one last time to enjoy a celebratory feast in the traditional end of trip banquet. You will part ways the next morning full of memories of new experiences and the reassurance that you’ll keep in touch with so many of the special individuals who now seem like family.