Mountain School

Spring 2022: Choose Your Own Adventure

This Spring, North Cascades Institute is offering a "Choose Your Own Adventure" model of Mountain School to meet the needs of school districts, teachers and students.

Schools have the choice to spend a day at the Environmental Learning Center in North Cascades National Park or visit Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Wash. to explore the wild nearby and engage in service work. Both programs start with a virtual program to help orient students to their day trip experience and get them excited about the trip.  If you are interested in learning more about the "Choose Your Own Adventure" model of Mountain School, click here for program details. If you have questions, please email


Last fall, Mountain School welcomed fifth and sixth grade students and teachers from Bellingham, the Methow Valley, Mount Vernon and Burlington to the Environmental Learning Center and nearby parks. 


Our program goals remain to promote stewardship, practice observation and inquiry of the natural world, develop a sense of place and connection to local landscapes and cultivate community in class groups. Whether on the shores of Diablo Lake or in a park near schools, our instructors will provide a sense of wonder and fun for students and teachers alike.


Read more about Mountain School's "Choose Your Own Adventure" model in our blog post "Mountain School is Back!"


Residential Mountain School

Mountain School is a nationally recognized environmental education program offered by North Cascades Institute in cooperation with North Cascades National Park. Mountain School students come to the North Cascades with their school class, teacher and chaperones to learn about the ecosystems and natural and cultural history of the mountains. Mountain School gives young people an experience they will remember forever.

The 3-day 2-night program is based at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center located in North Cascades National Park. The fall season operates from September through November. The spring season operates from March through June. While at Mountain School students spend a majority of their time outside, hiking on trails and exploring the watersheds, forests, plants and wildlife of the North Cascades ecosystems first-hand through interdisciplinary activities in science, math, art, social studies and conservation.

Welcome to Mountain School: What are YOU looking forward to?

Bienvenido a Mountain School: ¿Qué estás esperando?


  • Mountain-School-Classroom

    The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is located in North Cascades National Park in the heart of the North Cascades Ecosystem. Located on the shores of Diablo Lake, the award-winning residential campus features classrooms, outdoor learning shelters, a library, dining hall, lodges and a trail system.

  • Mountain School Staff

    Program Staff

    North Cascades Institute staff and National Park rangers lead students on an educational journey in the North Cascades

  • Mountain School Curriculum

    Students spend the majority of their time outside, hiking on trails and exploring mountain ecosystems  through hands-on interdisciplinary activities. Experiential activities in science, math, art, social studies and conservation fill days to the brim.

Photo Icon Peter James Photography


Mountain School @ Home


Students! Parents! Teachers! During the school closures and stay-at-home guidelines of 2020, North Cascades Institute shared lessons and activities created by our talented Mountain School instructors. We hope these will inspire students of all ages to continue to learn about the natural world and discover new connections to the outdoors from home.

Explore resources to bring Mountain School home!