Backcountry Program

Backcountry programming has been canceled for Summer 2020 and will return summer 2021. 

Youth Leadership Adventures Backcountry trips are for motivated high school students seeking a fun and challenging summer adventure in the North Cascades!

Our 8 and 12-day long backpacking and/or canoe camping field courses connect 9th-12th grade students to the natural world while giving them the knowledge and skills to understand how climate change is affecting the North Cascades. In partnership with North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, high school aged participants canoe, backpack, camp and complete stewardship projects in the North Cascades while receiving hands-on training in outdoor leadership, field science, communication skills and public speaking. No experience is necessary and scholarships are widely available!

Following the course, alumni may attend the Environmental Leaders Summit in Seattle, receive year-round mentorship and engage in local stewardship opportunities. 

Courses are designed for students who have no prior outdoor experience; all gear, food, and transportation from Skagit and Whatcom counties is provided.

Why participate?

  • Canoe and backpack in the North Cascades
  • Learn about ecology, geology, cultural history and climate science
  • Meet new people
  • Develop leadership and communication skills
  • Enhance your resume and college application
  • Practice public speaking through a culminating presentation
  • Earn 15-20 community service hours by completing a stewardship project
  • Have a great adventure!