NOLS Expeditions

Our Difference

NOLS Expeditions Step Forward Video

Step into the Wilderness & Emerge a Leader

Find adventure and perspective. Develop lifelong leadership skills as you dive into our time-tested curriculum. Build courage and competence under the guidance of the best instructors in the industry. 

A NOLS course is an immersive expedition where you will spend time exploring remote, wild places with a tight-knit community of students and instructors.

No experience is required, but by the end you’ll have the skills and experiences to be a leader.  


Find the right expedition for you

Students sitting in a circle listen to a local villager in Tanzania.

Gap Year

You’re ready to take the lead and take time for your future. The extended and immersive lessons of a NOLS gap year are life-changing.
Gap Year Students walking with local villagers from the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalaya.

Study Abroad

Dive into a study abroad experience like no other. Embrace experiential learning in the wilderness, earning academic credit as you get to know a new culture.

Adult Expeditions

NOLS teaches real skills in wild places so you can adventure for a lifetime.
Students loading up their sea kayaks on shore next to the stunning aqua waters of the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico.

Spring Break

Leave the crowded resorts behind and dive into an immersive wilderness expedition.
A student laughs while setting up tents in camp.

Teens: Ages 14-15

Designed for ages 14-15, Adventure courses are a fun way to get started learning leadership and outdoor skills.
Backpacking student with trekking poles hikes across meadow toward rocky peaks in the Wind River Range.

Teens: Ages 16-17

Designed for ages 16-17, Adventure courses are a fun way to get started learning leadership and outdoor skills.

Find your community

Women (Ages 23+)

Grow your wilderness skills and confidence in a community of self-identified women. Return empowered to lead in the outdoors and beyond.

People of Color

Explore, learn, and build community in the wilderness with peers who self-identify as People of Color.


Use your AmeriCorps education award to explore the world on a NOLS course.
Students pause while mountaineering at to watch the sunrise.


You’ve dedicated your life to service. A NOLS course can honor your experience and create opportunities to take your skills to new heights.
Four girls pose on a mountain slope in the Pacific Northwest while backpacking.

Girls (Ages 14 & 15)

You’re looking for adventure. Join a group of motivated teens to build your self-confidence and learn to lead in the outdoors.
Rainbow in Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains with cluster of NOLS tents nearby.


Explore the wilderness in a queer-positive community. Develop your outdoor and leadership skills with peers who self-identify as LGBTQ+.

Explore the World

See All NOLS Campuses


While I learned many skills that are important for success in rock climbing and the outdoors in general, the most valuable take away from this course were the relationships I have forged and the confidence I have to take on a leadership role in not only the outdoors but in other aspects of my personal and professional life. During my course, I learned how to create an environment where communication between an entire group leads to effective and positive decisions. I learned how taking into account individual differences can lead to different dynamics in cooperation. 

Max DeZarate Southwest Rock Climbing grad