Northwest Explorer

Northwest Explorer


Challenge Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Pickaxe & Shovel
Trip Highlights
  • Hike the Olympic Mountains & Raft the Sauk River
  • Backpack and Volunteer in North Cascades National Park
  • Sea Kayak the San Juan Islands
  • Explore Seattle
Northwest Explorer Route Image
Trip Details
  • Trip Start: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Trip End: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Age Range: 14 - 16
  • Trip Dates: 7/01-7/20, 7/25-8/13
  • Tuition: $4295
    (airfare not included)

Few regions in North America can compare to the geographical diversity and astounding natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. With snow-blanketed mountains, broad rivers, lush valleys, endless ocean, and abundant wildlife, the region is home to some of the world’s top outdoor recreation. Washington State will be your home for three weeks while you hike the snowy peaks of Olympic and North Cascades National Parks, raft the Sauk River, kayak the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and give back through youth community service. In this spectacular setting you will make new friends, achieve new heights, and expand your world with each day’s adventure.

Olympic National Park & Rafting the Sauk River

We’ll meet in Seattle and enjoy the rest of the day getting to know one another and preparing for our amazing backpacking adventure ahead. Our group will bond quickly as we spend our first days together breaking in our boots and packs amid the majestic peaks of Olympic National Park. After our first taste of backcountry living, we’ll continue north to spend a day rafting the Sauk River with professional guides.

North Cascades National Park & Community Service

From the Sauk, we’ll head to the vast wilderness of North Cascades National Park for backpacking and the community service portion of our trip. After a day of volunteer trail work with Park Rangers, we’ll load up our packs and head into the North Cascades backcountry for an exciting six-day trek. Every day will be a stunning adventure as we hike from unspoiled lowland forests to high alpine country where pristine lakes, glaciers and snow-capped mountains abound.

Sea Kayaking the San Juan Islands & Seattle

Emerging from the backcountry feeling confident and accomplished, we’ll transfer to Puget Sound and trade in our packs for sea kayaks. The San Juan Islands will be our playground for three days as we hone our kayaking skills and explore this diverse coastal ecosystem with professional guides. We’ll camp on uninhabited island beaches, soak up the sun, and keep an eye out for seals, Bald Eagles and orca whales. We’ll finish up our trip back in Seattle where we’ll explore the sights for a day and enjoy a final, celebratory dinner in one of the city’s great restaurants.


This is a moderate trip with some challenging sections, but is well within the range of any reasonably fit and motivated participant.



To check trip availability, please call 207-725-7025, or email for more information.