Backpacking Courses

IWLS backpacking courses are held in some of the wildest and most scenic areas on earth. From the plains of Africa’s Serengeti to the granite bowls and alpine lakes of North America’s Cascade Mountains, students have the opportunity to explore and learn in a huge variety of landscapes and ecosystems. These backpacking courses teach participants to be safe, knowledgeable and confident leaders in a backcountry setting.

Imagine routefinding across a vast expanse of tundra in Canada’s Yukon Territory or working with fellow participants to cross a swift creek rushing out of the high country of Patagonia. Or enjoy a gourmet backpack meal while nestled into the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest in Olympic National Park. Our backpacking courses explore a variety of terrain and locations, while teaching you skills at the highest standard of the outdoor industry.

Yukon Territory
12 and 24 days

The expansive wilderness of the Yukon captivates backpackers as they hike over high mountain passes overlooking glaciers, safely cross braided river channels, or navigate through alpine tundra filled with wildflowers. Herds of mountain goats and dall sheep, brown bears and black bears, caribou, moose and sometimes wolves are spotted by students on backpacking courses in the Yukon.

Pacific Northwest
12 and 24 days

The extensive trail system among the mountains, glaciers, and valleys of North Cascades National Park are an excellent classroom for students learning backcountry and leadership skills. You’ll gain confidence through experience as you explore the forests, rivers, and alpine meadows of the area.

12 and 24 days

The mountains and valleys surrounding Mendoza offer world class backpacking routes. This high desert region, complete with fascinating geology, challenging terrain, and incredible views, gives IWLS students a unique backpacking experience in one of the least traveled areas of the region.

12 and 24 days

IWLS backpacking courses in Patagonia are taught in the shadow of the unique glaciated mountains of Los Glaciares National Park. You’ll hike beneath the stunning peaks of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre while developing leadership skills. We begin our course in the small outpost of Chalten, located at the bottom of the South American continent.

12 and 24 days

Meet a Masai warrior walking the plains of the Serengeti, trek alongside the glaciers of Kilimanjaro, and learn the basics of Swahili in order to purchase fresh fruit in a market. This backpacking course begins with a hiking safari around the Ngorongoro Crater. Next, you’ll climb to the summit of Mt. Meru (14,967ft/4,562m), a spectacular caldera and area that sees few people.

12 and 24 days

The Khumbu region of Nepal is one of the special mountain areas in the world.  While here, we will visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath, the Buddhist shrine Bodhnath, the Hindu temple Pashupatinath as well as the historic Durbar Square.  You’ll trek beneath the Himalayan giants of Lhotse and Everest on this awe inspiring leadership course.

DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information.