NatureBridge summer backpacking
Discover the Wild

Summer Backpacking

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This summer, learn and grow in one of the United States’ most beautiful protected lands: Olympic or Yosemite National Park.

Our Summer Backpacking programs are designed to develop future environmental leaders as they take students on a challenging physical and academic journey into spectacular wilderness. You will participate in a multi-day backpacking adventure, conduct hands-on science projects and develop your leadership skills. Supported by a new group of friends, you will return home with a deeper connection to nature, empowered to pursue your interest in environmental science.

Programs are available for high school and middle school students. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

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Which adventure will you choose?

Summer 2019 Programs

Yosemite Science Expedition

Immerse yourself in backpacking, in environmental science, and in the wonder of exploring a national park on this exceptional two-week experience. High School Program | Two Weeks | June 23 - July 6, 2019

Students in Yosemite during NatureBridge Summer Backpacking program

Yosemite Science Adventure

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but only have a week to spare this summer. High School Program | One Week | July 13 - July 20, 2019

Backpackers sitting together in Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Science Adventure: Middle School!

New in 2019! Experience the best that Yosemite National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion for middle school students. Middle School Program | One Week | July 7 - July 13, 2019

Students smiling in front of massive tree roots

Olympic Science Expedition

Immerse yourself in backpacking, in environmental science, and in the wonder of exploring a national park on this exceptional two-week experience for high school students. High School Program | Two Weeks | June 23 - July 5, 2019

Students smiling in front of Royal Lake, Olympic National Park

Olympic Science Adventure

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but only have a week to spare this summer. High School Program | One Week | July 7 - July 14, 2019

Student jump at the top of Gray Wolf Pass

Olympic Science Adventure: Middle School!

New in 2019! Experience the best that Olympic National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion for middle school students. Middle School Program | One Week | June 23 - June 29, 2019

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Explore

Our Locations

Olympic National Park Silhouettes

Olympic Summer Backpacking

While hiking through the stunning wilderness and picturesque mountainscapes of Olympic National Park, middle and high school students will learn the work of field scientists and develop their leadership skills while making friendships and connections to nature that last a lifetime. 

Learn more - >>>

NatureBridge campus at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Summer Backpacking

In the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park is home to one of the world’s most striking and beloved landscapes. Towering granite domes, gushing waterfalls, and diverse forest and meadow habitats provide the perfect setting for endless exploration and exciting, hands-on environmental science research. 

Learn more ->>>

Nature, New Friends & New Discoveries
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Why Join?

Explore

  • Hike through the stunning wilderness of a national park
  • Learn the basics of backpacking and backcountry travel
  • Live simply, bringing only what will fit into your (rather large) backpack

Experiment

  • Use science to gain a deeper understanding of your natural surroundings
  • Conduct hands-on science projects
  • Apply your experience to high school capstone projects, college applications, and job resumes

Empower

  • Strengthen your leadership skills
  • Test your decision-making skills as you alternate with your peers as one of two Leaders of the Day
  • Have fun and create long-lasting friendships
  • Return home, supported by a new group of friends and empowered to pursue your interest in environmental science
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Fees and Financial Aid

Enrollment & Tuition: Fees include all meals, lodging and educational experiences. Transportation costs to and from the NatureBridge campus are the responsibility of the participant.

Financial Aid: NatureBridge is committed to making our programs financially accessible to all students. We are pleased to offer financial aid for families who qualify. To apply for financial aid, complete our online financial aid application. Financial aid decisions are based on the family's demonstrated need and the student's commitment to participating in one of our summer backpacking trips. 

Summer 2019 Programs Dates Cost
Olympic Science Expedition June 23 - July 5, 2019 $2,180
Olympic Science Adventure July 7 - July 14, 2019 $1,250
Olympic Science Adventure: Middle School! June 23 - June 29, 2019 $1,190
Yosemite Science Expedition June 23 - July 6, 2019 $2,690
Yosemite Science Adventure July 13 - July 20, 2019 $1,605
Yosemite Science Adventure: Middle School! July 7 - July 13, 2019 $1,550

Our Team

The magic of NatureBridge begins with our staff. Our Summer Backpacking staff consists of three administrative members and 14 year-round environmental science educators. Scroll down to learn more about the people who make up this professional, well-qualified and fun group of people.

Summer Programs Manager Katie DraudeKatie Draude, Summer Programs Manager

Katie worked as an environmental educator for Olympic National Park and NatureBridge for three years, leading Summer Field Research Courses (the predecessor to the Olympic Science Expedition) each summer. Now, as the Summer Programs Manager, Katie enjoys finding ways to get more students backpacking in national parks. When not backpacking or thinking about backpacking, Katie enjoys canoeing on Lake Crescent, playing cribbage, and sipping coffee while watching the ships go by out her back window.

 

John PattonJohn Patton, Science Education Manager at Yosemite

John has spent the past 11 years helping to share the natural world with students as an environmental educator. Upon arriving in the mountains of California in 2010, John found a wild natural place to adventure in and call his home. When not looking under river rocks for tiny aquatic insects, John can be found skiing, fly fishing, snorkeling, and photographing the phenomena of the natural world.

 

 

Chris MorganChris Morgan, Science Education Manager at Olympic

Chris has been involved with connecting youth to the outdoors for 13 years.  He has spent 9 of those years working with NatureBridge trying to provide meaningful wilderness experiences to students both as an educator as and as someone working behind the scenes.  When not trying to help get others outside, you can find Chris getting muddy, wet, and snowy in the forests, rivers, ocean, and mountains of the Olympic Peninsula.

 

Our Educators

Though we can't guarantee who your NatureBridge educators will be, we can promise you that they will be fantastic. Our educators are highly qualified and passionate about the natural world. During the school year, they teach for NatureBridge's Environmental Science Program, working with K-12 school groups in our national park locations. Every educator is trained in Wilderness First Responder and CPR, and has multiple years of teaching experience in formal or informal settings. We maintain a 1:7 ratio adult to teen participant ratio, which works out to two educators per trail group at all times.

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Contact Us

Katie Draude
Summer Programs Manager
415-598-9832
kdraude@naturebridge.org

Go backpacking with NatureBridge this summer!