NOLS Leadership Expedition: Alaska

Two Week Travel Program
AGES 15-18

NEW in 2023, Telluride Academy is partnering with the National Outdoor Leadership School for a teen backpacking expedition to Alaska! This is an exciting opportunity for students to get the full NOLS experience with other students who have grown up in TA programming. Push yourself to explore a vast and beautiful landscape. Explore terrain that few people ever see, surrounded by endless tundra, near 24-hour daylight, and caribou herds. You’ll become a seasoned wilderness traveler, learning to read a map, navigate off-trail, and scan the horizon for moose and Dall sheep. If you want to grow as a leader in one of the United States’ biggest wilderness areas, this is the course for you.

You will spend two weeks backpacking among the towering peaks and immense snow-covered summits that characterize Alaska’s world-famous mountains. Your course will begin with the basics, including camping, cooking and foundational mountain travel skills. This course focuses on learning to live well and care for yourself, your fellow expedition members, your equipment, and the environment. You may cross large, glacier-fed rivers or negotiate slopes of loose scree and dense vegetation. By the end of the expedition, you will have had numerous opportunities to practice the leadership and outdoor skills needed to plan and carry out your own backpacking trips. Students will rotate leading the group for the day with mentoring and coaching from instructors. Backpacking experience is not required, but students should be willing and excited to push themselves to new heights!


Travel day: July 15
Course: July 16 – 29

*Students will arrive home the evening of July 29

Course Documents:

Course Description
Equipment List
Travel and Logistics

Additional Trip Information:

Important Due Dates:

Enrollment Deadline – April 17, 2023 (At this time, we will determine if we have enough students to run the course.)

Deposit Deadline – The $500 tuition deposit is due at the time of enrollment. (The course tuition deposit is required to complete the enrollment process.)

Full Tuition Due – May 2, 2023 (Including $250 Equipment Deposit) and ALL course paperwork.

Important information about student health clearance:

Students with a health form that our health review specialist needs to review will be contacted within six months of the course start date.

Instructions for Enrollment:

*Pro tip: If you already have a NOLS account, log in at first, then fill out the application.

Use the enrollment link below to access the application.

Telluride Academy Leadership Expedition

Step 1

  • Under *I am applying for: Select “Someone Else” if enrolling your child.

  • After selecting “Someone Else,” Fill out the top section with your own (the parent/guardian) information. This includes the “Create Account” section with your username and password. The second half of Step 1 is the student section, where you will enter your child’s information.

  • Click continue. You’re almost done!

  • On the following page, you may enter a discount code if you have one and click “Apply Discount.”

  • Otherwise, Click “Continue” and pay the $500 tuition deposit. A receipt will be emailed to you.

Step 2

Check your email for an activation email from NOLS. Click “activate account” to navigate to the NOLS website and log in.

Once you log in, you will see the student dashboard for the expedition.

The student dashboard has all the information you need for your expedition!

  • Paperwork to fill out and return to NOLS

  • Your NOLS admissions officer’s contact information

  • The packing list

  • Additional trip information

NOLS Cancelation Policy:

PLEASE NOTE: The cancelation policy for this program is DIFFERENT than Telluride Academy’s cancelation policy. Please see NOLS’ cancelation policy below:

For NOLS Custom Education students paying full or partial tuition, if you cancel or leave for any reason:
NOLS retains the non-refundable, non-transferable deposit due with application (amount varies).

Between 45 and 60 days before the course starting date, NOLS will retain 25 percent of the course tuition.

Between 30 and 44 days before the course starting date, NOLS will retain 50 percent of the course tuition.

Less than 30 days before the course starting date, NOLS will retain 100 percent of the course tuition.
If you have paid an equipment deposit, it will be fully refunded.

*Parents will have the option to purchase third-party travel insurance called TPP (Tuition Protection Program) during the registration process.

Contact 1.800.710.6657 or with any technical difficulties.


Status: open

Camp Type: Two Week Travel Program

TUITION: $5180

AGES: 15-18

Challenge Level: 5

Telluride Academy's Overnight Policy

Our talented instructors work hard to combat student homesickness on overnight programs. For many students, this experience might be their first time camping or away from home! In the days leading up to the overnight(s), the instructors have positive conversations with the groups to get them excited and prepared for their overnight adventures. This dynamic gets interrupted when a student is picked up early from their overnight. For this reason, we can not accommodate early pick-ups, unless in the case of an emergency. If your child does not want to attend the overnight, or if you have prior commitments that require early pick-up accommodations, we ask that you consider choosing a day program instead. Please call our office with any questions or concerns.