Hailing from Tucson, AZ, Niels most recently called California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains home, where he worked on ski patrol. He’s also worked as a naturalist at Naturalists at Large across California, and at the Walking Mountains Science Center in Colorado—the latter where he developed lesson plans and led guided nature walks. Before that, he worked at Cub Creek Science Camp in Missouri, leading kids of all ages through different activities.

  • Education: University of Arizona, bachelor’s degree in biology
  • Certifications: Wilderness first responder
  • Favorite outdoor memory: Revisiting the Goat Rocks on the PCT. Standing in the same spot that inspired me to hike the trail almost a year later, but this time having spent months on the process of getting there by foot was an incredible feeling. The journey to get there was the highlight, not entirely the destination.
  • Favorite outdoor achievement: Solo hiking the Pacific Crest Trail last summer. The untamed freedom of the long trail, the resilience I developed backpacking for five months, and the lessons I learned about what is possible changed my life.
  • Favorite place you’ve traveled: A place I’ve traveled to since my last summer that exceeded my expectations was Joshua Tree. What seems like a vast expanse of barren rocks transforms into a massive playground when you learn and apply rock climbing skills. The way natural formations are somehow perfect to climb if you see it with the right eye is truly fantastical.
  • Favorite hobbies: I’ve recently been going hard on outdoor rock climbing, learning the ropes and scrambling around Joshua Tree.
  • What are you most excited for this summer? Witnessing a group of strangers form a community and friendships.
  • Previous Adventure Treks trips include California Adventure, California Challenge