California Challenge

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California Challenge



Current Grades



24 Days

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Meeting Place

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Sacramento, CA (SMF)

Explore the grandeur of northern California for 24 days! Hike through the Shasta-Trinity Alps, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas we visit. Experience immense bonding with your new friends while whitewater rafting the Middle and Upper Klamath River. Mountain bike and rock climb in the shadows of Mt. Shasta before preparing for a summit attempt of this famous California 14er. Discover why the Lost Coast is aptly named while backpacking along secluded beaches. Finish your trip with a day hike among the world’s most majestic trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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California Challenge Itinerary

Backpack in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest

The Trinity Alps range was named after its more famous European counterpart due to its spectacular granite peaks and domes. Spend four days wandering through valleys carved by glaciers long ago. In the afternoon, cool off with a refreshing swim in one of the region’s hundreds of alpine lakes! At night, settle in with your new best friends, blanketed by the brightest stars you’ve ever seen.

Whitewater raft the Upper Klamath River

Head a bit north to southern Oregon to ride the nonstop flow of the Upper Klamath. Drop down more than 30 class III and IV rapids on this Wild and Scenic River, surrounded by the volcano-peppered Cascade Range. This one is a thrill ride!

Mountain bike at Lake Siskiyou

No matter your skill level, all students love to ride around Lake Siskiyou. Nestled at the foot of 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta, you can choose to ride the fun downhills or take a mellower approach on more beginner-friendly tracks as you alternately wind through thickly forested areas and wide-open trails.

Rock climb at Cantara Rocks

This beautiful riverside crag has routes for all abilities. Progress in difficulty as you feel ready, and when it’s time to cool off, jump into one of several swimming holes in the Sacramento River just a few yards away!

Summit attempt of Mt. Shasta

We spend three memorable days on this huge, 14,162-foot mountain that commands the landscape of northern California. First, learn how to use ice axes and crampons in “snow school.” Then for our summit attempt, we wake up when it’s still dark to start our hike—our reward is the most vibrant sunrise you’ve ever seen.

Note: Depending on snowpack, we may take alternate routes or peaks (like Mt. Shastina, 12,329 feet) to ensure safe passage.

Whitewater raft the Middle Klamath River

Spend three days bonding with your friends paddling inflatable kayaks and rafts down the Middle Klamath, the second-largest river in the state. Hop out of your raft and hike to some of the coolest waterfalls you’ve ever splashed around in, and gather around beautiful campsites at night. Top it all off with splash wars while you’re surrounded by dramatic, lush greenery!

Backpack the Lost Coast

Immerse yourself in the wildness of the most untouched stretch of beach in the country. Journey for four days among black sand and pebbly beaches and hop over barnacled boulders. Learn how to read a tide table, with steep cliffs on one side, and the vast expanse of the Pacific on the other. Some days may have bluebird skies, while on others you’ll stroll in and out of mystical fog. This is one magical hike you and your friends will never, ever forget.

Dates and Prices

Departure 1
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  • Return Day
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Departure 2
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Departure 3
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Included in Tuition:
  • All meals
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, and all group gear
  • Guided activities
Not Included in Tuition:
  • Airfare to and from
  • Trip insurance
  • Personal clothing and items (see our packing list here)



Inflatable Kayaking

Mountain Biking


Rock Climbing

Whitewater Rafting


Karen Rogow, Atlanta, GA

Jacob loves Adventure Treks! It’s an incredible opportunity for him to find himself, develop his leadership skills, and explore his independence. And we love Adventure Treks! Jacob said this community was amazing and the best one yet. He wishes he could be on an AT trip year-round.

Jeff Sellers, Bradenton, FL

I decided for Emma to return because of the great experience we’ve had with Adventure Treks over the years. I trust that she is well taken care of and exposed to challenges both physically and mentally in a safe environment. She returned with a contagious energy, and she said her community was excellent. She loved the Lost Coast.

Russell Sexton, Bradenton, FL

My wife Janice and I have been extremely pleased to support Adventure Treks and Camp Pinnacle. Both summer programs have earned a special place in our hearts for the enrichment in basic life values imparted to each of the children during their summer interactions with the highly professional administrative personnel; competent, enthusiastic and well-trained staff; outstanding camp facilities; and challenging outdoor treks. It is our hope that the foundation in outdoor appreciation and leadership skills gained at AT over six years will allow our oldest granddaughter to succeed in a high adventure career of her choice. Our younger granddaughter has a few more years to attend AT and is looking forward to next year in Alaska. Janice and I will continue to support Camp Pinnacle and Adventure Treks as long as the grandchildren request the experience. Given the track record, I believe I will be pleased in sending our grandchildren to Adventure Treks and Camp Pinnacle for the next 15 years.

Abby Pensky, Knoxville, TN

AT provides amazing relationships with fellow students and instructors and a sense of accomplishment and confidence after completing challenges. The challenges and opportunities for growth students encounter on AT trips are rare in today’s world. Ali pushes herself, gains confidence, and increases her community building skill set every time she immerses herself in the outdoors and experiences an AT adventure.

Kim Marshall, Sandpoint, ID

Nina came back to Adventure Treks because of the caliber of field staff and program direction staff, quality of community created, and ability to engage fully in nature and make it fun. AT helps my daughter discover her best self and helps her have fun at the same time.

Nancy McClinton, Asheville, NC

Ruby returned to Adventure Treks because I love the independence and confidence that she gains from AT trips! I love it that Ruby meets and bonds with new friends from all over. She also becomes very determined to accomplish the goals that the trips set for her. AT offers new experiences with both people and physical challenges that demonstrate to my daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to!

Becky Brenner, Reistertown, MD

Jacob came back to Adventure Treks because he has had the most incredible experiences and has grown so much as a person on his prior trips. This is a life-changing experience for our son. He has developed a tremendous amount of confidence and maturity on his AT trips and he has the best time climbing, paddling, biking, backpacking, cooking, eating and developing new friendships. He described his community as having great instructors, diverse, inclusive, everyone gels, tight-knit.

Dara Redler, Atlanta, GA

Adventure Treks is a fun outdoor adventure program that teaches teens responsibility, leadership, support for community and how to be their very best. Mason loves the activities, the community, and the leaders. It inspires him.

Kim Serrano, Port St. Lucie, FL

Adventure Treks is a great experience for teens today. It opens up their minds beyond technologies. Tyler is being raised by single mother and never gets to do outdoor adventures. Most of his time was spent in a room playing games. Adventure Treks provided that adventure and other skills such as teamwork, social skills, and desire to experience more. Most important, he had FUN! He said his community was “straight up AMAZING!”