For 16 days, come explore the lush and vibrant landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Stand at the summit of Mount St. Helens and peer down into a still-smoking crater—an incredible photo opportunity!—before glissading (sliding) down the mountain. Hike through North Cascades National Park, nicknamed the “American Alps” for its dramatic, glacier-covered peaks, and then canoe through the green waters of one of North Cascade’s alpine lakes. Sea kayak for two days around the San Juans Islands (famous for wildlife), before finishing your visit with a thrilling rafting trip down the world-famous White Salmon River.
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Pacific Northwest Explorer
16 Daysview dates and prices
Arrive: Seattle, WA (SEA)
Depart: Portland, OR (PDX)
Pacific Northwest Explorer Activities
For five days, you’ll hike through glaciers—more than anywhere else in the United States!—framed by gigantic Fraser fir trees and cascading rivers. The incredibly lush landscape offers multiple opportunities to marvel at its biodiversity, and with a little bit of luck, you might even spot a few sunbathing marmots, mule deer or black-tailed deer, and mountain goats scrambling up rock faces! In between days on the trail, trade your backpack for oars as you canoe on picturesque Ross Lake, looking up at the soaring peaks surrounding you.
Surround yourself with river otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, and maybe even an Orca, harbor, or shy minke whale while sea kayaking off the coast in the San Juan Islands. We’ll camp on Clark Island that night, and on day two you’ll cruise past seastacks and craggy cliffs, and you may even find a few seastars or sea urchins!
The most famous stratovolcano in the United States beckons to student hikers all of levels. Students will stand on the edge of the ever-growing crater and its surrounding glacier, literally watching geology in the making. Rewards for this challenging hike also include 360-degree views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood.
In 2013, the New York Times rated the White Salmon River as #13 among 46 places to visit worldwide. This Wild and Scenic River is federally protected, leaving the water and forestry in pristine condition. Teamwork is required as you bounce down fun, sustained rapids; laughter is recommended.
Dates and Prices
No experience necessary; all skill levels welcome! Students should be moderately fit and regularly active leading up to this trip.
Most nights are spent at “frontcountry” campsites, where we’ll generally have a more developed campsite with running water, toilets, and sometimes cell phone service. This may be a public or private campground. We often stay at the same frontcountry site a few days in a row.
The other three to four nights will be spent “backcountry” camping, referring to wilderness locations where we are most likely out of cell phone service and away from our vehicles, electricity, and other amenities. Many multi-day activities like backpacking, sea kayaking, and canoeing take place in the backcountry.
Included in tuition
- All meals
- Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, and all group gear
- Guided activities
Not included in tuition
- Airfare to SEA and from PDX
- Trip insurance
- Personal clothing and items (packing lists available for enrolled families)
Fitness and physical challenge are subjective, so Adventure Treks does not “rate” its trips based on challenge. However, because we’ll be engaged in different outdoor activities throughout each trip, our students have the responsibility to be physically fit. We know physical fitness looks different for everyone, but it’s important to come prepared so that you and your fellow students can succeed. One student not coming prepared with physical fitness will negatively impact the entire group. In the months leading up to their trip, students should develop a routine that emphasizes stamina and sustaining a moderate level of exertion for many hours, several days in a row. Running, swimming, bicycling, aerobics classes, and team sports are all beneficial and will help improve cardiovascular fitness in preparation for a student’s trip.
Pacific Northwest Explorer
The trip of a lifetime. I repeat, the time of a lifetime. The best of leaders, nature, personal challenges, overall growth, friends and personal awareness! You are all THE BEST! No improvements needed!
Adventure Treks was an amazing experience and a chance for my child to move out of her comfort zone and experience challenges and self-growth in a fun and safe environment. I was totally impressed!! It was just as advertised. My daughter loved it, and I’m so grateful for that.
Jess had a great overall experience and truly valued the time she spent on the trip. She had only great things to say about the instructors and plenty of stories to tell about the friends she made on the trip. She is already planning her trip for next year.
They did some amazing hikes that helped bond the groups together. My daughter saw some truly amazing sights. This was about being away from home, being independent, and meeting new people and experiencing something totally different. The instructors were really motivated, great fun, and very experienced. The webinars were really helpful, and I always felt I could call with any further queries we may have had. We can never thank our friends enough for putting us on to this company. The experience at Sophie had was almost priceless. You can’t put a price on the whole experience: the growth, self-confidence, teamwork etc.