Washington Adventure

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Washington Adventure


Oregon, Washington

Current Grades

8th, 9th


13 Days

view dates and prices
Meeting Place

Arrive: Seattle, WA (SEA)
Depart: Portland, OR (PDX)

For two weeks, come explore the lush and vibrant landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Hike and canoe through North Cascades National Park, nicknamed the “American Alps” for its dramatic, glacier-covered peaks, and then raft the emerald-colored Skagit River—fed by the very lakes we just canoed on! Hike through the Ape Caves (the third-longest lava tubes in the U.S.) beneath the hulking Mt. St. Helens, then climb to stand at the summit of this famous volcano and peer down into a still-smoking crater before glissading (sliding) down the mountain. Finish your trip with a thrilling rafting trip down the world-famous White Salmon River.

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Washington Adventure Itinerary

Backpack and canoe in North Cascades National Park

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 Diablo Lake, looking up at the soaring peaks surrounding you.

Whitewater raft the Skagit River

After your tour of the North Cascades on foot, launch your boats on the iridescent waters of the Skagit River, fed by the glaciers that reach all the way north to southern British Columbia. As you paddle class two and three rapids with your friends, make sure you look up for bald eagles gliding overhead.

Hike through the Ape Caves

Explore via headlamp the 2.5-mile-long lava tube that meanders beneath the shoulders of Mt. St. Helens, known as the Ape Caves (so named for the Scout troop who first explored its tunnels). This is a special place because of its rare and spectacular formation: the only known basaltic eruption of the volcano (those eruptions are more common in places like Hawaii), created about 2,000 years ago.

Climb Mt. St. Helens (8,365 feet)

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.

Whitewater raft the White Salmon River

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

Departure 1
  • Departure Day
  • Return Day
  • Price
Departure Day Return Day Price
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 (more info here)
  • Personal clothing and items (packing lists are available for enrolled families)

Most of our 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 several 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. Backpacking and canoeing take place in the backcountry.

Challenge/fitness level

No experience necessary; all skill levels welcome!

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.


Day hiking & backpacking

Mountain summit

Whitewater rafting



Dani Klein Modisett, parent from Los Angeles, CA

My son had been quarantined in his room in Los Angeles for 16 months when I started my search for camp options. I was determined to get him off screens and into nature. To my great good fortune, I stumbled upon Adventure Treks. Three weeks in the Pacific Northwest, a place he had never been, living with a small group of peers and learning how to fend for himself in nature. I took a leap of faith and signed him up. He cried two nights before he was to get on the plane, “Why are you making me do this? I don’t even like camping!” he wailed. At the airport he pulled his hoodie down and boarded anyway. Eight days later, the young man who called us from the road sounded like a different person. Exuberant, joyful, and in complete wonder at the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of this literal adventure. He made friends he will keep for life, he jumped off a 15-foot ledge into water, and he loves to boast regularly how I could never do what he did. We will always be grateful to Adventure Treks for giving our son this experience at a time when he needed it most. These folks have passion and heart and are experts at creating community far away from everything familiar. Do it.

Ginny Pace, parent from Hendersonville, NC

Ford had a fabulous time in the Pacific Northwest. His description of the geography and the activities gave me confidence that he was having a wonderful time and appreciating being able to go on that trip.

Matt Wilson, parent from Bethesda, MD

Adventure Treks was exactly what we’d hoped for and more. Our daughter had so much fun thanks to hard-working instructors and a thoughtful plan and group. The friends and role models with similar interests were a valuable part of the program. Thank you so much; what a special summer you gave her!

Carrie Powers, parent from Harrisburg, NC

This trip was the highlight of our son’s summer! It is definitely for adventurous kids who are looking to do more than traditional camps allow and want to push themselves to be something more. My son made really good friends with all the kids and instructors.

Jen Cippoletti, parent from Darien, CT

Adventure Treks is my daughter’s happy place. She loves the activities, the incredible scenery, the physical challenge, and the feeling of being outdoors for 3 weeks. But the best part is the friendships, the bonding, and the feeling of being completely herself with a group of supportive, inclusive people. She loved the entire group, and loved that they came from many parts of the country and came together with no preconceived ideas of each other. She misses them all terribly and hopes to reunite with many of them soon. After the most difficult year of her life, AT was exactly what she needed.

Stephanie Carroll, parent from Carlsbad, CA

I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my 13-year-old. The Pacific Northwest trip provided the adventure and (supervised) independence that I felt was most necessary for my child as she enters her last year of middle school. From day one of the trip, my child was able to have fun and new experiences, make friends, and be outside of the little world she has been forced into by the circumstances of the past few years. She appreciated her peers’ differences and was grateful for their similarities. These were the things that also made the trip special; she could bond over similarities and learn about how differences can sometimes be beneficial or a challenge, depending on the circumstances. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience Adventure Treks provided for her. There was just the right amount of challenge mixed in with laid back moments to keep her happy. I will forever refer my friends and family to Adventure Treks.