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Family Adventure Backpacking

Come join us on the perfect adventure vacation designed exclusively for families with children ages 8 and up.  This trip provides the perfect opportunity for families to experience the very best that nature has to offer.  We’ll travel to pristine and awe-inspiring destinations beyond the reach of day-hikers.  You will experience spectacular landscapes and breathtaking vistas that very few people have ever seen.  Our experienced guides are dedicated in providing you with a trip that is fun, safe and full of adventure.  In the evenings we will relax at warm, cozy campsites, enjoy great-tasting backcountry meals and reconnect with nature through fun games designed exclusively for children of all ages.  It is our goal to take care of all of the trip planning and preparation for you so that you and your family can focus on having fun, enjoying nature and building great new memories together.


This trip is designed for beginners.  It is suitable for people of all ages who enjoy an active, adventurous, and educational outdoor experience.  No previous experience is required.


  • Adult participants should be able to carry a pack weighing 30-35 pounds, 3-5 miles per day.
  • Good physical condition.
  • Must enjoy great food, incredible scenery, quiet solitude and a world of discovery.

Note: To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a regular training regimen before the trip.  Good fitness is important to your overall enjoyment of the trip.

We invite you to come with us and experience some of the very best backcountry cuisine imaginable. Backcountry meals are a quintessential part of your wilderness experience and we have taken great strides to ensure you will have an unforgettable dining experience.  For more than a decade, the owners of North American Wilderness Leadership School have worked to perfect wilderness cuisine.  Each adventure is made a dash more savory with delicious food recipes that we have perfected over many years on the trail.  We take pride in serving healthy, flavorful, filling and nutritious gourmet wilderness cuisine rather than the usual camp fare and off-the-shelf backpacking food.  Regardless of the adventure, rest assured that we are committed to serving you the tastiest backcountry meals imaginable. We trust your wilderness meal experience will be “time deliciously spent”.

Note:  We are happy to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, kosher and non-gluten diets on request.  Please feel free to contact us to for additional information.


Wear your “play” clothes.  We recommend that you wear clothes that provide flexibility, comfort and won’t rip or tear easily.  We will send you a recommended clothing list following receipt of your application and deposit.


Comfortable, medium weight hiking shoes or boots generally work the best.  Shoes must enclose the entire foot and toes (no open-toe sandals, or water shoes).  Whatever footwear you chose, make sure you have worn them in advance of your trip to ensure they fit well and are comfortable.


Travel light!  Recommended items include two to three 1-liter water bottles, headlamp, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm and camera.  Unnecessary gear is often a hindrance—let the guides do the work for you.  Your guides will have all the necessary equipment to keep the group safe and comfortable.


North American Wilderness Leadership School (NAWLS) is committed to providing you with an extraordinary wilderness adventure.  Our number one priority on all trips and courses is safety.  We never compromise safety and do everything possible to ensure you have the safest and most enjoyable trip possible.  Our experienced guides manage a variety of significant weather and route related hazards, but they cannot eliminate them.  They draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sure you have the safest trip possible.

Trip Plans & Itinerary:

NAWLS’s trip plans and itineraries are subject to change based on weather, terrain, route conditions and a variety of additional factors.  While we strive to maintain all listed plans and itineraries, we reserve the right to change plans as necessary to ensure that all guests receive the safest and highest quality trip possible.

Should any trip be cancelled due to weather, route conditions, or insufficient signups, a full trip refund will be provided.

Age Requirements:

To ensure the safest and highest quality trip for all participants, NAWLS adheres to the following age-specific requirements:

  • Ages 4 & Under:  No participants age 4 & under.
  • Ages 5 to 14:  May participate in all Family Adventure trips.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 15-17:  May participate in all trips and courses.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 18 & above:  No restrictions.

Note:  Under-aged participants on private trips and courses are assessed on an individual basis.

Guest Responsibilities:

Wilderness adventures require both individual commitment and team unification.  To ensure the strength and success of the team we ask that each participant:

  • be physically and mentally fit and properly attired and equipped.
  • be honest and accurate in describing their fitness, health, skills and equipment to their guides to ensure that everyone on their team has the opportunity for a safe, fun and successful wilderness adventure.


A 50% deposit is required to secure your reservation. Payments may be made via personal U.S. check (preferred), or by Paypal.  Please note that Paypal payments require a 3% additional fee for U.S. residents and a 4% additional fee for international residents.  Send payments by check to North American Wilderness Leadership School, 13110 NE 177th Place, Woodinville, Washington 98072, or by Paypal to:  .  Full payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your trip.


If you need to cancel your reservation please let us know as soon as possible.  Cancellation policies are as follows:

  • 90 days or more prior to trip start date: full refund of deposit.
  • 60-90 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 50% of the deposit.
  • 30-60 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of the deposit.
  • 30 days or less prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of trip cost.

Note:  We highly encourage you to consider the purchase of travel insurance.  Typical policies provide coverage for trip cancellation, delay and medical expenses.  Travel insurance provides the best possible protection for travel related illness, injury, or delay.

Washington:  North Cascade Mountains & Olympic Mountains

2020 Dates:  July 1 - August 31

Cost:  $975 per person

Southern Utah:  Robbers Roost / Dirty Devil Wilderness, Fiddler Butte Wilderness & Capitol Reef National Park

2020 Dates:  April 1 - May 31; September 15 - November 30

Cost:  $975 per person

Note:  Custom trips are available.  Please contact us at for more information.

Please follow these steps to make a reservation:

  1. Give us a call, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss dates and set up a trip.  Please have the following information available when you contact us: (1) trip or course type, (2) preferred and alternate dates, (3) size of group and (4) name, age, height and weight for all group members.

  2. Submit a trip/course application with a 50% deposit, or payment in full.  Note:  A deposit is required to process the application and reserve the date.  Full payment is due 30 days prior to the start of the trip.

Payment Methods:

  1. Personal U.S. Check (preferred).  Send to:  North American Wilderness Leadership School, 13110 NE 177th Place, #342, Woodinville, Washington 98072.

  2. Paypal.  Requires a 3% additional fee for U.S. residents and a 4% additional fee for international residents.  Send to:  .

As you prepare for your upcoming wilderness adventure, please feel free to contact us to with any questions including trip details, itinerary, qualifications, conditioning, equipment, etc.  Our experienced guides are happy to assist you with all of your pre-trip planning needs.  We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST at (818) 381-WILD (9453), or .

Get more information on Wilderness Adventure Trips & Courses



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