Go Outward Bound with just the girls to explore the wonders of Yosemite.
On this expedition, you’ll backpack through towering trees in Yosemite, the place John Muir called nature’s temple, swim in alpine lakes and sleep under countless stars.
This course is intended as an affinity space and is open to female-identifying, non-binary, trans-girls and gender expansive identifying students who are looking for this type of gender composition on their course. We strive to create an inclusive experience for all of our students and welcome you to talk with one of our course advisors if you have questions about which course is the best fit for you.
This course will give you the opportunity to develop your leadership, build community, learn outdoor skills, and find your voice in a peer group at the same developmental stage — it’s a great first step into wilderness travel.
NOTE: For details on current COVID-19 policies, including vaccination, please contact an Admissions Advisor at the National Admissions Office at 866-467-7651.
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For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean, click here.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots will become available. In the event a spot becomes available, those on the waitlist may have an opportunity to secure the available spot. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. Upon completion of your application, a $500 deposit is required to reserve the waitlist spot. If you choose to remove your application from the waitlist, or if a spot does not become available, you will be refunded the $500 deposit. If a spot becomes available and you elect not to take it, Outward Bound will keep $150 of the deposit.
Waitlist spots are prioritized in the order of returned paperwork, not in the order applications are received, so be sure to return the initial paperwork as soon as possible! Please be aware that waitlist spots may become available up to two weeks before the course starts. While cancellations do occur, we cannot guarantee a spot will become available. Applicants may only be listed on one waitlist. If there is another course that still has availability and is also of interest to you, we recommend applying for that course instead. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, heard the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion into everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery: As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group.
What you’ll learn: For Middle School students, heading away from home means taking on new responsibilities and expectations with crewmates who are strangers when you first meet and trusted teammates by the end of your expedition. It’s all about confidence.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
This course provides an introductory experience in the art and craft of backpacking while exploring a rich national treasure. As no prior experience is necessary, instructors will teach the crew how to cook, set up of tarp shelters and on-trail navigation. Instructors facilitate activities and lessons focused on teamwork, communication and self-discovery. Each young person is capable of more than they know, and this course helps students realize their own potential and return to their day-to-day lives with increased confidence, work ethic and self-awareness.
This course page contains both backpacking and alpine backpacking courses. Although similar, there are a few key differences that we have highlighted below.
Students on backpacking courses will spend the majority of their time navigating on established trails. Occasionally, groups may venture off of trails to connect to other sections of trail or to climb a 'walk up' peak. These peaks do not require ropes and can be climbed without the use of hands (Class 2). Backpacking courses have limited to no travel on snow, and utilize bridges to cross creeks where available.
Students on alpine backpacking courses spend the majority of their time navigating off of established trails. This includes terrain that crosses talus, boulder fields and potentially snow. Peaks that are climbed on alpine backpacking courses do not require ropes, but may require the occasional use of hands for balance (Class 3-4), and creek crossings are often without the use of bridges.
If you would like to know more about the activities of specific courses, please call the National Admissions Office for information prior to enrolling.
Please note: Students carry both personal and group gear, which means packs can be heavy. Students should be physically able to hike with a 40-pound backpack to be successful on this course. If the applicant is under 5 feet tall and/or 85 pounds, please call Outward Bound prior to enrollment.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Students follow Leave No Trace ethics and complete acts of service while leading and supporting fellow crew members. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Students develop a value of service, see the impact of their actions first hand and transfer this desire to serve their communities at home.
Outward Bound believes, in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. During course, Solo is that opportunity. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of course. Students are separated from their group for a period of time which depends on course length and Instructor assessment of group capability. Solo sites are chosen to provide solitude. Students are provided with all necessary equipment, food and water. On this course, the Solo time will not exceed 12 hours.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from four (4) to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Backpacking and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at school, work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
to remain engaged and present, giving every challenge the best effort, even when the goal seems beyond reach.
to form a team and focus on the team effort.
to share responsibilities, communicate and lead. Leadership roles are shared within the group, and responsibilities rotate each day.
to find reserves of tenacity and compassion. Outward Bound courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
of David Montero
of David Montero
Yosemite National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, is famous for breathtaking views of waterfalls, massive granite domes and peaceful alpine meadows. Yosemite is home to some of the world’s most treasured landmarks. While this course steers clear of the crowded tourist attractions of the valley, dramatic alpine scenery can be seen in the horizon such as peaks that rise from the valley to elevations above 12,000 feet.
The Sierra Nevada offers fairly stable and beautiful weather. Spring can bring snow and cold temperatures. As summer advances, temperatures tend to become more moderate. Summer temperatures are in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening. This course area has some of the most famous, though often under-utilized, alpine climbing and backpacking routes for students to experience. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute, Western Mono/Monache, Me-Wuk (Central Sierra Miwok), and Me-Wuk (Southern Sierra Miwuk) nations.
Training Expedition (Introductory lessons to backpacking, camp craft, navigation)
Main Expedition, Solo
Personal Challenge Event, clean and de-issue gear, Graduation Ceremony
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.