Available Courses

Dates Days Age Tuition Course # Actions More Information
7/8/14 - 7/19/14 12 16 - 18 $2295 PPTA-434 Apply

Appalachian Trail Backpacking & Rock Climbing Intensive

Activities Backpacking, Rock Climbing
Age Range 16 - 18
Length 12
Financial Aid Yes
Tuition 2295
Transp. Fee $125
Start Date 7/8/14
End Date 7/19/14
Start Location Philadelphia
End Location Philadelphia
Appalachian backpacking and rock climbing intensive

Take the ultimate challenge as you backpack and climb some of the oldest mountains in the world.  Take in the breathtaking views from atop as only those who climb the mountains get to see! This journey will take you deep into the northern tier of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the southern tier of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Trail.


Travel expedition-style with all necessities on your back. "Expedition-style" means that you will leave our Philadelphia base on the first day of your course and not return to it until the end of the course. You will travel with all the food and equipment you need to conduct your expedition: stoves, tents, food, etc. Your crew might occasionally sleep at the same campsite twice, but generally you will be moving to a new campsite every night as you hike along your expedition route.

Throughout the course, you will camp at unique climbing sites along the Appalachian Trail in our beautiful course area.  Learn how to set anchors, utilize your climbing equipment and gain valuable climbing, belaying, rappelling, and anchoring techniques.  You do not need any climbing or backpacking experience for this course.  Our instructors are specialists and will teach you everything you need to know for this incredible adventure.

While exploring the beautiful forests of Penn’s woods (Pennsylvania), its beautiful mountain laurel and rhododendron, cool mountain streams and unique rock formations, you will acquire many long-lasting life and technical skills. “Education for life.”

This rock climbing focused backpacking course teaches participants to tie knots, belay, and read rock faces for climbs. These skills will then be put to the test over several days of progressive climbs on different sites that you and your crew backpack into. Participants will also develop teamwork, leadership and confidence while working together with their group to meet daily expedition goals, set-up camp, navigate and cooking excellent backcountry meals.

In addition to being put to the test physically, participants will build communication and leadership skills, confidence, and teamwork that will leave them with a newfound strength and sense of compassion that can easily be applied to everyday life.


Pennsylvania remains one of the most forested states in the nation. It includes some of the most intact and bountiful hardwood forest lands in the temperate world as well as being second only to Alaska in navigable water ways in the US. The Appalachians, which includes the Alleghany, Blue, Blue Ridge, and Pocono Mountains, are some of the oldest mountains in the world. The range is mostly located in the Unites States, but extends into southeastern Canada too.  This Course will take place in the south central region of Pennsylvania passing through multiple state forest and park lands including Michaux State forest and Pine Grove State Park.

get started

To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.