This 30-day expedition is our most extended continuous trip. We combine hiking and canoeing not just for skill development, but also the mastery that fosters confidence in yourself, independence from your instructors and pride in your abilities. You will hike, paddle, portage, navigate, cook, camp, sleep and be a high functioning team across beautiful parts of northern Minnesota, land of sky blue waters and some of the oldest exposed rock in the world. If you are highly motivated and want to experience one of the best multi-activity expedition that we offer, this is the course for you!
- ACTIVITIES: On this expedition you will engage in Canoeing, Portaging, Backpacking, 2-3 days of Rock Climbing, Ropes Course, and a 48-72 hour solo, culminating with a final expedition as well as a service project.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) Established in 1964, this labyrinth of lakes and rock has been specifically protected as a true American wilderness; no roads, power lines, or motorized craft may enter its borders, so the Boundary Waters has changed little since its unveiling when the glaciers melted 10,000 years ago. Over 1 million acres in size, the BWCAW extends nearly 150 miles along the Canadian border. With over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams, the BWCAW is an amazing place to get into the wilderness.
You will begin your expedition Rock climbing at Shovel Point. Northern Minnesota is known for its Granite cliffs and beautiful views. Shovel Point is on Lake Superior and one of the best sites in the entire midwest.
After completing your first day of rock climbing you will begin your backpacking section on the Grande Portage Trail and start working your way up and inland. The Grande Portage is a historical 9.5-mile trail to Fort Charlotte. From there you work your way along the Border Route Trail westward. The densely-wooded hills of the Sawtooth Mountains overlook Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake. The Border Route Trail includes open forest hiking, wide-open views from ridge tops, and exquisite canyon trails tracing rivers that plummet to the lake.
Once you have reached your put-in along the shores of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness you will transition into the canoeing phase of course as well as have another opportunity to rock climb. You will learn the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of water conditions as well as portaging (carrying your 75 pound canoe and gear between lakes on rugged hiking trails ranging from 10 yards to a half mile in length), map and compass reading, navigation, and expedition planning.
After completing your backpacking and canoeing sections of course, it's time for Solo. On this expedition you will engage in a Solo experience up to 72 hours long which is an integral part of each of our courses. The Solo provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll spend time alone at an assigned campsite to rest, reflect, and practice the camp craft skills you have been learning throughout the course. You will not travel during this time and your instructors will check on you occasionally, but you will be mostly alone for 36-60 hours.
The last phase of course you will embark on your Final Expedition as well as a last opportunity to rock climb as well as challenge yourself on our High Ropes course at base. You will continue to develop your paddling, portaging and lining skills. Become interdependent with your team and as independent as possible. This is the time to reap your rewards for choosing the Pathfinder course.
All courses end at Homeplace, the Voyageur Outward Bound School's Base camp. Here you will engage in a service project as well as have the opportunity to take a well deserved shower!
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.