Join a small cohort of girls on this spectacular 12-day course in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Challenge yourself amidst sweeping views of jagged, mountain peaks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the United States' premier backpacking and rock climbing locations because of its high-quality granite and stable, frequent sunny summer weather.
This 12-day all-female identified course will give you the opportunity to develop your leadership, learn outdoor skills and challenge yourself — it’s a great first step into wilderness travel.
A single gendered course allows the all-female group to focus on leading in a group setting, building community and finding your voice in a peer group at the same developmental stage.
NOTE: This course requires that students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
This course is closed for the season.
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.
of David Montero
of David Montero
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 conduct on-trail navigation. Instructors also facilitate activities and lessons focused on teamwork, communication, and self-discovery. Each young person is capable of more than they know, and this course will help students realize their own potential and return to their day to day lives with increased confidence, work ethic and self-awareness.
In addition to technical skills, Instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for students to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals, and tackle new challenges every day. Along with new skills, students also get the chance to get to know other people their age from all over the country, build friendships, use teamwork, be challenged and have fun!
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. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. As they see the impact of their actions, firsthand, students develop a value of service, and transfer this desire to serve their communities once they return.
Outward Bound believes, in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Within course, the 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. Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water. On this course, the Solo time will not exceed 12 hours.
Our courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an intro to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. On longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the ability to reach a more profound level of mastery. Longer courses allow for more opportunities to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development.
The Sierra Nevada range is California’s backyard and wonderland of wilderness, waterfalls, lakes and peaks. It’s an enormous range — spanning more than 400 miles from north to south, and 70 miles east to west. Courses take place in the southern and western parts of the Sierras: Ansel Adams Wilderness, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.
Summer in the Sierras is mostly sunny with occasional rain and cold evenings. Snowfall is unlikely, though June courses may traverse atop lingering winter and spring snow. Summer temperatures tend to be in the 70s to 80s during the day, dipping into the 30s to 50s in the evening and night. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute, Western Mono/Monache, Me-Wuk (Central Sierra Miwok), Eastern Mono/Monache, and Tübatulabal 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.