27 Days

Mileage | Rating

100-120 Miles




Yosemite, California Junior Guide Leadership Expedition

What To Expect

Lasting Adventures is proud to offer a Junior Guide Leadership Expedition for teens ages 15-18! This 27-day wilderness summer camp in the California high country is geared toward youth looking for an adventure beyond the ordinary summer camp. Learn all the skills needed to plan, prep and guide your own backpacking trips along with the skills to be an effective leader, whether you’re walking in the woods or working on a project in school. This course will focus on backpacking and leadership skills as participants “discover” Yosemite and surrounding forests along many of the same paths as early Yosemite pioneers traveled.

Our Junior Guide Leadership Expedition is a 27 day intensive backpacking trip focused on building effective leadership skills for youth to apply in both backcountry and front country settings. Participants will spend the first week of the course at a front-country base camp within either Yosemite National Park or adjoining National Forests. Here, they will learn the principles of expedition culture while taking courses to earn their Wilderness First Aid and Leave No Trace certifications. Beginning the second week, participants will begin applying their knowledge as the expedition sets out backpacking toward Yosemite along many of the same routes as the original pioneers in the 1800s. As participants discover Yosemite, they will continue to partake in leadership and team-building activities while learning the hard skills of backpacking, including tarp shelter construction, fire building, stove use, plant and animal ID, Yosemite geology and biology as well as various debriefing methods. During the final week of the trek, the group will be deep in the wilderness where they will slowly be given autonomy to collectively choose routes and guide themselves with facilitation and advice from their Guides. As a culmination of the skills learned, the final days will be completely guided by participants while Guides are out of sight ahead and behind the group (for assistance only).

Throughout the program, participants will be exposed to and gain knowledge and/or skills in the following areas:

  • Geology
  • Natural History
  • Cultural History
  • Environmental Science
  • Goal setting
  • Leadership Skills and Team Building activities
  • Group communication and problem-solving skills
  • Advanced Backpacking skills and environmental awareness
  • Outdoor Job Awareness
  • Introduction to Search and Rescue
  • Community Service
  • Leave No Trace Awareness
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification

By the end of the end of the expedition, participants will have been trained in, and utilized, both the logistical and practical aspects of backpacking expeditions as well as the skills needed for effective leadership and teamwork.

Check Out the Lasting Adventures Leadership Expedition Experience!

Other Information

  • Space is limited!
  • This program is open to participants ages 15-18 years old.
  • The Leadership Expedition is popular and these spots fill up quickly. When spots are completely filled for the season, we will begin a waiting list in case of cancellations. These spots can also be carried over as first picks for the Leadership Expedition the following season.
  • Due to the extended nature of this trip, we recommend that participants wishing to apply are in good physical condition or begin a conditioning regimen prior to the trip. While no previous backpacking experience is necessary, it is important that potential applicants take into consideration the rugged nature and extended nature of the expedition.
  • Our Leadership Expedition begins at the old Yosemite Valley Stables parking lot at 12pm on Sundays and ends at 12 pm at the Curry Village Pizza Patio on Friday. Late arrivals can usually be coordinated but please let us know if you will be arriving after 1 pm, as this may affect the group’s itinerary.
  • Scholarship Application – Every youth deserves this opportunity!



Departure Dates from Curry Village

    June Departure Dates  

  • Sun, Jun 27th - Fri, Jul 23rd


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