Grand Teton: Make a Snow Angel with Wilderness Ventures

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Seriously! Go from the top of a snow covered mountain covered in powder then down to clear running water for some fishing. That’s the great thing about the Grand Tetons and Grand Teton National Park.

One of our fearless leaders decided to jump into the snow during this past summer’s tour of Yellowstone National Park. The adventurers got a real kick out of the idea and a couple made snow angels afterwards.

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After that chilly experience, the teens were warmed to the idea of seeing Old Faithful and learning about the area.

One of the best parts was the sunny kayaking session in the park with everyone else and waving our honorary U.S. flag to show a bit of spirit for the beautiful national park.

This was coupled with leadership lessons and survival skills really made the trip feel more important than most. Trust exercises and real-life survival skills were just part of the experience that helped teach teens that they actually have more control over their lives than they believed.









After the chilly trek and fantastic 13,771 foot climb to the summit where the adventurers proudly displayed the U.S. flag and the Wilderness Ventures banner to signify the great thing they just accomplished.

The leadership portion included group leaders motivating those who may have gotten tired or felt like giving up. They really needed to band together when the cold and the height got too much for some people.

Grand Teton basically had everything, which is why it’s been a staple for the last four decades.

Jackson Hole Isn’t Your Grandpa’s Fishing Trip

This summer was more than just a trip down to the fishing hole. Jackson Hole is one of the oldest trips that Wilderness Ventures students go on, which means that these fishing holes are full of memories and history.

The waters are great for throwing in a line and waiting for a snag. But they are also great for heart-pumping rafting on the Snake River and then taking a drift boat for more calm.

This years photos are just as beautiful as the last, with the Wyoming sun shining on the waters.

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Look at the Bright New Faces for Wilderness Ventures Jackson Hole Trip

Another new batch of eager teenagers showed up at the airport this week and were greeted by Mike and Helen Cottingham. They are getting ready for one of the most fun and oldest trips that Wilderness Ventures offers.


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The meet and greets were over just in time and the first outdoor adventure in Grand Teton National Park for a hike wearing the new Wilderness Ventures shirts to look like a team while everyone gets to know each other.

Horseback Riding in Famed National Parks with Wilderness Ventures


Mother Nature Network revealed the best national parks to take some sturdy horses out to and roam around and experience the terrain.

One of the places on the list is Yellowstone National Park. The park was recognized for its amazing views and hillsides as well as its horse-friendly atmosphere.

On the Yellowstone Teton Horsepack trips, students get to hop on one of these friendly companions and set out across the land. Professionals ride alongside the teens as they trek through the Rocky Mountains with a trusty steed leading them through tough times.

The horses get a break while the adventurers zip line through the trees and viewing the breathtaking Old Faithful.

Teens Meet at Jackson Hole for Summer 2013 Wilderness Ventures First Trip

jackson 2Adventurers set off this week for the 2013 Jackson Hole adventure. They were met by founders, the Cottinghams and welcomed to the program. The smiles on the student’s faces and the excitement was obvious.

The next few weeks will be packed with different skills and wilderness activities.

They start off with hiking the Teton mountains to get acclimated to the altitude and warm up to nature. Sea kayaking and viewing the beauty of Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon are next and are the times when the teens get to learn about the history of the area as well as view its splendor.Yellowstone

A rushing zipline adventure through the Yellowstone river area, white water rafting and a backpacking trip amp up the difficulty but also take the teens into great wilderness areas that few get to explore.

The 20 days of these activities seem like a lot, but they will go by fast. But they are sure to make a huge impression

Gap Years Before College Are More Meaningful with Wilderness Ventures

Not every high school student feels ready to take the next step into higher education.Sometimes the constant shuffling from one grade to another can be overwhelming.  

For those students who are unsure of their next move usually take what is known as a gap year.

The concept of the gap year refers to a gap or break from formal education that students take with the purpose of traveling, exploring, volunteering, and more.  An experience that can last several weeks to a semester or more, the gap year offers students the opportunity to gain real-life experience during that important ‘coming of age’ transition between high school, college, and beyond. Wilderness Ventures offers Leadership Adventures that are designed to build self-esteem, teach leadership skills, educate students about wildlife and environmental conservation, promote philanthropy, and foster friendships—all of which are valuable skills to high school and college students who are on the cusp of entering the work force.

Young adults often find that these years help them figure out their path in life and make them appreciate the education that they come back to receive. Wilderness Ventures aims to help that decision process with structured and meaningful adventures for these students.

Wilderness Ventures offers an Alaska College Leadership Adventure that takes adventurers to the wilds of Alaska for a once in a lifetime adventure. On this journey, students have an opportunity to explore the spectacular Talkeetna Mountains during a 7-day backpacking trip and sea kayaking the Prince William Sound on a 6-day exploration. During the trip, students also spend two days learning first aid techniques imperative for backcountry travel, a wonderful concrete step in developing the qualifications and skills needed as an outdoor leader. Wilderness Ventures other gap year destinations for high school aged students include Washington, British Columbia, Wyoming, Montana, the Hawaiian Islands, and more.


Dad Will Enjoy Family Adventures from Wilderness Ventures This Summer

The fathers and father-figures out there have a tough job and deserve a bit of appreciation.

While other kids will be buying ties and grilling cook books, there are some that are planning an unforgettable trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for a week of fun and family time.

This summer is a perfect time for families with children eight yeas old and older to get out into nature and away from all the gadgets that preoccupy everyone’s time.

Wilderness Ventures has everything planned for a great family trip. Groups meet up at Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then spend six days traveling through the parks together. Days will be spent hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing in the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, rafting and top off the trip with a bike ride through paths along the Grand Teton area.

These trips are more than the beautiful sites and new skills. They are about shared experiences. Families who stick together and have shared memories from vacations together are more likely to do more. Trips like these could even become a family tradition.

So happy Father’s Day and may everyone be able to get out there and share a bit of nature with the best guys they know.

Surf and Sun with Wilderness Ventures California and Hawaiian Adventures

The plains of Wyoming are not the best place to catch some sun and surf. Good thing there are plenty of great beach spots that Wilderness Ventures can take kids and teens to catch some great waves.

Half Moon Bay in California is a part of the California Explorer trips for beginning adventurers in the 6th grade. The trip also includes hiking, rafting, wildlife viewing and a tour of San Francisco.

But this is not the only place with waves and sandy shores that teens can go to hang loose.

Another California treasure is the high sierra, which is a more advanced version of the first trip.  This one also has Half Moon Bay waves, but also includes a climb of snowy Mount Shasta for a great contrast and full view of natural beauty.

The Hawaiian islands including Kailua Kona, Maui and Lihu’e are prime places for the best beach activities that Wilderness Ventures offers.

It isn’t all for the surf, but also about building confidence and establishing future leaders who can continue to educate the world about the environment. The trips seem like just pure fun on the surface, but they leave a long-lasting impact on alumni well after the trip is over.

Wilderness Ventures Leads Coast to Coast Charity Cycling Tour for Teens this Summer

Wilderness Ventures, the oldest and most experienced adventure travel program offering teen summer camps, is offering a Crossroads Coast to Coast Bicycle Tour where teens can raise $1,000 or more for their favorite charity.

This 46-day teen bicycle tour starts on June 23 in Washington D.C. From there, travelers will see sites of American history, trek over the Appalachian Mountains, pedal through the Heartland, across the great Rocky Mountains, stop by the Grand Canyon, through Joshua Tree National Park and finally to their destination – the Pacific Ocean.

Friends and relatives can sponsor teens on their summer adventure from Washington D.C. to San Diego – and Wilderness Ventures will match each participant’s sponsorship up to $500. A challenging trip of this nature will definitely turn some heads and sponsors should be easy to secure.  For example, on this 3,100 mile trip, a sponsorship of just 10 cents per mile will earn you $310 – $620 when you add the Wilderness Ventures match.

Wilderness Ventures has offered superb bicycle touring and mountain biking trips for young adults since 1977. Ranging in length from two to seven weeks, these wonderful experiences are designed for beginners to the most seasoned cyclist in grades 6 through 12. Their challenge level ratings range from 2 to 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most challenging and are designed to meet each individual’s abilities. Wilderness Ventures other teen bicycling tours in 2013 range from riding along the Pacific Coast, to conquering the Great Divide on a mountain bike to cruising from Amsterdam to Paris. See a full line up of their 2013 tours on the website

Travelers will sleep in tents separated by gender, hostels and local community centers. They will also cook most of their meals with a few restaurant visits in between. Land cost for the Crossroads Coast to Coast Charity Tour is $5,995 per person.Image