Teen Expeditions

Applications for our 2024 season are open! All new-student applications require a nominator to be considered.
All participants receive a full-tuition scholarship. These expeditions are offered at no cost to the participant.
We are committed to creating a more diverse and welcoming outdoor community for Alaskans.
 *APPLICATIONS FOR 2024 SEASON ARE OPEN 
LISTED BELOW ARE 2024 COURSE OFFERINGS
 *Email Questions to education@akgeo.org
Who is eligible to apply?

Alaska teens who are excited about developing a stronger sense of community while learning outdoor skills. No outdoor or camping experience is required to attend these trips. No technical outdoor gear is required, we provide the essentials. Trips are for ages 13-18 years old. Students must meet the trip age requirement prior to the start date of the trip. We prioritize applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria: show high potential in leadership, science, or outdoor skills and will be excited about this opportunity, would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in a similar experience, are representative of Alaska’s diversity, and will be respectful of the other participants and adults (forest rangers, trip leaders).

Student Leader opportunities are paid positions available for high school and college students ages 17+ with previous leadership experience. If you are interested in applying to become a Student Leader for one of our courses, please fill out a Student Application and select “Student Leader”.

All of the expeditions start and end in Anchorage. If you live outside of the Anchorage-area and would like to attend a trip, we may be able to provide transportation, food, and lodging once in Anchorage on the start date of the trip (orientation day) and the morning after the trip. Please contact education@akgeo.org if you need assistance with Anchorage logistics.

Questions? Check our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact education@akgeo.org | 907-771-8482

Our 2024 Expeditions:

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Youth Trip 

May 9 – May 12
Homer, AK

Join us for an all-expense paid trip to the Homer Shorebirds Festival! We will participate in several Festival-specific activities, which may include things like a photography workshop, boat tour, kayaking trip, hiking, keynote speaker and other activities based on the program schedule. Trip participants will stay in an Airbnb and explore areas around Homer, including the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge visitor, the Pratt Museum, and the Homer Spit. Come enjoy the area in and around Homer for the spring bird migration, together with people interested in shorebirds, birding, and getting outdoors. This is a youth trip for ages 15-18. Bring warm outdoor layers, rainwear, and a willingness to learn and explore, rain or shine. Program open to the first 9 applicants. The trip will be from Thursday, May 9, 9AM to Sunday, May 12, returning to Anchorage at approximately 4pm. 

Ages 15-18. No experience required. 

Glaciology and Climate Change

June 6 – June 10
Anchorage, AK

Start your summer off by hiking, camping, and learning about the glaciers of south-central Alaska and how climate change is affecting them and our planet. Camping will take place on the Kenai Peninsula near Kenai Lake, but hikes and educational trips will occur everywhere from Portage to Exit Glacier. This trip is great for anyone who wants to explore Alaska and learn about some of the fascinating features and systems that exist within it. By the end of this trip, you will have met new people with similar interests, gained a deeper understanding of glaciology and climate change, and will have gone on some spectacular hikes that people from all over the world travel to Alaska to do.  

Ages 13 – 15. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. 

Course Details

Yaghanen Swan Lakes Canoe Trip

June 14 – June 18
Anchorage, AK

Come explore the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge via canoeing and camping. This trip will take you through the beautiful Swan Lake system, also known as the Yaghanen by the Dena’ina; meaning “the good land”. During this trip, participants will develop their canoeing skills, learn about the land in which they are traveling on, and travel through several lakes that make up the Swan Lake system. Participants will also participate in a service-based project to learn about what it takes to maintain such a pristine area.  

Ages 16-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Participants must be under 250lbs because of the size capacity of our canoes. No experience required. 

Course Details

Blackstone Bay Kayaking & Stewardship

June 22 – June 30
Anchorage, AK

Spend seven days living, camping, and working on a glacial moraine beach in a stunning fjord on the western edge of Prince William Sound. Take a water taxi from Whittier to watch marine wildlife and listen to the loud, unique glacial sounds from Blackstone Glacier while working alongside Chugach National Forest backcountry rangers and staff on important conservation projects. Follow in the footsteps of AK Geo Alum by further developing a more sustainable campground at 17-Mile Beach camp and spend each afternoon learning fundamental sea kayaking skills in the calm glacial fjord. Embrace the rest days to explore the coastline wherever the group desires via kayak or foot. Few people get to spend such a long time in this beautiful location; this unique experience will allow you to connect with and learn from the Prince William Sound with it’s community and rangers alongside you. In the evenings, enjoy a large basecamp where you can create life-long relationships with other Alaska teens. 

Ages 15-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Participants must be under 250lbs because of the size capacity of our kayaks. No experience required.

Course Details

Johnson Pass Backpacking

July 6 – July 10
Anchorage, AK

Adventure into the spectacular peaks, whitewater creeks, and lush forested and alpine terrain of the Kenai Mountains. Backpack 23-miles along a section of the Iditarod National Historic Trail and the old Johnson Military Road, a wagon road that connected the boom towns along the Turnagain Arm. Learn fundamental backpacking skills while contributing to the longevity of the Chugach National Forest by helping with basic trail maintenance such as dispersing fire rings, brushing, trash pickup, collecting GPS coordinates to rangers. You will have the opportunity to explore this area deeply as you move to a new camp every night and meet with Chugach National Forest rangers, staff, and trail crews. 

Ages 13 -15. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. No experience required. 

Course Details

Alums Backpacking Expedition

June 24 – July 1 

Anchorage, AK

Feel like you can’t get enough adventures with Alaska Geographic? Want to meet other folks who have done trips just like yourself? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then this trip is probably for you! This backpacking expedition is for Alaska Geographic Alums looking to further their outdoor knowledge and expedition experiences. Hike and camp within the forests and mountains of Alaska and regale each other with stories of your past Alaska Geographic expedition experiences. This trip is a wonderful way to meet likeminded people all while exploring and adventuring within Alaska’s beautiful wilderness. 

Ages 15-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Past Alaska Geographic trip experience required.  

Course Details

Prince William Sound Fjord Explorers Alum Expedition

July 10 – July 18
Anchorage, AK

Want to venture deeper into the Prince William Sound? Explore the remote Unakwik Inlet with us. Located midway between Whittier and Valdez, the Unakwik Inlet is an isolated and rugged area of the Prince William Sound. This trip is for AK Geo Alums who want to go on a more rigorous kayaking excursion. If conditions allow, this 8-day expedition will culminate with a visit to Meares Glacier, one of North America’s only advancing tide-water glaciers. Along the way, you will take on the role of backcountry ranger and assist the Chugach National Forest rangers by cleaning beaches and practicing Leave-No-Trace principles.  

Ages 15-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Participants must be under 250lbs because of the size capacity of our kayaks. Previous Alaska Geographic trip experience required.  

Course Details

Denali Field Camp

July 13 – July 17
Anchorage, AK

Experience the untamed wilderness of Denali National Park in a way that few get to – a week side by side with National Park Rangers, Scientists, Cultural Specialists, and Sled Dogs. Explore the ecology and cultural heritage of Denali National Park, learn about park science, participate in Citizen Science, and practice wilderness travel skills. You will be able to enjoy the quiet of nature while camping in tents at a peaceful campground in Denali National Park. Deeply immerse into Denali with a night at our AK Geo and NPS Teklanika Field Camp, enjoying the last night with your new friends with a cozy yurt and wall tents.

Ages 13-15. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. No experience required.

Course Details

Eshamy Bay Sea Kayaking & Stewardship

July 23 – July 29
Anchorage, AK

Look for invasive species and explore the calm, peaceful water of Eshamy Bay. This unique community building experience is your opportunity to create a healthier Prince William Sound while learning from Chugach National Forest backcountry rangers and Chugach tribal members from the Chugach Regional Resources Commission. Guest scientists and local experts will be part of the expedition, including marine and wildlife biologists, community leaders, and public land management organizations. As a group, you will take knowledge from their experiences while you discuss with your AK Geo instructors to plan a full-day kayaking and hiking excursion before your trip ends. Enjoy the marine wildlife and peaceful Prince William Sound while building self-confidence and developing life-long friendships with other Alaska teens.

Ages 13-15. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Participants must be under 250lbs because of the size capacity of our kayaks. No experience required.

Course Details

Iglauyumaaq: Arctic Travelers

July 22 – July 28
Anchorage, AK

*This trip is only being offered to students living in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough as part of the National Park Service’s Venture Grant. If you have questions regarding this requirement, please email education@akgeo.org* 

In Inupiat, Iglauyumaaq means to be travel happy. During this trip, you will explore the Cape Krusenstern National Monument in cooperation with the National Park Service. You and 6-10 other students from Northwestern Alaska will depart from Kotzebue via boat to a base camp on Cape Krusenstern. While at camp, you will learn about and observe local ecology, the effects of climate change on the Western Arctic and gain a better understanding of the different ways people experience these places. Travel stipend is available for qualifying students, please indicate in your application that you would like to be considered for the stipend or reach out to us if you have any questions.

Ages 14-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. No experience required. See the note above about student requirements.  

Course Details

Prince William Sound Culross Passage Sea Kayaking Expedition

August 6 – August 12
Anchorage, AK

Paddle in this island passage amongst Chugach peaks while developing lasting bonds with other Alaska teens. Learn fundamentals of expedition kayaking, camping, and navigation while your group decides where to paddle and explore each day. Experience unique vantage points of the Prince William Sound on short hikes to vistas and lakes while keeping an eye out for humpbacks, orcas, and seals. Contribute to the longevity of the Prince William Sound by stopping along the way to help with basic maintenance, such as dispersing fire rings, brushing, trash pickup, and sending GPS coordinates to rangers where camps need more assistance.  Spend peaceful evenings at beach camps with your new friends.

Ages 15-18. Please see “Course Details” for physical requirements. Participants must be under 250lbs because of the size capacity of our kayaks. No experience required.

Course Details

Lost Lake Backpacking 

August 7 – August 11
Anchorage, AK

Immerse yourself in the rugged peaks, high alpine meadows, alpine lakes, rainforests, and glaciers of the Chugach National Forest and Kenai Fjords National Park in one remarkable experience. Backpack to a new camp every night, enjoying warm food at the end of each night while creating life-long bonds with other like-minded people. Create a unique connection to the Chugach National Forest by participating in basic trail maintenance to keep the Lost Lake and Primrose Trails healthy for continued use. After days of backpacking, enjoy a drive to the exceptional Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park to meet with their rangers and discuss how glaciology affects your community.   

Ages 13-15. No experience required. 

Course Details

Our Instructors

Alyssa

Alyssa

Alyssa, originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, has been working in the outdoors since her first seasonal job brought her to Skagway, Alaska back in 2008. With over a decade of experience across the cruise, resort, and luxury travel industries, she has been known to make bucket list adventures come true. Her passion for exploring has taken her all across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, which has inspired her to pursue a career that allows her to work in some of the most enchanting places in the world. As a travel professional, wilderness guide, and Leave No Trace educator, she endeavors to support individuals and organizations within the outdoor and tourism industries to become more sustainable and eco-conscious, especially in Alaska, as climate change continues to present ever increasing challenges throughout the state. Alyssa is a Wilderness First Responder.

Joey

Joey

Joey is our Assistant Education Program Coordinator. He ensures that all the trips have the gear, food, and all the little things you forget to think about that are needed to be successful while on an expedition. Joey is originally from New England and moved to Alaska in April 2021. Joey's professional experience in the outdoors has been through trail construction and outdoor education throughout various parts of the United States, which has extended into volunteer engagement, at-risk youth education, and leading many backpacking trips. Joey worked on the Chugach National Forest in Girdwood last season and really enjoyed exploring the area, especially sea kayaking in the Prince William Sound. Joey had such a good time here in Alaska that he decided to stay for longer than just a season, and is now a student at Alaska Pacific University working on a degree in Outdoor Studies. Joey is a Wilderness First Responder.

Kaden

Kaden

Born in Florida, Kaden knew the heat and flat landscapes were not meant for him. He moved to Valdez, Alaska in 2015 after taking a gap year to explore on extended expeditions in Chilean Patagonia. He has been Kayak and Glacier Guide out of Valdez since 2015 and more recently worked as a Wilderness Therapy Guide with Alaska Crossings out of Wrangell, AK. Kaden is excited to share with you his knowledge and passion about the Alaskan landscape, coastline, and history. He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and ACA (American Canoe Association) Level 2 Coastal Kayaking Instructor.

Kaia

Kaia

Kaia is one of our Backpacking and Stewardship Instructors. She decided to pursue a career in outdoor education after studying Environmental Science in New Zealand during a study abroad semester. After an internship working with the Wellington Botanic Garden’s Education Team, she went on to contribute eight summers volunteering with Rotary International’s Youth Leadership Camp and two seasons instructing with Voyageur Outward Bound School. Originally from a small city in Texas, she now considers Minnesota home. She has spent the last four winters exploring the public lands of the United States nomadically, traveling from coast to coast in her off-grid travel trailer, actively pursuing any opportunity to hike, rock climb, mountain bike, and canoe. Kaia is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and an ACA (American Canoe Association) Level III Tandem Whitewater Instructor.

Kate

Kate

Kate is one of our Lead Sea Kayaking Instructors. She is an experienced outdoor educator and sea kayaking guide. She got her start as a sea kayak guide in Maine, where she became a Registered Maine Sea Kayaking Guide. She completed a NOLS mountaineering and sea kayaking semester in Patagonia, is a Wilderness First Responder, a Leave No Trace Instructor, and is American Canoe Association Kayak Touring Level II certified.

Mischa

Mischa

Mischa is our Education Program Coordinator. Mischa has extensive experience in implementing expedition programs for Alaska youth, leading sea kayaking and backpacking expeditions, and communicating stories. Mischa holds a BS in Visual Journalism from the Brooks Institute and is a Wilderness First Responder and is American Canoe Association Kayak Touring Level III certified.

Natasha

Natasha

Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Natasha has always loved going on adventures in beautiful outdoor spaces with friends, family, and dogs! Whether rock climbing in the desert, backpacking in the mountains, or using her degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability to do science technician fieldwork, Natasha loves combining her love for the outdoors with principles of stewardship in guiding, personal endeavors, and research. Over the last few years, Natasha has worked as a guide for Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, researched and completed a senior thesis focusing on inclusivity and accessibility to outdoor recreational spaces and opportunities, and solo thru-hiked the 500 mile Colorado Trail. Natasha is thrilled to share her knowledge and passion for the outdoors while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. Natasha is a Wilderness First Responder.

Ruby

Ruby

Ruby is a passionate outdoor educator who is committed to creating experiences that inspire and empower students to become responsible recreators. With experience as a Field School Instructor at Kellogg FIELD School, a Lead Climbing Coach, an Education Coordinator and Guide, Ruby has developed skills in designing education programs, assessing and managing risk, and facilitating a variety of adventure programs for students. Ruby is earning her Masters of Outdoor and Environmental Education from Alaska Pacific University, holds a BS in Science in Education from Ohio University, is a Wilderness First Responder, and an AMGA Single Pitch Rock Climbing Instructor.