Trip Opportunities

Offered Trips

From camping in snow caves in Mt. Baker to kayaking in the San Juan Islands, our Outdoor Program provides a variety of trips for all students and all skill levels. Here is a brief description of each trip scheduled for the school.

  • Camping 101: Sept. 22-23, 2018

    Come camp along the shores of Puget Sound to learn or review essential camping skills, such as cooking, tent set up, and packing a pack. This trip will prepare you for future NWS Outdoor Program Trips and connect you with other outdoor-interested NWS students and the Outdoor Program leaders. Plus, there will be time for exploring the plant and animal life of the Puget Sound inlet, taking a short hike, and playing frisbee and other field games.

    Experience required: None


  • Alpine Backpacking: Sept. 29-30, 2018

    The two-day Alpine Backpacking Trip at the start of the school year is a Northwest tradition, giving students the chance to wake up in the heart of the North Cascade mountains. We hike 4.5 miles into our camp, carrying all we need for the night. Once at our destination, we explore the area, appreciating golden larch trees and other alpine plants, and work together to set up tents and make dinner. This trip provides the unique opportunity to explore fragile, alpine ecosystems and enjoy towering views of the surrounding peaks.

    Experience required: Students participating in this trip need to have demonstrated competency with basic outdoor skills (staying warm and dry, setting up a tent, etc.) on at least one previous Outdoor Program trip or a comparable experience


  • Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride: Oct. 6, 2018

    Follow a former railroad grade up to and through Snoqualmie Pass on a day bicycle trip on the Iron Horse Trail. The trail passes through a two-mile tunnel under the mountains at Snoqualmie Pass. Because the trail is relatively flat, both novice and experienced riders can come out and enjoy this unique and intriguing setting, choosing ride length based on the time allotted.

    Experience required: None


  • Alpine Lakes Day Hike: Oct. 27, 2018

    Join us for a day hike along trails near the Snoqualmie Pass area, a unique opportunity to witness the transition from fall to winter within forest and alpine ecosystems. We will hike between three and six miles during the day. Our specific route will be determined during the week leading up to the trip, based on weather and trail conditions.

    Experience required: None


  • Mt. Baker Igloo Trip: Jan. 18-21, 2019

    Come to Mt. Baker and snow camp with the Northwest School Outdoor Program! The focus of this trip will be practicing snow camping in a safe environment. Students are expected to construct and stay in snow shelters on Saturday night. After sleeping in the shelters Saturday night, we then avail ourselves of the outdoor recreation opportunities (typically the lift area, cross-country skiing and/or snow shoeing) in the alpine valley on Sunday.

    Experience required: Previous participation (preferably within the previous year) with the Outdoor Program


  • Snoqualmie Pass Cross Country Skiing: Jan. 26, 2019

    Ready for some winter fitness? Interested in a scenic day in the mountains? Eager to escape from the city rain to a winter wonderland? Come cross country skiing with the Outdoor Program. The trip will head to groomed trails in the Snoqualmie Summit area that are suitable for classic and skate skiing.

    Experience required: Open to all skiing levels


  • Snoeshowing in the Cascades: Feb. 9, 2019

    Explore a winter wonderland on snowshoes with the Outdoor Program. This trip offers the chance to get outside, enjoy the Cascades Mountains in the winter time, and revel in the beauty of the snow! We will take a short snowshoe, roughly two to five miles, and enjoy the views and snow playing opportunities along the way.

    Experience required: None


  • Lopez Island Bike Trip: March 2-4, 2019

    Join us for a biking trip in the San Juan Islands! We will ride on Lopez Island, exploring the farms, town, and rolling scenery by day and staying at the house of a Northwest School family overnight. This trip is a great chance to explore a unique part of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem and do some longer rides.

    Experience Required: None


  • Olympic Coast Backpacking Trip: April 27-29, 2019

    We will be backpacking and camping on the rugged and stunningly beautiful northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. From the trailhead at Lake Ozette, we will hike about three miles on relatively flat terrain out to coastal campsites in the Sand Point or Cape Alava areas. Once we establish our campsite(s), we will take hikes along the beach to enjoy the scenery in this primitive coastal area that has been preserved in its wilderness status.

    Experience Required: None


  • Rock Climbing in Leavenworth: May 17-18, 2019

    We will camp near Leavenworth and then enjoy a full day of climbing in that beautiful area. Students coming on this trip will have the opportunity to climb on some excellent granite routes on cliffs alongside Icicle Creek. The climbing will be supervised by Northwest School faculty. The climbing will be under top-roped conditions, with the student climbers constantly on belay. Each climber can choose whether to do any particular route, as our emphasis is on challenge by choice in a supportive environment.

    Experience Required: None


  • Kayak and Camping Trip: May 31-June 2, 2019

    Join us for an overnight kayaking trip on Puget Sound or an Alpine Lake (Location TBD depending on conditions). This trip will involve two nights of camping and two days of paddling and exploration.

    Experience Required: None


  • Ski Bus

    Join the Northwest School Ski Bus for night skiing at the Summit at Snoqualmie. The bus will leave Northwest after school on Friday evenings, and students will have the time to ski for three or four hours. Students attending these trips must be proficient enough to ski independently. There will potentially be an option to sign up for lessons on some evenings and to rent skis depending on interest and availability.

    Dates in 2019: Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8, March 1