Three Parks in One

Olympic National Park is renowned as a premier backpacking destination because of the wide range of ecosystems that are found here. From the regal Olympic Mountains, to enchanting old-growth forests, to the breath-taking wilderness coast, there are adventures around every corner. Despite rumors that it always rains in Washington, the summers here are nearly perfect, with warm days, starry nights, and picturesque mountainscapes covered in wildflowers.

Come see for yourself!

 
 
 

Olympic Science Expedition

Dates: June 23 - July 5, 2019
Ages: For students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, or who have just graduated high school

Immerse yourself in backpacking, in environmental science, and in the wonder of exploring a national park on this exceptional two-week experience.

  • Embark on an 8-day backpacking expedition through Olympic National Park.

  • Design and conduct your own science investigation.

  • Discover what it means to be a field scientist.

  • Travel across gorgeous forest and mountain landscapes.

  • Learn, or improve, your backpacking skills.

  • Form new friendships.

  • Hike 5-10 miles each day to a new campsite, carrying everything you need in a large backpack that weighs 40-50 lbs.

  • Strengthen your leadership skills.

  • Present your science investigations to National Park staff, NatureBridge educators, your family, and peers.

Students have used their NatureBridge summer backpacking experience and research for high school capstone projects, college entrance essays, and job resumes. This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $2,180
Financial Aid is available! Click here for more information

Olympic Science Adventure

Dates: July 7 - July 14, 2019
Ages: For students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, or who have just graduated high school

Experience the best that Olympic National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion. During this program, you will:

  • Spend five days backpacking through the Olympic Mountains, arriving at a new campsite each afternoon.

  • Experience what it’s like to be a field scientist by conducting ecological research.

  • Learn the basics of backcountry travel.

  • Hike about 5 miles a day, carrying everything you need in a backpack weighing 35-45 lbs.

  • Form new friendships.

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but have only have a week to spare this summer! Students have used their NatureBridge summer backpacking experience and research for high school capstone projects, college entrance essays, and job resumes. This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $1,250
Financial aid is available! Click here for more information.

NEW! Olympic Science Adventure: Middle School!

Dates: June 23 - June 29, 2019
Ages: Entering 8th or 9th grade

Due to the large number of inquiries about a backpacking program for middle school students last year, we decided to add a middle school backpacking program to Summer 2019! Experience the best that Olympic National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion. During this program, you will:

  • Spend four days backpacking through the Olympic Mountains, arriving at a new campsite each afternoon.

  • Experience what it’s like to be a field scientist by conducting ecological research.

  • Learn the basics of backcountry travel.

  • Hike about 5 miles a day, carrying everything you need in a backpack weighing 30-40 lbs.

  • Form new friendships.

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but have only have a week to spare this summer! This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $1,190
Financial aid is available!
Click here for more information.

 

Fees and Financial Aid

Enrollment & Tuition
Fees include all meals, lodging, and educational experiences. 

Financial Aid
NatureBridge is committed to making our programs financially accessible to all students. We are pleased to offer financial aid for families who qualify. To apply for financial aid, download and complete our financial aid application. Instructions for financial aid applicants are included on the financial aid application form. Financial aid decisions are based on the family's demonstrated need and the student's commitment to participating in one of our summer backpacking trips. 

Students in the Seattle School District should also consider applying for the Assistance League of Seattle's summer scholarships.

 

Our Campus on Lake Crescent

The NatureBridge Olympic campus is located on the south shore of beautiful Lake Crescent. Built as a resort in the early 1900s, this campus includes historic and modern cabins, a fully equipped classroom, and a dining hall that retains its original name Rosemary Inn. Students will stay in large dorm-style cabins, some of which include their own bathroom and others that share a large bathhouse. Our campus is connected to miles of hiking trails that lead to old-growth forests and nearby Marymere Falls.

 

 canoes and cabins along lake crescent at naturebridge campus in olympic national park in Washington state
 

Getting here

 

We can’t wait to see you this summer!

Olympic National Park is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It is your responsibility to get to and from Olympic at the beginning and end of the course. Travel options are listed below. Please refer to the program-specific preparation packets for exact arrival/departure details.

Travel by Car

If you are planning to drive, please refer to our Google map for directions (or click on the pin on the map to the right).  

Travel by Plane

We offer a shuttle service, for a fee, to and from Seattle International Airport (Sea-Tac) on the first and last day of the session. Please review the student packet for your program before buying airline tickets to ensure that the arrival and departure times coordinate with our shuttle service. You can purchase this shuttle service while registering for the program on our online registration page.

 

Getting Prepared: Information for Registered Participants

Ready, set, go!

Unless you are an experienced backpacker, the thought of living in the wilderness for multiple days and nights can be a little daunting. Rest assured that our environmental science educators have a great deal of experience leading wilderness expeditions and will be able to help you live happily and comfortably in the backcountry.

It is important that you arrive physically and emotionally prepared for the challenge. Our student packets will help you to prepare with a complete packing list and guidelines for buying or renting the right equipment and clothing.

2019 Student Packets:
Preparing for the Olympic Science Expedition
Preparing for the Olympic Science Adventure
Preparing for the Olympic Science Adventure: Middle School!

Registered Student Paperwork and Information

Registered participants must complete the NatureBridge Participant Registration form, the NatureBridge Medical Exam, and the Student Contract.

After completing your registration forms, please email them to Katie Draude, Summer Programs Manager, at kdraude@naturebridge.org.

NatureBridge Participant Registration form and NatureBridgeMedial Exam: Participating students must visit a physician prior to the course to discuss the course and ascertain that their health is well-aligned with the demands of the course. This form must be signed by both a physician and the parent or guardian of the participant.

NatureBridge Student Contract: Participating students must read and sign this contract prior to the course.

Preparing for the Olympic Science Expedition, Preparing for the Olympic Science Adventure, and Preparing for the Olympic Science Adventure: Middle School! Student Packets: These student packets contain detailed travel information, a packing list, and helpful tips for preparing for your trip.