Wilderness Leadership Course

Wilderness Leadership Course

This youth leadership focused two-week backpacking trips teaches high school students outdoor leadership, interpersonal leadership, and encourages them to invest in their own intrapersonal growth.

The first four days are focused on learning and developing skills in map reading, route planning, Leave No Trace ethics, first aid, cooking, nutrition, hydration, risk management and decision making.

On days five through twelve, participants rotate through leading their group after demonstrating proficiency and competence in skills learned during the first few days. 

Throughout the twelve days, participants will continue to practice their leadership skills, build a strong team and refine their outdoor skills. Additionally, they will continue to learn about the area they are backpacking into including: natural history, cultural history, geology, plant identification, and biological habitats.

This trip takes place in the Enchanted Valley, an unforgettable journey through the old-growth temperate rainforest of Olympic National Park. The trail winds along the east fork of the Quinault River, taking you deep into the Olympic Mountains with very little elevation gain. It features stunning views, cascading waterfalls, and the opportunity for breathtaking wildlife encounters.

We provide all needed gear, including boots and clothing if notified 4 weeks ahead of time. Food from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day is provided. Transportation is provided from the meet location in Edgewood and back.

Click here to apply


Leadership – Wildlife – History

Difficulty Level

Intermediate: Moderate elevation gain and loss, 14 days, up to 60 miles on a sometimes uneven and steep trail.


Two weeks (14 days)

2023 Schedule:

June 24-July 7

July 29-August 11

Price: $1500 per person

Includes gear rental, food, transportation, and all entrance fees, permits, and passes.

Our mission is to make outdoor recreation accessible to all. If you cannot afford the total trip cost right now, send us a brief message to request a discount form.

    Photo Gallery

    Trip Details


    • Day 1: Gear up day
      • Meet at Sahale Outdoors
      • Gear fitting, classroom, and orientation
      • Camp at trailhead
    • Days 2-4: Learn and develop skills
    • Days 5-11: Leadership rotations
    • Day 12: Exit and debrief

    Learning Goals

    • WFA
    • LNT
    • Team building
    • Backpacking
      • Shelter
      • Fire building
      • Stove
    • Plant and wildlife ID
    • Geology
    • Map reading
    • Route planning
    • Route leading
    • Natural History
    • Cultural History
    • Env. science
    • Goal Setting


    • Meet Location: Edgewood, WA
    • Meet Time: 9 AM
    • Pick-up Location: Edgewood, Wa
    • Pick-up Time: Approximately 4-6 PM, guides will reach out to guardians to communicate ETA

    Gear Provided

    • Tent
    • Backcountry sleeping pad
    • Multi-day backpack
    • Sleeping bag
    • All meals from lunch the first day through lunch on the last day
    • All entrance fees, permits and passes 
    • First-aid kit and satellite phone
    • Group kitchen and food service gear
    • Water bottles

    Indigenous Land


    This is my land
    From the time of the first moon
    Till the time of the last sun
    It was given to my people.
    Wha-neh Wha-heh, the great giver of life
    Made me out of the earth of this land
    He said, “You are the land, and the land is you.”
    I take good care of this land,
    For I am part of it
    God gave it to me
    This is my land

    Clarence Pickernell, Quinault

    The Quinault are among the small number of Americans who can walk the same beaches, paddle the same waters, and hunt the same lands their ancestors did centuries ago. The Quinault people have a long history of working to protect their ancestral lands, and today manage a reservation of 330 square miles that includes over 208,150 acres of some of the most productive conifer forest lands in the United States. As an example of their environmental restoration work, in 2008 the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) partnered with the Wild Salmon Center and state entities to restore the habitat of the Blueback Sockeye Salmon, a unique species that lives only in the Quinault River System.

    The Quinault are a Southwestern Coast Salish people. Their historical way of life was centered around salmon fishing, and they also hunted elk, bear, and whales, as well as eating clams and camas bulbs. They have a rich culture of industrial arts made from forest products, using cedar bark, pine roots, hemp rushes, and grass to make clothes, nets, and baskets. They built houses, canoes, and storage trunks from wood. They made beautiful carvings and decorated their work using red and yellow dyes made from the Oregon grape, hemlock bark, salmon eggs, and the ash of red cedar. 

    Today, the QIN continues to engage in social and environmental work, emphasizing sustainable resource management, political awareness, cultural connection, education, and community health and wellness.

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