The Montana Expedition is designed for 16-18 year olds who are looking to immerse themselves in the backcountry and traverse challenging terrain by foot, horseback, and canoe. Our longest wilderness course offered, this 25-day trip will give students an amazing opportunity for self discovery and community formation via extended wilderness travel.
The expedition team will spend the first week backpacking through a remote mountain range and learning fundamental backpacking, camping, cooking, and group travel and decision-making skills. During the second segment, students will travel to the Centennial Mountains where they will be introduced to the art and tradition of horsepacking and the long history of the human-pack animal relationship in some of Southwest Montana’s wildest country. On the third and final section of the course, students will embark on a 12-day canoe expedition traveling over 100 wild and scenic river miles of the UpperMissouri River Breaks National Monument—historical lands of the Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, and Assiniboine peoples, and path of the famous Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery.
Throughout the course, participants will engage in lessons about place-based ecology, land and water navigation, land history, and leadership and communication styles. Each student will have several opportunities to lead the group as Expedition Leader of the Day to gain experience with newly acquired leadership and backcountry skills. Expedition members will also obtain Leave No Trace® Awareness and Wilderness First Aid certifications to serve them in future wilderness travel.
Interested students can earn college credit for this experience through University of Montana Western. For more information about MWS core curriculum and expedition progression see Expedition Life.