Best Outdoor Summer Camps in California

As the days are getting longer and Spring is right around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about which outdoor summer camp in California you will send your children to. California is magnificent and boasts more national parks than any other state, so naturally, there are many options. Lasting Adventures has been successfully running outdoor summer camps in California for over twenty-five years starting with the Youth High Country Adventure that still runs today. We have built upon that program to provide the best options from the beginner backpacker to the kid who can’t get enough of the outdoors with our 27-Day Leadership Expedition. No matter their age or experience, we have a trip that your child is sure to love!

Young Women’s Program

Young Women’s Program enjoying Yosemite Falls.

There are so many benefits to an all-female backpacking trip that they don’t stop when they exit the woods. The ladies participating in our Young Women’s program often walk away with increased self-confidence, shared camaraderie, and adventure. In addition to our regular outdoor education that is taught on all trips, the Young Women’s trips dive into what it’s like being a woman in this world. Many journal sessions are had, readings pondered, and discussions prompted to navigate the unique challenges and positives inherent in womanhood. After running a 13-Day Young Women’s Adventure for years, a 6-Day Young Women’s Program was added to enable even more young women to experience this memorable trip.

Young Adventurer’s Program

The Young Adventurers are all smiles with views like this!

When introducing children to the outdoors, starting when they’re young is a great idea. The Young Adventurer’s Summer Camp caters to kids ages eleven to thirteen who may be experiencing backpacking for the very first time. This adventure considers how challenging it is for kids at this age to backpack and, therefore covers less mileage than our traditional program. Led by experienced outdoor educators with loads of patience, they find a balance between learning about their surroundings and just having plain ‘ol fun. Games are played, riddles are uncovered, and group candy is shared when the time is right. This is the perfect introduction to backpacking and a chance for the kids to truly be themselves out in the wild.

Youth High Country Adventure

The kids on the Youth High Country Adventure jump for joy!

The Youth High Country Adventure is the program that started it all. This backpacking trip through the gems of Yosemite can be done as a 6-day or a 13-day adventure. Traversing through high alpine terrain while staying by gorgeous lakes at night is standard for all trips. Kids from all over the country meet and soon form a tight-knit group cemented by games, team building, and daily sharing goals. This trip is excellent for beginning backpackers and seasoned outdoors kids alike. The supportive environment encourages confidence, and the friendships formed have many youth talking about the adventure weeks after it’s ended.  

27-Day Leadership Expedition

The youth on the 27-Day Leadership Expedition become a tight-knit outdoors family.

The 27-Day Leadership Expedition is an excellent program for those slightly older (14-18) teens who just can’t get enough of the outdoors. The trip starts in Yosemite, where the group initially gets to know each other, bonds, and sets goals for the journey ahead. After being immersed in the wilderness for two weeks, the group experiences a little luxury with fresh fruit and provisions as they gain their Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Aid certifications at a front country campground. The tightly bonded group then moves parks to Sequoia National Park to continue their expedition. Leadership curriculum is integrated throughout the whole program with the kids learning about the interconnectedness of humans and the environment around them. This is a life-changing program that the teenager in your life will never forget.

Sequoia 10-Day High Country Adventure

Ten days of adventuring in Sequoia provides many opportunities for stellar sunsets.

The Sequoia 10-Day High Country Adventure is perfect for those kids who have backpacked before and would like a challenge. This adventure crosses high mountain passes into the Sequoia backcountry to visit some of the best scenery in North America. The youth on this trip will be able to explore mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls, and cool geologic features. If your child has already done one of our programs in Yosemite or Olympic this is an exciting new option to explore some different terrain.

From the beginner backpacker to the seasoned outdoors traveler, we have outdoor summer camps in California that are sure to please every kid. Check out our Yosemite Summer Camps and Sequoia High Country Adventure pages to learn more about the different trips we offer, and sign your kid up for a Lasting Adventure today!

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