Wilderness Horsepacking

Jackson, Wyoming

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Join a group of motivated peers ages 23 and up for a unique Western adventure: horsepacking in the rugged mountains of Wyoming. Learn to travel and camp with horses as you explore the glacier-carved Wind River Range or the sweeping plateaus of the Absarokas.Start out with several days of camping at NOLS Three Peaks Ranch. Build community with your coursemates and work on basic skills like grooming, saddling, and riding horses. Then, pack your panniers and head into the mountains, where you’ll put your new horsepacking skills into practice. Wake up early and enjoy the sunrise as you tend to your equine companions. Learn how to apply Leave No Trace principles when traveling with horses, and how to cook tasty meals on a campstove. Fall asleep in a tent under the stars, ready for the next day’s adventures.On this expedition, you’ll discover that horsepacking is a great opportunity to grow your leadership skills. Practice effective communication—with both human and equine companions—as you navigate to the next campsite. Challenge yourself to lead in uncertainty, when faced with an unexpected weather event or river crossing. Gain insight into group dynamics and how to support a team in different roles while living in a small community. Return home with the confidence you need in your community, outdoors, and beyond.


Duration: 14 Days
Starts in: Boulder, Wyoming
Ends in: Boulder, Wyoming
Group Size: 8-15
Difficulty: 3/5

Operated by:


The leader in wilderness education since 1965. Learn more at www.nols.edu.

Additional Information

NOLS Prime:

NOLS Prime Expeditions are immersive 1- to 3- week wilderness experiences designed exclusively for adults 23 and over. Our mission is to be educators, not guides. This means while learning how to climb, sail, backpack and more, you’re getting experience making decisions and mentorship from your instructors on managing risk with your group—with the goal that when your course is done you are ready to lead friends and family on your own wilderness trips! Vacations are great for a week or two away but wouldn’t you rather go beyond?

NOLS Three Peaks Ranch: 

Join us at Three Peaks Ranch for a unique Western adventure: horsepacking in the rugged mountains and deserts of Wyoming. Starting at our 120-acre ranch, you’ll learn to travel and camp with horses, exploring the Red Desert, Wind River Range or Absaroka Mountains. While it’s easy to arrange for a day ride in the West, a two- or three-week pack trip is a rare opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a beautiful, remote environment. Not only will you master the basics of backcountry horse travel, you’ll also find that working with horses is a great way to develop your leadership skills. Before you head into the field, you’ll spend several days camping at the ranch where our herd of 80 horses lives, familiarizing yourself with the horses and gear you’ll rely on in the backcountry. At Three Peaks, you’ll become part of a longstanding tradition of exploration on horseback: the ranch was first homesteaded in 1886 and some of the original buildings are still in use today. Come challenge yourself to learn new skills and effective communication—with both human and equine companions—in Wyoming’s rugged mountains and sweeping deserts.

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