Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    NOLS Pacific Northwest Sea Kayaking

    NOLS Pacific Northwest Sea Kayaking


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destination: Canada
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: June
    • Session Length: Four Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Sub-Categories: Animals/Nature, Kayaking, Leadership
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Minimum Cost: $3,000 - $6,999
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Credit Awarded: Yes
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    Write a Review


    In this NOLS course, explore the lush, wild coastline of British Columbia, Canada, on this month-long sea kayaking adventure. Paddle between densely forested islands and through backcountry fjords. Learn about local ecology and human history as you tackle new challenges on the water. Find out more!

    On this course, you’ll explore the stunning coast of the Pacific Northwest in British Columbia, Canada. You’ll master the skills you need to travel competently in an ocean environment, develop your leadership skills, and learn about local ecology. By the end of the course, you’ll be prepared for a lifetime of adventures on the water. 

    You’ll start out practicing the fundamentals of sea kayaking in more protected waters, including paddling and rescue techniques, chart reading, and “wet exits.” Once you master the basics, you’ll head out onto more exposed, open coastlines and move on to advanced topics, including tides, ocean currents, and the assessment of marine hazards. As you gain proficiency in ocean travel, you’ll also develop essential backcountry living and Leave No Trace skills and become a more effective leader and team member. 

    You’ll spend your days exploring coves, islands, and fjords along the coast and nights camping on remote beaches. On the water, you might spot seals or whales, and inland, you might catch a glimpse of bears or wolves. Surrounded by open water and coastal wilderness, you’ll get an unparalleled introduction to expedition sea kayaking on this course.

    *Duration: 30 days
    *Average group size: 10 students / 2 instructors
    *Average age: 20  / minimum age: 16
    *Watercraft: single and double sea kayaks
    *250-pound participant weight limit (this is a function of the kayak’s weight carrying capacity)
    *Skills: coastal navigation, reading tides and currents, paddling and boat handling 
    *Varied coastal environment: inland waters, fjords, bays, coves, island archipelagos
    *Opportunities for on-shore exploration
    *Opportunity for students to travel in small groups independent of instructors (based on instructor discretion)
    *Notable wildlife: bears, wolves, seals, and whales