During this three day two night expedition, campers will explore the vast backcountry of the Sierra Nevada. Underway they will learn its history, identify flora and fauna, orienteer with map and compass and much more.

At base camp, campers will learn to set up and break down gear, learn the dos and don’ts of backcountry survival and enjoy some well earned R&R. Before lights out, campers will become astronomers using star maps to explore the celestial bodies and constellations above.

Backcountry experiences are designed to develop camper strength, confidence and perseverance, values we hope endure long after their adventure ends.

Each backpacking trip is designed for campers nine to twelve years old. To ensure safety and best practices, we utilize Wilderness First Responders as trip guides and maintain a 6:1 camper to guide ratio at all times.

To meet demand we’ve expanded trip offerings – please see trip dates listed below.


Ages: Designed for campers 9 to 12 years old.

Experience Level: Beginner.

Gender: Girls and Boys, trips are separated by gender.

Days / Times: 

  • Girls Trip:
    • Rescheduled for Wednesday morning, July 15 to Friday afternoon, July 17, 2020. (Originally scheduled June 24 – 26.)
  • Boys Trip:
    • Wednesday morning July 8 to Friday afternoon July 10, 2020.

Times: 9:00am on first day to 3:00pm on last day.

Where: To further increase social distancing, this camp drop off and pickup location has been updated. This updated Truckee based location will be shared with participants before camp begins.

Capacity: 10 Participants

Provided Gear: Tahoe Summer Camps has overnight backpacks, tents, group cooking supplies and necessities available, at no additional charge. Food is also included in camp registration.

Campers Will Supply:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Toiletries
  • Medication (if needed)
  • Clothing, shoes and bathing suit
  • Headlamp
  • Snacks
  • 2 Water Bottles

Cost: $450


Note: Summer 2020 trip details will be communicated to parents and participants in advance of departure. Locations may change, challenges and many lessons will not.

Sample Itinerary from past backpacking adventure below:

Day 1 – TEA Campus – Echo Lake Trailhead – Tamarack Lake

Through new, challenging experiences campers will learn to recognize their own personal strengths and develop the skills they need to survive in the wilderness and be a leader back at home.

8:00am – 9:00am: Greeting, reading and initiative
9:00am – 12:00pm: Drive to then launch from Big Meadow trailhead
12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch
1:00pm – 7:00pm: Continue hike to Round Lake, make camp on the shores of Round Lake, explore and dinner
7:00pm – 9:00pm: Closing Circle (reflection and appreciation) and lights out 


Day 2 – Tamarack Lake – Aloha Lake  – Camp at Susie Lake

Campers will experience a true backcountry trip with the breaking down and setting up of their camps and moving their gear to a new site further in the backcountry. They will gain insight and proficiency in Leave No Trace Ethics.


8:00am – 9:00am: Wakeup and breakfast
9:00am – 12:00pm: Break camp and backpack to Aloha Lake
12:00pm – 1:30pm: Swim then Lunch
1:30pm – 7:00pm: Continue to hike, swim and explore, make way to evening camping spot. Eat dinner
7:00pm – 8:00pm: Closing Circle (reflection and appreciation) and lights out 

Day 3 – Susie Lake – Trailhead – TEA Campus

Participants will lead the hike back to the pick-up zone to demonstrate their new wilderness knowledge and skills. They will use their navigation tools and abilities to guide the team and assess and manage risks along the way.

8:00am – 9:00am: Breakfast, break camp
9:00am – 12:00pm: Backpack to Trailhead
12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch, load vehicle for return to campus
1:00pm – 2:30pm: Drive back to campus

2:30pm – 3:00pm: Closing Circle (reflection and appreciation and departure).




07/08/2020 – 07/10/2020


7/15/2020 – 07/17/2020