Since 2014 I’ve asked our clients to complete a post-trip survey to gather feedback about our guides, locations, meals, and curriculum, plus their overall satisfaction. Reviewing the results is a multi-day project but entirely worthwhile: they confirm what we’re doing right, and they give me a checklist of improvements for the following year.
Among our 2021 client pool, 288 clients (or 85 percent) took the survey, so I have high statistical confidence in the results.
The first question in the survey is the most important: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your experience?”
I’ve asked this exact question since the beginning, and on a 5-star scale the results have been:
- 2021: 4.88
- 2020: 4.88
- 2019: 4.92
- 2018: 4.81
- 2017: 4.88
- 2016: no trips
- 2015: 4.90
- 2014: 4.85
These scores are remarkably consistent through the years. This both frustrates me, because my efforts to improve the program don’t seem to move the needle; and pleases me, because the program has growth significantly, because I guide fewer trips as a percentage of the whole, and because we overcame major obstacles like Covid and California wildfires. Basically, this tells me that my team rocks.
Testimonials from 2021
At the end of our annual client survey, we ask clients to provide a testimonial. Of our 2021 alumni, 179 did. I will share them all here, to thank our clients for being so flattering and to leave no doubt with prospective clients that our program is truly extraordinary. You can also read an additional 76 testimonials from 2020 and110 from 2019.
Grand Staircase Escalante: Adventure
“This trip to Utah was challenging and rewarding physically and intellectually. I loved the preparation phase of the curriculum which continued on into the trip. And the physical and mental challenge of off-trail adventuring was extraordinary. Loved (most of) the experience!” – Ryan T.
“Our most epic trip to date! We learned so much with two fantastic guides. Great group of people and we felt well-matched in terms of ability with each other and with the course picked out. Our goals were met and then some. Andrew Skurka Adventures is an excellent guiding organization focused on teaching skills rather than just getting you from point A to point B. Can’t wait to do more off-trail navigation soon.” -Carol K.
“What an amazing experience! This trip exceed all my expectations. We hiked through incredibly beautiful places with incredible knowledgeable guides. My wife and I enjoyed every minute, specially the night we slept under the star when cowboy camped for the first time.” -Cesar O.
“Andrew Skurka’s Backpacking classes are at the confluence of fun, comradery, and competence. What could be better than experiencing nature and landscapes that you may not have otherwise known existed with friendly like minded people where you learn legitimate skills and gain real confidence in being in the remote wilderness. What I like best about these trips and the skills being taught, is the active physical and emotional engagement with nature and landscape, not merely passively appreciating it or simply admiring its beauty. A great and rewarding time…” -Stuart M.
“Learning how to use a map and compass is a game changer for me! Thank you Andrew and my great guides!” -David E.
“I came into this trip looking for an adventure and thinking there was nothing more I needed to learn about backpacking. Boy was I wrong. I got a heck of an adventure all right, a trip I never would have taken on my own. But the main takeaway from my experience is how much I learned in terms of gear and techniques and skills. I’m a much more confident and knowledgeable backpacker now.” – Greg J.
“I loved my trip with Andrew Skurka Adventures. His guides are extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun to follow. I hope to travel with them again and continue to improve my back country skills!” -Cindy S.
“Andrew Skurka’s program included the pre-trip help I needed to dial in my gear and the off trail multi-day learning experience I was looking for to build confidence for future adventures. The pre-trip instructors and trip guides are world class and prepare you for world class adventure!” -Andy J.
“The Andrew Skurka Adventures guided trips bring together a wonderful combination of rigorous planning, beautiful locations, education for all levels, experienced and passionate guides, and just plain fun. Unlike a tour where you are just along to sight-see, this program gives you the academic foundation, thought processes, and practical experience to prepare you to plan and undertake your own back country adventures. The guides were great at understanding each participant’s goals and creating an environment where we had the confidence to leave our comfort zones and try new skills and methods. By the second day, our group of relatively inexperienced backpackers was working together as a team to navigate and route find across the desert. You can watch YouTube videos for another year or you can take a 5-day Adventure trip and learn what really works.” -Michael D.
“This was my first guided trip with Andrew Skurka’s team; I hope to do many more. The biggest takeaway for me is how much of a bargain my trip was! I put all I had into following the curriculum clients are encouraged to go through before hitting the trail; by doing that, I feel that I doubled or tripled the value I would have gotten from the time on the trail alone. The curriculum is chock-full of highly valuable and practical information that helped me get ready to join the guides and other clients. Beyond that, it is very much a resource that keeps-giving as start using it for other solo of group ventures in the future. The time in the field, beyond its obvious scenic appeal, was made vastly richer by a highly competent guiding team that combined enormous backpacking experience, deep archeological/environmental/historical/geological/botanical knowledge of the area, strong pedagogical skill (navigation, gear, cooking, health clinics, etc.), critical leadership skills (including properly “reading” and assisting clients along the way), and a healthy dose of humor. If you are on the fence … Go for it, It will be one of the best decisions you ever made.” -Gerard B.
“Experience is best attained by doing, not reading or watching YouTube. If you are ever on the fence about time, cost, distance or fitness, get off the fence and join Skurka’s group. The memories, experience and confidence gained will stay with you for seasons to come.” –Kian K.
“My wife and I spent 5 days hiking the Escalante Staircase in Southern Utah with Skurka Adventures. We learned a lot about off trail navigation and met some great people.” –Richard E.
“There is some sort of magic going on here. It is rare that I feel something really exceeds my expectations and this was 5 days of wonderful surprises with a group that gelled quickly and experienced the beautiful landscape safely.” -Brian B.
“I highly recommend Andrew Skurka Adventures especially for those looking for more advanced and off the beaten path backpacking trips that are sure to challenge you intellectually and physically. It was an excellent learning opportunity that propelled my capabilities enough for me to plan my own solo adventure in a few months.” -Bernette W.
“The best way to learn the skills and gain the confidence to break through to the next level of outdoor adventure.” -Tyler C.
“Our group covered ~47 miles off trail through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Off-trail travel means constant map and compass work, route finding, decision making, a handful of class 4 sections, canyons, washes, runoffs, expansive tables, and only passing 4 other hikers over the entire trip. Andrew’s a legend in the long-distance hiking world, and he’s transferred his skills and experience into a world-class guiding company. Modern backpacking culture spends too much time talking about gear than actually going out outside and getting after it – when the best gear you can bring are the skills and experience between your ears only earned out in the woods. His guiding approach nails this, ensuring gear is dialed in, but focusing the vast majority of time and effort to teaching the fundamentals for beginners all the way up to advanced skills like off trail route finding for the experienced to create more capable and, ultimately, happy backpackers. Southern Utah was beautiful, we loved becoming friends with everyone in our group, and couldn’t have asked for better guides to shepherd us along the way. Here’s to more off trail adventures!” -Molly M & Tyler C
“An extremely rewarding and educational experience. The group pairings were great and clearly well thought-out. Instructors and guides were fabulous and a wealth of knowledge, which they were happy to share. I guess the best praise I can give is that I am already considering what my next trip with Skurka Adventures will be. If you are considering a guided trip then Skurka & Co. should be at the top of your list.” -Kevin L.
“The Andrew Skurka Adventures team are some of the most accomplished and impressive backpackers in the world. The strange thing is that they are also some of the most fun and kind people I have ever met. They will take a personal interest in your journey and goals, and work hard to prepare and inspire you to meet them. The trips are hard, but you will learn a ton, meet some awesome people, and have some shockingly good meals in epic locations. I am a significantly more confident and prepared backpacker thanks to this program and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is new to backpacking, wants to expand on existing skills, or just wants to spend a week doing something awesome.” -Sam
“After years of looking at Skurka’s guided trips, I finally decided to sign up and I am so happy I did! The guides were incredibly patient and fun teachers. It was an investment in myself, my skills, and my happiness—SO worth it!” -Rosemary M.
“The five day Utah Adventure trip went beyond my expectations. The guides, Joe and Christy, were phenomenal. The care and attention to group makeup by Andrew could not have been better. Our guides were ALWAYS prepared and went out of their way to ensure important teaching points were learned and applied. Well done!” -Edward D.
“What an incredible journey through the Escalante desert with incredibly knowledgeable guides. Trip of a lifetime for sure. Can’t wait for the next one!” -Sarah C.
“If you are wanting to improve your hiking skills, save yourself a lot of TIME and MONEY, and apply for an Andrew Skurka adventure!” -Michael M.
“I’d been backpacking without a guide many times. I had no idea how much more I had to learn from Andrew Skurka. I’m a much more competent backpacker now, particularly off-trail.” -Phil L.
“An unforgettable experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone who has done some backpacking but is interested in learning how to explore the vast and beautiful world away from a trail.” -Ellen H.
“My time in Escalante was one of the most powerful, emotional, and fulfilling experiences I have had in a very long time. I came to learn about more backpacking and instead learned more about myself. It’s safe to say you won’t find that on an r/Ultralight shakedown.” -Jake S.
“My Skurka Trip experience was everything I wanted & more! My expectations were met and exceeded. Southern Utah was beautiful country and Andrew led us through some of the most beautiful parts. I cannot wait to take my next trip!” -Joseph P.
“I have wanted to go on a trip with Andrew since getting his book years ago. After years of “thinking about it”, I finally took the plunge. Everything about the trip was perfect and what I hoped for. The pre-trip coursework is a unique feature and really helps you hit the trailhead ready to go. Andrew’s guides are the cream of the crop in terms of light backpacking. I wanted to learn to feel comfortable navigating off-trail, and I left Escalante feeling really proficient thanks to the instruction and patience of our amazing guides. The scenery was incredible and our group was a perfect fit.” -James H.
“I learned a whole lot! It was a great experience and exceeded my expectations in every way.” -Dwight H.
“Skurka Adventures is an amazing group. Because of their training and instruction, I now feel much more confident and comfortable in the backcountry. The routes and locations of the trips are amazing and really enjoyable. Andrew and his guides provide a personal, well planned, and fun experience.” -Jay K.
“You have created something really special! Wonderful instruction, wonderful guides, and wonderful people. I came on the trip having never slept alone in a tent before and I ended it cowboy camping on my own mesa without a care in the world. Thank you!!” -Jeni P.
“Thank you again for the amazing trip I was able to take in Utah!!!!” -Erika W.
“Andrew Skurka’s guided trips are absolutely incredible: it’s an awesome opportunity to increase your competency in the backcountry and learn with a group of amazing individuals who also enjoy the outdoors! After completing my second trip, I would hands-down recommend Skurka Adventure for anyone who wants to hone their skills!” -Jackie
“I went on a Skurka trip to get more comfortable backpacking, traveling longer, harder distances, and really fine tuning my gear setup. What I got was all that and so much more. I made friends, both in the other trip members and in the guides. Friends who I will not only keep in touch with, but also hope to go on many future trips with! It feels like a true privilege to be part of the Skurka alumni community and as soon as I wrapped up my trip I immediately starting plotting what Skurka trip I could line up next!” -Diana R.
“Skurka Adventures offers a highly organized, professional, adventurous, and best of all, fun backpacking experience with thoughtful guides possessed of deep reservoirs of outdoor knowledge. Backpackers who have just started out or those trying to fine tune their routines will have much to learn from a guided hike put together by Andrew. There is a time and financial commitment to signing up, but by the time you’ve hiked just your first couple miles with the group, it will be well worth it already.” -Andrew Z.
“Andrew Skurka’s guided trip to Utah was an amazing experience. It challenged me physically and mentally all while in a supportive environment. The preparation he requires of his clients ensures that everyone is ready for this challenging experience and able to achieve their individual goals. I walked (actually I skipped!) away from the trip with a refreshed spirit and a true sense of accomplishment.” -Elizabeth T.
“This (2021 Utah Adventure) was my second Skurka Adventures trip and it was a great complement to the first one (2018 Colorado Fundamentals.) Both groups were well-matched and both sets of guides were terrific. I am happy to recommend!” -Mark M.
“Based on my two trips, I would say that the backpacking educational program and trip locations are amazing and by themselves worth the price of admission. But, for me, what really distinguishes the trips and makes them unmatched is you and your team’s clear passion for what they are doing, and ability to select the best guides and groups, all of whom are folks I have enjoyed traveling with and many of whom I now consider friends.” -Glenn S.
“This was a fantastic trip! We learned backpacking skills before and during our trip. I felt challenged and safe at the same time. I wish I was still out there.” -Chuck T.
“Andrew Skurka runs trips that are exceptionally well-planned, organized and operated. If you are new to backpacking or are wishing improve your skills in order to tackle new challenges, you would be wise to go on a Skurka trip. You will learn a lot and have fun in the process.” -Anita F.
“I joined Andrew’s trip to take my backpacking skills further than I could on my own. And I did! But the surprise best part was the amazing group of people that went with me.” -Daniel H.
“This was an amazing experience! What a gift to be able to get outside with other people who are matched to your physical strengths and learning interests. Andrew and his team do a great job of creating groups that gel. I learned so much from our guides and the others in my group. I will definitely be back for another Skurka trip.” -Jenna P.
“I highly recommend the Skurka Adventures trip planning course and guided trip. This trip pushed me outside of my comfort zone and gave me the opportunity to safely do and see things I never would have experienced on my own. I have gained a wealth of knowledge in a short amount of time that will help keep me safe in the backcountry and improve my future backpacking experiences. Thank you all so much for this BEYOND AMAZING experience.” -Amber S.
“With Skurka I go places I would never dare go on my own, do things I never would have thought I could do, and have fun doing it along the way.” -Jim H.
“Andrew and Jeff were the best! We learned so much about the Grand Staircase-Escalante area and how to navigate respectfully through it. The terrain offers unique beauty, challenge, and endless variability. The Escalante offers so much; the area is vast, almost beyond comprehension. Jeff was a wealth of knowledge regarding the natural history of the area and the story of it’s native peoples. Andrew shared his expertise in map reading, route finding and all things backpacking (5-star campsite, backcountry bidet, guyline tension systems, etc.). This trip was chock-full of firsts for me: We discovered artifacts (arrowheads and pottery shards); we explored alcoves and caves adorned with petroglyphs and pictographs; we sampled Mormon tea, wild mint and watercress; and watched an American Dipper feed her young. Escalante is a place where you can lose yourself, forget about the often trivial demands of everyday life and find a new appreciation for the American landscape.” -Ryan H.
“Having day hiked for decades it was great to learn fundamental and basics about backpacking from experts in the field. The 7 day adventure to Escalante was educational, beautiful, and a five star experience.” -Joshua H.
“Superior guided trips into the true wilderness to learn outdoor skills and have a lot of fun with a great groups of outdoor enthusiasts.” -Chas F.
“I knew this was going to be an incredible trip, but it was even better than I expected. This was largely due to the people in my group and my guides. Whether it was serendipitous or some crazy Skurka algorithm, our group got along fantastically. I would backpack anywhere with those people. Additionally, our route was unique and every campsite was breathtaking. It was the perfect mix of mental and technical challenge with the comfort of experienced guides. I would love to go on another Skurka trip.” -Stephanie C.
“It was a great experience with an amazing group of people.” -Paul T.
“After seven days in the Utah desert, I was still wanting more. The guides, food, and company were great. Instead of worrying about what was next, my mind was free to focus on the trail, the wild outdoors, and the huge sky.” -Reagan K.
“I signed up for the Skurka guided trip with the intention to learn about backcountry skills and get in a week of good hiking. But I never expected the backpacking experience — as incredible as it was — to be overshadowed by the amazing friendships I made in such a short amount of time. I’ve come away from this adventure in awe of Utah’s landscape, and now have the confidence to go on my own backcountry trip, but my memories will be of my fellow hikers and the incredible guides.” -Trey T.
“Skurka Adventures provides a unique opportunity to learn and refine lightweight off trail backpacking skills in outstanding locations.” -Tom C.
“The Skurka Adventures 7 Day Utah Adventure was one of my most memorable backcountry trips I’ve taken. World renowned high quality guides, coupled with high quality clients and an incredibly remote and beautiful location combined to make an unparalleled experience. It was simultaneously hard, fun, instructional, and inspiring. I can’t wait to go on another trip with Skurka Adventures!” -Dave G.
“The Utah trip exceeded my high expectations in every way.” -Patrick W.
“Stop reading testimonials, and apply for a trip before Andrew realizes how much he’s undercharging for an unparalleled learning experience and a heck of a fun time.” -Ross P.
“Andrew Skurka and his stellar team of guides will step up your backpacking and adventuring skills whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trekker. The experience and depth of knowledge of Andrew and the guides is unmatched. They provide coursework, skills and experience adventuring off trail which expands your wilderness horizons and enhances your trail-based adventures. The venues are top notch. And great attention is given to the composition of the groups for optimum compatibility. My group gelled almost straight away, worked well together throughout and are in touch afterward. I rarely rate high, but to Andrew Skurka, I give a 10/10. I look forward to joining another trip!” -Don P.
“Once you go backcountry (bidet) you never go back.” -Charles M.
“The adventure begins the moment you take off and feel the power of the bush plane and all your senses are stimulated. You will improve your backcountry skills and learn new ones with each mile walked across a stunning landscape that must be experienced to be understood. Andrew Skurka and professional guide teams dial in the logistics and coach you through critical decisions from route finding, stream crossings and navigation. Come physically fit, mentally prepared, ready to explore and make new friends. Alaska is special!” -Tim S.
“This was my second trip w/ Andrew’s team … it was amazing! I learned a tremendous amount, had an amazing time and meet folks who I’m sure I’ll be traveling w/ again soon.” -Richard C.
“My trip into Alaska with Andrew and the other guides was exceptional. We learned a ton of information and best practices in the months leading up to the trip. That helped us gain confidence and prepared us to a have a great trip. Logistics of the trip were as smooth as could be and the meals that were provided were tasty and hearty, I was not hungry on the trip. I incredible experience I had and the wealth of knowledge I acquired can’t be understated, this was a top notch experience with highly skilled guides and leaders. I can’t recommend a trip with Andrew enough, you will learn incredible things about the backcountry and maybe somethings about yourself as well. I know I did! I can’t wait for my next trip with Andrew!” -Lane S.
“I never dreamed that I would spend a week above the Arctic Circle in one of the most vast, wild, and pristine places remaining in the world (Brooks Range Alaska). But that is what Andrew’s guided trips deliver – once in a lifetime wilderness experiences. There is fantastic skill instruction, expert guides, important real-world learning opportunities, and of course amazing scenery. But to me Andrew’s value is well beyond all that. These are not simply backpacking trips – but carefully cultivated experiences across key locations, routes, and groups of people. No matter the location, I guarantee your trip will be a deeply moving and connecting experience with yourself, the wilderness, and with the few very special people that you get to share it with.” -Sarah M.
“Best trip in my life, I advice those who are able to go to AK trip. The guides are wonderful.” -Nasser Z.
“I couldn’t be happier with the program that Andrew and the team put together. Getting to Gates of the Arctic was the chance of a lifetime, and doing so with such a proficient and professional team was a delight.” -Carl D.
“Andrew Skurka trips are notable for their meticulous planning, amazingly talented guides, and learning experiences that make you a more confident wilderness backpacker. Andrew and his guides ensure you have a safe and supported experience exploring wild and off-trial places that are beyond your current comfort level, while truly intending to transfer such knowledge so you can do it independently as well and spread that knowledge. This is very unique. In addition they are themselves good and fun, and carefully select people of similar abilities and interests who are enjoyable to hang out with, so you don’t need to go with a friend … you’ll surely come out with a few.” -Suresh C.
“GO TO ALASKA! This was an incredible experience in a vast untamed wilderness and an experience with mind blowing float plane scenery, consistently soggy feet, quick changing weather, big wildlife (grizzlies), ankle twisting tussocks, shin crushing willow trees, and feet numbing river crossings! IT WAS AMAZING :)” -Vanessa G.
“The Alaska expedition was a once in a lifetime trip for me. I would not have made it to the Brooks Range on my own because of the extremely difficult logistics and risks involved with a trip like this. Even if I had made it there on my own, I would have picked the worst lines through every swampy tussock-filled valley in the Brooks. This would have led to a miserable and slow trip. The logistical and terrain knowledge that Andrew and his team provide makes a trip like this possible for me and I am grateful for the experience!” -Ryan M.
“Alaska is one of the few places I would not feel comfortable going solo, so it was great to be able to experience it with a group of like-minded, equally serious backpackers. Andrew & Co. did a great job matching up the group and we were all on the same page the entire trip, which is tough to pull off in circumstances like that. The Brooks Range is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, but now I’m excited to be planning my next trip there with confidence.” -Hunter H.
“Spending a week with Andrew in Gates of the Arctic helped me to safely push my boundaries and I came away more confident in my remote backcountry travel and navigation skills.” -Skyler H.
“I can’t speak highly enough about Andrew’s trips and program. As a new backpacker on my first trip with Andrew I learned an incredible amount and felt totally comfortable doing something unfamiliar and intimidating. Several years later on my third trip through Andrew with much more experience under my belt, I got to explore the most incredible wilderness I’ve ever seen with a great group of people while we further developed our skills. If you’re at all considering or on the fence about applying – do it! I’ll definitely be back for another trip (or two) in the future!” -Andrew H.
“Andrew and his team at Skurka Adventures are true professionals. Their high standards for destination, route choice, group selection, and instruction translate into an unforgettable experience for all participants. My recent trip was my 4th guided trip with Skurka Adventures. I learn new things each time out. No matter how much you think you know about backpacking and hiking, time in the field with these professionals always brings new insights, techniques, and perspectives.” -David K.
“I highly recommend the expedition trip to Alaska with Andrew Skurka. The wilderness is amazing, I learned a ton about navigation and trip planning in the arctic, and the other clients are well chosen. I normally hike solo and prefer not to join guided groups, but the trip was a great experience that I wouldn’t of managed on my own and felt like a great collection of like-minded hikers, not a group of “guides” and “clients”. Four thumbs up.” -Dennis D.
“High adventure comes in many forms and Andrew’s team forges the gold standard. It’s clear that a lifetime of adventure and rare expertise is woven into his program. I left Alaska floored by the scenery, community of clientele, and dedication from his team. I can’t wait to return.” -Eric V.
“The Alaska expedition was an amazing adventure from start to end. It was a capstone trip for me– testing my backpacking skills and knowledge, preparation, and physical and mental endurance. The group aspect was really important too– Andrew did a great job of putting together a mix of people that would do well together both physically but also socially. There was also a significant amount of learning– I feel confident that if I wanted to plan my own adventure in the Alaskan tundra, I’d know how and where to start!” -Zi
“No promises that you will be comfortable, but if you can manage mosquitoes, wet and cold, you’ll experience a wilderness and remoteness unlike any other place. Pictures cannot capture the scale and grandeur of Gates of the Arctic National Park; visiting on foot is how it finds a place in your soul.” -Chris F.
“As always with Andrew, a carefully selected, well-matched group. It’s Alaska, so Mother Nature has her own ideas about what’s going to be doable when you arrive in the bush or when you are out “on the trail”. The change of plans necessary was handled and communicated well.” -Thomas H.
“Alaska! What a truly wild experience. My trip in Gates of the Artic was unlike any I have had in the past. The untouched wilderness offered endless opportunities to be challenged, to learn, and to feel small and reflect on this crazy past year and a half.” -Molly M.
“Alaska is Alaska, and Andrews trips are Andrews trips. Someone called it “backpacking alone, together,” and I think that’s a great summary of the experience. These trips create an environment where you can test your personal limits while hiking as a team. There’s always something new to learn about adverse conditions and navigating unique terrain, and how to deal both mentally and physically with the challenges of the backcountry.” -Alex D.
“Backpacking in the Brooks Range was one of my most amazing outdoor experiences ever, combining an incredible environment and wildlife exposure with great people and guides who taught me new skills, and helped me to refine existing ones – thanks!” -Art K.
“Andrew Skurka Adventures’ expedition trips provide the opportunity to refine off- trail route finding, travel and core backpacking skills in world class locations” -Tom C.
“After visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park I’m as excited as I ever have been to continue hiking and exploring, specifically off trail in new and challenging environments. The planning, location, and logistics are all thoughtfully arranged and the trip is a world class backcountry experience. For those looking to experience the endless beauty of the pristine Alaskan Arctic there is no better way to do it than on foot joyfully trudging through the brush and bogs on bear and caribou trails. I’m already ready to go back!” -Travis M.
“Amazing experience and professionally organized. It’s clear that Andrew takes the clients experience and safety very seriously.” -Jeremy W.
“Andrew’s logical planning and teaching methodology makes these trips courses, not just follow the leader. They have been instrumental in upping my game as a route creator, hiker, navigator, and even a mentor to others.” -Fred L.
“My first trip with Andrew Skurka Adventures was in 2012 with Andrew Skurka and Brian Robinson as guides. Luckily, my 2021 trip to Alaska was again with Andrew and Brian. Both trips were a physical challenge and an eye opening experience. Their ability to teach the skills necessary for off-trail hiking is exceptional. They gave me not only the necessary skills but also a heightened sense of confidence to embrace all the wilderness has to offer. From my personal experience, Andrew Skurka Adventures has been providing high-caliber guiding services for a decade. Andrew’s dedication to the backpacking community is a valuable resource. I highly recommend Andrew Skurka Adventures for your next backpacking trip.” -Randy M.
“Skurka Guided Trips are exceptional in all categories: Well-managed trips to remote wilderness areas with a high level of support for its clients and a sincere concern of minimal impact to the pristine areas that they visit.” -David P.
“After taking 3 trips with you, I felt comfortable in navigation, gear, cooking, self-care, and risk assessment to complete a 5 day off trail backpack in Denali National Park. Routes were pre planned, maps printed, plans reviewed, gear organized. I was able to have a more than successful trip with NO issues. CAN’T thank you enough for teaching me skills to be successful on my own.” -Jonathan K.
“If you have a passion for backpacking you’ll find that going on a instructional trip will make your personal trips safer and more enjoyable.” -Manlio M.
“Andrew Skurka’s Fundamentals Trip was fantastic and beyond worth the cost and effort to get to and from this three day trip. The guides were experienced, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in helping us learn and improve. Andrew seems to have a magic formula for putting groups together- ours was great and I got to talk to almost everyone at some point and even connected with one or two other participants for future potential adventures. Even if you are someone who has backpacked before, Andrew’s process and the people who he picks as guides will help you improve. Absolutely recommend.” -Scott G.
“This was second trip fir me. Each time I got better understand about camping, backpacking, navigation and preparation of a backpacking trip.” -Qing tang- O.
“This is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I’m so glad I did it. The guides were extremely knowledgeable, understanding, and accommodating when some of the group members were struggling. They kept an upbeat vibe, which I definitely appreciated. I learned a lot of basic skills for backpacking, and feel like I would probably be comfortable doing a short 1-2 day trip on my own now. And the meals were great! Definitely recommend this for someone who wants to learn the basics of backpacking.” -Tina J.
“I would absolutely recommend this group to anyone interested in learning more about backpacking. It was eye opening and so informative. The instructors in the classroom portion were prompt and great with feedback and suggestions. The guides in the field couldn’t have been better. I enjoyed every aspect of this course and crew!” -Keri L.
“Great Trip in the Dunes, Who would have thought that after spending as much time in the sand that you would still say wow at the views from climbing the next dune. Brian and Christy were excellent guides, very knowledgeable and great to be around as they made the trip a lot of fun!” -Gabe S.
“This was a wonderful experience that I would gladly do again. I highly recommend this type of experience for everyone at least once in their lives. With all the stresses and distractions of daily life, being able to be “away from it all”, connect with nature and the physical abilities of your body is immeasurable.” -Sue C.
“It was an excellent, well-planned curriculum and experience. We learned so much and couldn’t be happier. Thank you everyone for all the hard work! Cristy and Brian were amazing!” -James L.
“The Colorado fundamentals trip was a great adventure. Andrew has a very structured approach to trip planning through the curriculum and feed back from instructors which prepared me for the trip. It was a fun learning experience. I look forward to my next trip with Andrew.” -Lisa D.
“Great route, great guides, relaxing and informative experience with perfect balance of hiking, sightseeing, and teaching,” -Tristan K.
“The trip was beautiful, well organized, had great guides, and was a great way to learn my way in the backcountry. And best of all, we had fun!” -Edith C.
“I am very happy signing up with Andrew and his team for a Fundamentals backpacking trip. We went to the Great Sand Dunes which provided us with a variety of microclimates to explore and learn in. Our guides, Jeff and Matt, gave instruction and confidence from the get-go which translated to group-led off-trail travel for the majority of the trip. This was super empowering and I left the trip with knowledge that will stay with me for a lifetime. I am super grateful for this experience and look forward to joining Andrew’s outfit at my next opportunity.” -Alex C.
“Jeff and Matt were an all-star guide team and Andrew did an amazing job of selecting 11 perfect strangers to spend time in the backcountry together. I truly enjoyed everybody’s company and thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip.” -James W.
“As a first time backpacker, I was nervous about being prepared for this trip, Once we got started, I felt like I was a lot more prepared than I expected. The planning curriculum help me get dialed in on gear selections, fitness, and expected conditions. The guides (Jeff and Matt) were amazing! Their knowledge and excitement made for a great learning environment and an overall fun trip. They definitely exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend a fundamentals trip with Andrew Skurka for anyone looking to get into backpacking.” -David M.
“If you’re looking for a guide service where you all carry the same backpack, pitch the same tents, and follow-the-leader like ducklings, you’re in the wrong place. If you want to learn how to select the best gear for your personal needs, view and pitch many shelter types to help narrow down your choice, and if you want to learn to lead, not just follow a guide, you’ve found the right place. The goal of this trip is to make YOU a competent and capable backpacker who can navigate off-trail, choose the right gear for any given situation, and select nutrition that will power you through tough days in the backcountry. These incredible guides don’t just set out to give you a single great experience, though that certainly happens. Instead, they ensure you arrive back at the trailhead prepared for a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Every time I sleep out under the stars miles from the nearest trail, or execute a perfectly pitched shelter to get out of the rain, I’ll be grateful for everything they taught me. Thank you to Jeff, Matt, Katie, Andrew, and the entire team, I couldn’t be happier!” -Jordan P.
“This was an awesome experience, even better to have shared it with my son. Our group dynamics were great … it was so nice to be in the backcountry with a diverse group of people who all shared a love of the outdoors and respect for each other. Definitely well worth the cost. The more you put into preparation for the trip the more you will get out of it. I’m already looking forward to planning my own trips or perhaps applying for one of the 5 or 7 day adventures.” -Rod B.
“Andrew walks the talk. Literally.” -Aza
“Skurka’s Colorado Adventure trip was what I was looking for: A chance to learn new skills from experienced guides and knowledgeable fellow hikers, push myself physically, and explore a new area of the country. If you are an experienced on-trail backpacker who wants to go off-trail with confidence, I highly recommend the Adventure trips.” -Scott S.
“This was my second Skurka trip and I went for 7 days in the San Juan mountains with Jeff and Nikki as guides. What an amazing and unforgettable trip – spectacular pristine wilderness, incredibly knowledgeable and kind guides along with a fantastic group of like-minded people. The summer monsoons were awe-inspiring and torrential, but due to the guides, we were able to hike sustainably, stay safe during lightning and sleep warm and dry despite the challenging weather. I left the trip with a full heart, more skills to overcome tough conditions and off-trail situations and an incredible gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy such a wild and beautiful place like the Weminuche Wilderness. Thanks Jeff, Nikki and Andrew!” -Matt B.
“Thoroughly enjoyed the very-well planned 7-day Colorado trip. Beautiful views and wildflowers. Saw moose, pikas, marmots and deer. The guides fostered excellent participation and support within the group, and provided excellent hands-on training including (extra) impromptu safety training. We got to practice what we learned. Thank you Guide Team!” -Helen S.
“We had an amazing time gallivanting through the San Juan mountains during the peak of wildflower season. Mile after mile of dense rolling hills and mountains of wildflowers. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Jeff and Nikki were kind, sensitive to group needs, and highly knowledgeable. Not only were they expert backpackers, but they also had an encyclopedic of the natural world around us and were eager to share it – I was soon confidently nibbling on plants along the trail!” -James J.
“The Colorado trip in the San Juans was a superb location, with amazing views and challenging climbs. Brian and Christy were excellent guides who offered great advice and suggestions, and helped make it a wonderful experience.” -Michael L.
“Andrew’s trips are great for backpackers who are unsure and lack confidence in the backcountry. Going on one of his trips will give that confidence needed to tackle an adventure on your own!” -Bryan G.
“Colorado trip exceeded my expectations in terms of guide expertise, company and landscapes we explored. I had a lot of fun being surrounded by a group of highly motivated people who enjoy the outdoors, and doing on-trail, cross country and climbing during this trip wouldn’t be as half as fun as it was if it wasn’t for a well vetted group and experienced guides who made sure the experience will be great for everyone. I left the trip more confident about hiking and camping in storm conditions and with new friends I can do trips with. Thank you Andrew, Brian and Christy!” -Luka
“Andrew has a great program that combines the training, guides and destinations to deliver an incredible backpacking experience.” -David D.
“This was an epic adventure that challenged me physically and mentally and one that I will remember and reflect on for the rest of my life.” -Chris S.
“My guides, Jeff Wohl and Katie Gerber, pushed me to take on terrain I didn’t think I could do. The container they created was quite impressive.” -Jamie A.
“The San Juan Mountains turned out to be one of the favorite venues I have hiked, and Andrew Skurka continues to add high quality guides to his team. Great trip!” -Sam D.
“My 5 day adventure trip with Andrew Skurka in the San Juan’s of Colorado was so much better than I could have hoped for. Andrew brings in fantastic guides who are so intelligent in backcountry knowledge, excited to share that knowledge with you, and also really cares about each group member’s experience. Additionally, the people that come on the Skurka trips are amazing people who are eager to soak up all the backcountry tips and tricks. You’re sure to leave feeling like you have known your groupmates your whole life. The fantastic guides and groupmates in concert with the beautiful scenery of all Skurka Adventure trips will absolutely leave anyone with an experience that will last a lifetime. ” -Macy P.
“I was expecting it to be awesome and it was many times that. A deeper, richer experience by far. I’m in awe of our guides, so kind, thoughtful, knowledgeable and fun to be with.” -Bill F.
“Skurka and his guides are world class guides! The amount of experience and knowledge that they have and are eager to share is probably second to none. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or more advanced, there will be something for you to learn from them. I cannot be more grateful for having spent a few days out in the wild with them.” -Petar M.
“My Skurka Adventures trip delivered as promised. I chose the Fundamentals trip, which was a perfect combination of learning and hiking in an incredible location. It was my first Sierra trip in 25 years and they did a fantastic job in preparing me and delivering me a great experience. It definitely rekindled my desire to spend more time in the backcountry.” -Erik P.
“The Yosemite trip was fantastic. Everything was well organized. Joe and Dahn are knowledgeable and friendly guides. And the scenery is amazing. You also can explore areas you might never see.” -Brock W.
“My second trip with Andrew Skurka Adventures was absolutely incredible. The weather was perfect. The views were incredible. The guides were very knowledgeable, engaging, experienced, and super cool. If you want to experience world-class backpacking in a safe and fun environment, this is the way.” -Josh S.
“This was a great all around experience. To learn from true leaders in the field has made me a better, more knowledgeable and confident backpacker, now ready and eager to try more challenging routes, even if trail navigation. I do not “pack my fears” and therefore, travel lighter, smarter, and happier. I lived this trip and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in backpacking.” -Bill G.
“I can’t say enough good things. The guides were awesome and taught me so much in regards to gear, food, navigation, safety and so much more. I was a first time backpacker and I now feel way more confident in my overall backpacking skills. It was also a stunning trip through Yosemite. Can’t wait to get back out there!” -Shannon R.
“Andrew’s guided trips are truly world class. Learning from him and the other guides is the equivalent of learning to cook from a world class chef. The guides have such a wealth of knowledge – and mine were deeply caring and empathetic as well – that even though I had some lows on the trip, it was still an incredible experience that I’ll remember for a long time, largely thanks to the guides, the amount of planning and prep that went into it all, and the general mission and vibe of Andrew’s trips. You won’t regret it, even with some Type 2 fun.” -Janel D.
“Excellent trip for beginner and experienced backpackers alike. The guides have so much knowledge. They are ready to share their years worth experience and offer some distilled tips that help you avoid many headaches in the backcountry. They make sure everyone is included and and up to speed with all the backcountry instruction. This trip is so much more than a backpacking trip. It’s learning experience thru and thru.” -Edward M.
“Although a fairly experienced backpacker, the 3 day fundamental trip was incredibly worthwhile. I learned so much about backpacking in a group, with my significant other, and got to enjoy the Sierra Nevada mountains and lakes – doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to Andrew and the team for making this such a rewarding trip.” -PJ V.
“I’ve been backpacking for 45+ years but this was my first guided experience. I went with my wife who was very hesitant until the last minute. I didn’t know what to expect from our group which ranged in ages from 32 to 69. My goal was to learn new skills and challenge old habits. So that was my mindset before the trip. How did the trip turn out? First of all, Andrew selected a very compatible group for our Fundamentals experience. Several in the group had never backpacked before but the pre-hike curriculum prepared everyone very well. Out on the trail, the age differences were not apparent at all. Our guides were Jeff Wohl and Bec Bastian who were a great team. Jeff has a ton of outdoor experience working for government agencies and non-profits. His descriptions of flora and fauna added greatly to the backpacking content. Bec’s energy and enthusiasm were contagious and I think everyone in the group was surprised by how much we all accomplished in three days. Bec was especially encouraging to my wife who led several sections of off-trail travel. My goals were met and exceeded – I learned how to use a map and compass and I found out I can get up in the dark and get out of camp quicker than two hours. I’m looking forward to another trip with Andrew in the future.” – Kathryn and Michael S.
“This was the perfect introduction to backpacking for the two of us (Women, ages 66 and 69). I would TOTALLY recommend Andrew’s coursework, preparation, execution of trip and the selection of his excellent guides for anyone new to backpacking, especially somewhat older people like ourselves. If you’ve been putting this type of activity off because of work schedules, or thinking it’s “too late” and have to stay at day hikes–do not be hesitant to sign up for a trip like this! We now realize that hiking/backpacking is an activity we can enjoy for many years to come. Goal achieved!” -Anne D.
“It was a tremendous trip in a beautiful environment. I feel like I learned years worth of backpacking knowledge in a few short days. We pushed just far enough out of our comfort zones to learn and grow, but always with the safety net of expert guides making sure we felt safe.” -Jason H.
“I cannot recommend the fundamentals enough. As someone in my 40’s just starting out with backpacking, I simply couldn’t afford to learn the hard way. Andrews detailed, organized, and thoughtful approach to backpacking has saved me untold wasted time and money at the large Co-op store. Instead of becoming an overburdened backcountry camper-by-default, Andrew’s team taught me how to be a confident and efficient off-trail navigator in just a few short months.” -Danielle C.
“I can’t think of a better way to learn about lightweight backpacking from the planning to the gear recommendations to actually getting in the field on a trip – everything is covered and explained in excellent detail and practical terms. The guides are great with tons of experience and outdoor accomplishments. I’ve spent similar amounts of time and money while traveling to do a major marathon race. This easily exceeds that due to the amount of skills gathered and adventure you get on all days of your trip. It’s like being personally escorted by the elite athletes during your stay as they attend to your needs, answer all your questions, and assist you along the course all the way to the finish line.” -Charlie B.
“If you are looking for the confidence to get out into the backcountry there is no better place to learn than a fundamentals course from Andrew Skurka Adventures. From the pre-trip planning course to the actual trip. You will be provided with the necessary knowledge on best practices, informed gear decisions, trip planning, and navigation. The guides are fantastic, and I couldn’t of been happier with my decision to participate on a trip with them. I have no doubt this trip has set me up for future success as a backpacker, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go on another trip with them.” -Phillip H.
“This trip was the highlight of my summer, period, end of story. This trip went so far beyond my expectations that I was ready to hang out in the woods and smuggle myself onto the 5 and 7 days trips that followed us. Our guide Scott was incredible, and taught us a lot in what amounted to 48 hours in the backcountry. We took lines I never would’ve dreamed of taking on my own, and just killed it. I’ve never had so much fun in my life.” -Alex H.
“If your goal is to take your backpacking to the next level – ultra light, longer distance, off trail, or into the high country, Andrew Skurka and his team will accelerate your knowledge, experience, and confidence. If you are willing to put in the work, your skills will grow enormously through his guided trips.” -Bill F.
“Andrew Skurka and his incredibly skilled and knowledgeable guides help you to take your light-backpacking to a whole other level. What sets him apart from other guiding companies is that he focuses on map and compass navigation. Sharpening these skills under a watchful and trained eye will give you the experience and confidence you need to go off and explore the outdoors away from the many popular and crowded trails. Andrew is also meticulous in his planning and execution, and cares deeply that all of his clients have a positive experience. The fact that so many clients come back to him year after year says it all.” -Maria T.
“I took my first Skurka trip to learn how to backpack from experience guides. I took my second and third trips not only to improve those skills but to have fun backpacking with a bunch of great people in great locations. I plan on participating in my fourth skurka trip next season!” -Glenn S.
“The guiding service is world class. I had a excellent trip with great people. I learned a lot from the guides and enjoyed spending time and sharing stories with the entire group. These trips attract the type of people that I most enjoy spending my time with. Thank you for a great trip!” -Eric D.
“Another fun and educational adventure with Andrew and his team. Great advance planning, routes, guides, information, map and compass training all shared with a group of new friends. Last year went on a trip to Grand Staircase with Andrew and Joe, this year to Yosemite with Brian and Katie. The knowledge, skill, and experience they all have is off the chart as is their ability and willingness to share it with you. Learned a lot, picked up new tips, had a blast doing so, and met some new friends. We are already looking forward to another trip next year.” -Dave and Michelle H.
“As a less experienced backpacker (this was my first trip longer than 4 days) I was quite nervous and didn’t know what to expect, especially as the only non-guide female in my group. But the guides were very approachable and willing to work with all group members to tailor a trip that is fun for everyone. And the other members of my group were great and very friendly. I never felt pushed to do things I wasn’t up for trying. It was exactly the right level of challenging. I ended up having a blast, learning skills I can apply to future trips, and making friends along the way.” -Marie T.
“Incredible experience! The guides are world-class, the locations are some of the best in North America, and the routes take you far beyond what most people will get to see. The focus on building your backpacking skills rather than simply guiding sets this company apart from any other, and I feel better equipped to take newcomers into the backcountry. Exceptional value!” -David B.
“Thank you immensely for this great experience. It was my longest backpacking experience so far and I learned a whole lot with the best guides and in the most beautiful places.” -Alexandre L.
“Best money I have spent on a vacation to challenge myself and grow my skills. I experienced so many emotions from excitement, exhaustion, fear, anxiety, to a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and the reward for determination. I found the folks participating were equally prepared, dependable, and encouraging. Andrew had the additional challenges with California shutting down several trip locations, due to an abundance of caution with regard to other forest fires. Some how, Andrew found a way to reallocate trips to Yosemite, for those folks willing to pivot. He had little time to work a miracle and he was able to pull it off, for which I am extremely thankful. A full week, with no internet, no politics, no social media. #Refreshing. Funny how people can connect on another level and find so much in common, when we have the opportunity to disconnect from the rat race a, the media, and daily grind. Great guides and great participants really made this a trip I will never forget.” -Chip R.
“This was an epic life experience; so incredibly worth the investment of time and energy. Can’t recommend highly enough.” -Jeffrey L.
“This was my second trip with Andrew Skurka’s guiding company. It was another great experience in another great location. All of the guides have been great. They are not just incredibly impressive athletes and outdoors people, but also world-class guides and teachers. The overall curriculum and itinerary is packed with valuable info that would have taken much, much longer to learn on my own. There’s always a ton you don’t know that you don’t know and these trips have been an incredible way to help fill in those gaps for me.” -Roy Keyes
“What an amazing experience. For the Google classroom to saying our goodbyes at the trailhead, I have been more than impressed with the professionalism and expertise of Andrew and the guides. Our guides where wonderful and set an atmosphere of fun, learning, and team effort. As Bec said, we became a tramily (trail family). I plan on doing it again. Perhaps in Colorado or Utah.” -Billy G.
“Many of the guides I know by reputation. They are first-rate bad-asses and I’d be glad to hike with any of them I met. The adventure trip was a challenge, but the guides knew how to get us to go places we didn’t think we could go.” -Steven C.
“I am blown away by the knowledge and experience Andrew’s guides brought to our trip. Here I thought it was going to be just backpacking but the trip was much more. The camaraderie of my team was awesome and I gained confidence in my navigational skills as well as my ability to hike terrain I would otherwise avoid. I highly recommend Andrew’s trips for anyone looking to gain backcountry skills.” -Naomi M.
“Skurka Adventures actually exceeded my expectations for the level of challenge & flexibility offered. Our team was put to the test & our efforts were well rewarded with a sublime alpine experience. The isolated glaciers, passes, & basins of Yosemite were inspiring to experience with new formed friends.” -William R.
“I can’t say enough about how valuable this trip was for me. I consider myself a very competent hiker, and this experience filled in gaps in my knowledge that I didn’t even know existed. I happily walked away a stronger, more confident hiker and I couldn’t have asked for a better educational setting. On another note – I don’t know what secret formula Andrew and his team are using to assemble the groups, but I was amazed at how quickly we all formed genuine bonds together. I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into 7 days in the backcountry with a group of strangers, but I can honestly say I made lasting connections on this trip that I will value for a long time.” -Joel C.
“Absolutely incredible. The food, the routes, the guides, the locale. Just fantastic. Skurka Adventures are second to none! I wanted to stay out there and keep hiking. Simply first class.” -Ben J.
“The seven day trip in Yosemite was everything I had hoped for. Challenging, but doable (with proper prep). I learned a ton, both before and during the trip. The group dynamic was outstanding…we’re already talking about backpacking together again. Andrew and his staff were very accessible with information, recommendations, ideas, etc. A great adventure I’d do again in a h.eartbeat.” -Michael W.
“Skurka’s guides (and clients) are first-rate. The adventure was a non-stop learning experience and well worth the money.” -Lisa H
“If you want to learn backpacking skills or improve your existing backpacking skills, I can’t think of a better way than a Skurka Adventures trip. If you want to go on a trip, but are intimidated by the logistics, Skurka Adventures is the best way to go. Andrew does a great job matching you with the best group based on your existing abilities. Afterward, you will be more confident in planning your own trips.” -Brad P.
“The trip exceeded my already high expectations. I knew I would be seeing incredible scenery and pushing my limits in terms of physical fitness and backcountry knowledge. I did not realize that our guide team would have the skills and abilities to safely moving our group through terrain that was as gnarly and steep as what we encountered. I struggle to think of how the experience could have been improved, it’s something I’ll remember for a long time to come.” -Jesse S.
“Our Inyo trip was truly an adventure of a lifetime. Prior to departure, we were given the tools needed to plan, prepare, and pack smartly. As soon as we hit the trail, Andrew’s team of expert guides provided hands-on teaching for all critical backcountry skills. But they didn’t stop there; we learned about the terrain in which we were hiking, the flora/fauna, and the geology from one of our guides, too. When the days got tough or navigating the off-trail terrain got tricky, the guides made sure that we were comfortable with the hard parts — and were with us every single step of the way. This trip far exceeded all of my expectations, and has given me the confidence to plan more adventures on my own.” -Lauren D.
“As always, top notch locations, itinerary, guides, and food, with practical in the field experiences and learning.” -Lassiter L.
“Skurka Adventures was a great experience overall. From A-Z the experience was well organized and the instructors and guides are extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I was very impressed with the pre classroom work this really gets your head in the game early and I felt very prepared when I got to the trailhead. I was thrilled to be able to experience a route that Andrew created & inspired me to get back out there to complete the Yosemite High Route on my own. If you are a beginner or experienced backpacker I guarantee you will up your game!” -Michelle C.
“Hiking with Andrew’s team on and off the PCT and the JMT could not have been more enjoyable or educational! The guides (Brian and Dahn) were encouraging, humorous, knowledgable and they never put us at great risk. 10 for 10 with these guys!!!!” -Eric S.
“If you’re serious about wanting to improve your backpacking skills, there is no better option than Skurka Adventures. Andrew has put together a team of some of the most knowledgeable and experienced backpacking experts in the world. And unlike other guiding groups, the entire experience, from the start of the Planning Curriculum to your last day on trail, is devoted to making you self-sufficient in the backcountry. You’re all but guaranteed to come out of your trip as the backpacker you want to be.” -Anonymous
“Brian and Dahn were a rock solid guide team leading and teaching important backpacking skills within a pristine alpine backdrop. Best challenging five days ever!” -Jim H.
“I couldn’t imagine two better guides than Brian and Dahn. Absolute professionals.” -Wes H.
“Great guide organization that is passionate about their craft and the clients they serve. Client is met at their skill and competence level by experts in the field to elevate the client to their next level. Job well done.” -James B.
“I was able to go places that I would not be comfortable going on my own. Being matched with similarly-abled people meant that I never felt worried about my ability to keep up and was challenged just enough.” -Courtney P.
“I went on a 5-day Yosemite adventure trip with Andrew and Katie Gerber. There were a total of 7 of us of varying ages and skill levels. Andrew expertly assessed everyone’s abilities and made sure that all were challenged appropriately (different routes and “”diversions”” were offered to those who wanted more of a challenge). I got everything out of the trip that I had hoped for and more (physical and mental challenge, beautiful scenery and learning new skills). I am excited to book another trip with Skurka and crew!” -Greg H.
“Andrew and his staff are first class from the first email to the final day of the trip. They are professional, knowledgeable, super smart and provide all the tools you need to have a great trip. I would highly recommend a Skurka trip to anyone looking for a fun and challenging adventure.” -Matt C.
West Virginia: Fundamentals
“The program delivered. When I stepped out of the wilderness I felt a sense of accomplishment that is similar to achieving a significant goal or milestone or being on a winning team.” -Mark F.
“Andrew’s trips are so well done they appear effortless. I felt challenged without feeling pressured. What a pro!” -Erin D.
“The three day fundamentals trip was beyond my expectations. There was fun and friendships made along learning from incredibly accomplished, skilled and kind guides, as well as from wonderful hiker family friends. I have renewed inspiration, confidence and goals to be outside, to hike and explore. I highly recommend taking advantage of an opportunity to be a part of the ASA family and get inspired to get outside and make your own trails.” -Demian R.
“This was a great experience from start to finish. My objective was to learn and build my confidence in planning my own backpacking trips. I achieved that and much more. The guides made sure we learned and laughed in equal measure. At the end of the day the people (guides and my fellow participants) made this an unforgettable trip.” -Lynette T.
“Having my first backpacking experience under the tutelage of the A.S.A. team was the right decision to get into the outdoors. Extremely talented individuals with genuine passion for what they do, working along side you to help you reach your goals as an outdoors enthusiast. I can’t thank them enough for everything they did and I can’t wait for my next trip.” -L. Avila
“Priceless! The amount of experience gained from the pre-trip classwork to the time in the field was worth every penny. Looking forward to future trips, I am confident that I will be able to take everything I learned and apply it to any situation, thus being an asset to even a group of experienced backpackers.” -Jenn B.
“Andrew and Hazel provided us with the perfect balance of backpacking skill and a personalized look at the biodiversity of Dolly Sods. What made this even more fun was a great group of fun and interesting people. Everyone was very cool and easy to get along with.” -Barbara D.
“Skurka Adventures was a great way for me to start my backpacking experience. Everything from start to finish from the planning curriculum to the actual trip was thoughtfully pieced together. I learned so much and look forward to growing my abilities. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Fundamentals course to any newbie interested in dipping their toes into backpacking. 5 stars!” -Ben M.
“Cannot recommend highly enough. As a beginner, it felt great to cut out months (years?) of trial and error and learn directly from the experts. The rigorous guidance on planning and packing meant we were able to really relax and enjoy ourselves on the trip.” -Charlotte K.
“What a great experience! Backpacking with Andrew Skurka Adventures was a fun way to learn the basics and start planning future trips!” -Claire E.
West Virginia: Adventure
“This was my first guided backpacking trip and at first I wasn’t sure if I would like or find value in it. However, I knew by the second full day of the 5 day trip that I would sign up for another Skurka trip without hesitation. The guides were incredible and I felt safe learning new skills that I previously thought were just too far out of my comfort zone. The trip really sparked a new interest in off trail navigation as well as helped to me trust my knowledge and skills to make good decisions in the backcountry. 10/10, would highly recommend!” -Nikki G.
“Andrew and his team really know how to make a trip wonderful. The classroom instruction and Andrew’s videos gave me valuable insight on how to prepare for the trip (both in what gear to bring and what to study for achieving my navigation-learning goals). Joe McConaughy and Dahn Pratt are great guides, very knowledgeable and service-oriented. They both gave me the things I needed for foot care and other essentials. On my trip, we had the added bonus of Hazel Platt who taught us much about plant and tree life in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in WV.” -Frank C.
“With my eye sight limitations, I feel as if Andrew and guides Scott and Matt provided careful guidance for me to have a safe and successful trip. Although not new to backpacking, my goal was to gain further understanding to what my actual limitations are as I aspire to take on my extensive trips in the backcountry in the future. I want to thank Andrew and team as I continue in my journey.” -Alex H.
“This is the first guided trip I have done but I must say it’s probably going to be tough to beat! My guides Scott and Matt were definitely the stars of my trip. Between the two they bring a wealth of Knowledge and experiences that truly can’t be beat. I learned a lot form Matt about Dolly sods and its Ecosystem and geological features and Scott who has twenty years teaching backpacking skills for NOLS and has backpacking adventures all over the globe. I can’t say enough good things about them and the trip overall. I learned a lot on this trip and it will definitely help me out in my future adventures for sure. I will definitely be back next year to take a trip out west. I High highly recommend Andrew’s guided trips, no matter if your a beginner or seasoned backpacker, you will learn something and have a blast doing it!” -Anthony H.
“I had a really great time. To be honest the only reason I signed up for the trip was because a friend of mine asked me to go with him, and then he backed out. I have been backpacking since 1974 and I really didn’t think that I would get much out of the trip. I was very wrong. I learned a lot about off trail travel, efficiency and operating in continuously wet conditions. Scott and Matt were true experts and also some of the coolest and most encouraging people I have ever met. I will definitely be back for another trip.” -Robert S.
“Andrew runs a fantastic guide service with well thought out instructors, guides, participant grouping, and location. There are tons of opportunities to ask questions during the Planning Curriculum and trip. I highly recommend a 5 day Adventure trip in the Dolly Sods Wilderness, which was perfect in early fall. I only had 5 nights of backpacking experience before this trip, but the process is really streamlined and geared towards learning and having fun. Expect to learn not only from your preparations and guides, but also from other members in your group. Intensity-wise I felt overprepared for the trip, but that’s better than being underprepared.” -Brandon M.
“This was my third Skurka trip, all in different types of locations. I’ve learned something every time. They provide outstanding value.” -Mark M.