I offer learning-intensive and adventure-rich guided backpacking trips in California, Colorado, Alaska, and West Virginia. Since 2011 we have ran about 100 trips with 750 total clients.
To help me lead and instruct, I have assembled an exceptionally accomplished and influential team of guides. We specialize in lightweight backpacking, long-distance thru-hikes, and off-trail high routes.
For tentative trip dates and locations, view the 2020 trip schedule.
As in the past, I am offering three trip types (Fundamentals, Adventure, Expedition), designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced backpackers. The trips are 3, 5, or 7 days in length.
The open application period will start in the first week of January (if not in December) and close in mid-January. Afterwards, spots will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.
For all other trip details (e.g. prices, curriculum, location details, etc.), refer to the main menu under "Guided Trips".
If you have questions about the trips, please contact me.
Why take a trip with us?
Our clients vary in their motivations, but generally it's a mix of these factors:
1. Learn to backpack
One of our primary goals is to teach clients how to backpack on their own. We tailor the teaching level to the group. Beginners will learn how to develop a gear list, plan meals, create map, read a map, protect food overnight, and more; while experienced groups will focus on more advanced skills like off-trail navigation, early-season snow travel, and insect management.
2. Adventure in world-class locations
Our classrooms include some of my all-time favorite backcountry locations, including the Colorado Rockies, High Sierra, and Alaska. These locations have jaw-dropping scenery and ample room to roam -- and we know exactly where to find both. With us, you can undertake a more creative and challenging route than you might on your own.
3. Backpack with experts
We are true backpacking experts. For example, Jessica and Paul completed the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails, the so-called Triple Crown of thru-hiking -- and Brian did them all in a single calendar year! Alan and Dave prefer high routes in the Wind River Range, High Sierra, and Colorado Rockies. And Justin climbed Colorado's one-hundred highest peaks (including 50+ over 14,000 feet) on a 60-day bike-packing expedition.
Don't let our resumes worry you, however. We develop the itineraries to suit you, and love to teach and to show off our favorite places. Plus, we're reasonably normal people -- most of us have families, careers, and other hobbies.
4. Save time & money
Learning to backpack through trial-and-error can be expensive and deflating. Our trips are an investment in your backpacking future: we will help you to avoid regrettable purchases and to enjoy every trip to its max. You can reduce your expenses further by borrowing our demo gear and using our discounts with preferred vendors.
Planning backpacking trips can be time-consuming, and can be a deterrent to getting out. We mostly relieve you of this task -- we'll find the location, set the dates, plan the route, specify a gear list, create the maps, obtain the permits, and make your breakfasts and dinners.
5. Personalized service
Andrew Skurka Adventures LLC is a small outfit. I still guide about half the trips, and I'm on-site for the others. If you email or call me, I'll personally respond. I will also get you on the "right" trip, by grouping you with others that have similar fitness, experience, goals, and ideally even interests and life stories.
"Both trips I’ve done with Andrew have been great learning experiences, a big jump forward from the trial-and-error method of learning from my own mistakes. I’m sure I’ll be back for another."
-- Justin LaFrance, Calgary, AB
"It was a learning experience from the time I registered to when I got back in my car at the trailhead."
-- Jeff Howell, St. Louis, MO
"It's like learning from the Yoda of backpacking."
-- Alan York, Winston-Salem, NC
"Andrew is meticulous with his planning and coaching, and it begins months before the trip. He genuinely wants his students to learn the skills and teaches with passion and sincerity.
-- Wendy Tseng, Minneapolis, MN
"Andrew Skurka is the quintessential 21st century outdoorsman, with outdoor skills and athleticism honed to a fine art."
-- Patrick Starich, Calgary, Alberta
"My hike with Andrew and the group was an incredibly rewarding, once in a lifetime opportunity. I would highly recommend one of his guided trips."
-- Drew Anthony, Starksville, MS
"Do not hesitate. Andrew's Fundamentals Course is more than a great investment; it's a great experience!"
-- Aubrey Bogard, Fort Worth, TX
"The positives for me were 5 star course content, backpacking confidence building, EXTREMELY well planned, great food, and an awesome adventure. There were no negatives. You do a wonderful job of sharing your love and knowledge of this."
-- Lori Alexander, Rockland, ME
"Andrew is an excellent teacher, patient, yet expects his students to take it seriously as well. I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t treat the women in the group any differently."
-- Jane Burns, Santa Rosa Beach, FL