At MVA, we believe all students can benefit from exposure to natural environments. In addition to the value we place on outdoor experiences, immersion in wilderness and rural settings also has tangible therapeutic benefits. We are committed to engaging our students in the natural world through adventurous educational and recreational activities.

All of our outdoor programs offer significant physical and intellectual challenges that stimulate growth and increase personal competencies. Participation in these programs helps to cultivate appropriate interpersonal relationships of mutual trust and respect leading that lead to an increased sense of belonging and community. The natural world provides our students with a conducive environment to reinforce responsible behavior and build self-confidence. Outdoor programs provide opportunities for us to establish the structure required to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students.


High Sierra Adventures
The Mountain Valley Academy backpacking program offers high-level students the opportunity to demonstrate their maturity through peer leadership and teamwork in challenging circumstances while at the same time introducing them to the joy of backpacking in some of California’s spectacular backcountry.

Backpacking Clinic
Prior to hitting the trail for a multi-day trip in the wilderness, our students are taught basic backcountry skills during our on-site backpacking clinic. The clinic is a seven-hour hands-on class designed to teach students the skills they will need to safely navigate and camp in the backcountry. Some of the topics covered are gear selection, trail etiquette, map and compass, water purification, kitchen setup, and backcountry hygiene. All lessons are taught on the trail requiring students to complete a four-mile full pack hike as part of the process.