Traveling the Path to Recovery

Trek is an experience, not a concept. There is evidence-based research highlighting the therapeutic benefit of wilderness therapy, but something occurs out in nature that is beyond the standard therapeutic model. Challenge and self-discovery are key components of the Trek program as well as health and wellness. Trek teaches residents the value of their personal experiences, their connection to nature, and their relationships with others. They learn to hold themselves and others accountable and become interdependent rather than co-dependent.

Meet Nico

Trek Program Director

Nico has over a decade of program experience, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Educator and has trained with American Mountain Guides Assoc.

"I firmly believe in the power of nature and experiential learning to facilitate personal growth and a sense of connection for all people — especially those who struggle with chemical dependency. The purpose of the Trek Program is to support residents to apply recovery skills and spiritual principles in new and unpredictable ways. It provides physical, mental and emotional challenges where residents must rely on each other."

Read the full bio

Trek Supplies

Gray Wolf Provided

Gray Wolf provides all necessary gear for treks at no extra cost. This is not meant to be a fully comprehensive list of all Trek supplies but rather a sampling.

  • tents
  • sleeping bags
  • rain gear
  • backpacks
  • hiking boots
  • food and utensils
  • camp stove, pots & pans
Trek Supplies

Resident Provided

Residents don’t need to bring anything for Trek other than clothing items. However, Gray Wolf can provide everything, including clothes, if needed for a particular situation.

  • 2-3 pairs of quick-dry shorts
  • 2-3 quick-dry t-shirts
  • long pants
  • sweatshirt or fleece
  • long underwear top and bottom
  • comfortable socks and shoes
  • hat or bandana and sunglasses
  • Trek Supplies
  • Trek Supplies
  • Trek Supplies
  • Trek Supplies
  • Trek Supplies
  • Trek Supplies

Solo Treks

Once a resident has demonstrated an understanding of necessary skills as well as personal growth, he may request or be invited to participate in a Solo Trek. This takes place with a small number of other residents and staff for three nights where each resident experiences a significant period of solitude to reflect on their time at Gray Wolf Ranch and ultimately to integrate their achievements moving forward. This usually takes place at the end of treatment and is structured appropriately with safety in mind.

Lending a Hand

Trek Activities

In addition to hiking and camping, residents on Trek participate in a variety of activities that further enhance their experience, their therapy, and their bond with other residents. Activities may include supervised swimming, games, plant identification, yoga, and meditation. Residents on Trek also continue to participate in daily check-ins and group counseling sessions.

Good, Clean Eating

Safety First

Gray Wolf meets or exceeds all national standards in outdoor education programming and is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education. All residents receive a physical examination with a primary care physician prior to going on Trek in addition to receiving training on safety, equipment, and “leave no trace” principles. All staff on treks are wilderness first responder certified and are licensed in safe food handling practices.

Horticulture & Nutrition at Gray Wolf

The Trek program oversees the gardens at Gray Wolf Ranch. Research has proven the benefits of horticulture therapy, and our residents gain direct experience with cycles of nature and the tangible lessons learned through that relationship. Gray Wolf is dedicated to sustainability principles, and residents learn about permaculture and organic gardening methods.

Nutrition on Trek features a variety of natural and organic ingredients, unlike many other wilderness based therapy programs, where highly processed foods of low nutritional value are the norm. This approach gives residents a better awareness of personal food choices and holistic health.

“The heart of Gray Wolf Ranch is relationships, and that’s what we want to foster in the Trek program. The tendency for many adolescents struggling with substance abuse leads to a desire to keep yourself isolated, our trek experiences breaks you out of that mindset and challenges you to grow.”

Nicolas “Nico” Kladis – Trek Program Director


Talk to our Team

We’re ready to answer any questions
or concerns you have.

Talk to a team member or send us
a quick message.

Get In Touch

Begin the Journey

Ready to take the first step toward lifelong recovery?

Call us at 206.785.1676 or fill out our online application form to start the process.

Start Process