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Leading in Outdoor Adventure

Our mission is to share decades of wilderness experience while achieving our wildest adventures in the outdoors. Adventure Out is California’s premiere outdoor school specializing in:

  • Surf camps
  • Rock climbing classes
  • Backpacking trips
  • Mountain biking
  • Wilderness survival skills instruction

Come try us for Santa Cruz mountain biking, Castle Rock rock climbing, Santa Cruz surf lessons, Northern California backpacking trails, and more!

Thank you for visiting us – we look forward to adventuring with you!

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In addition to insuring that our students enter the oceans and wilderness areas both safely and responsibly, Adventure Out strives to instill a sense of environmental stewardship. As a member of 1% For The Planet, Adventure Out donates a portion of gross revenues to environmental conservation.

santa cruz surf lessons

Adventure Out is your source for adventure in the Santa Cruz area! Learn to Surf with Adventure Out  is California’s premiere surf school offering lessons, clinics, and camps both in the original “Surf City” – Santa Cruz, as well as Pacifica – San Francisco’s ONLY beginner surfing beach. We have a variety of offerings for Santa Cruz surf lessons to suit beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers of all ages, from 1-2 day surf camps, 3-5 day surf camps, and surf trips.

Why Surf with Adventure Out?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to picking a surf school. Adventure Out stands apart from the rest by offering a professional experience that is unparalleled. You won’t be taking lessons from local high school kids or beach bums. Our instructors are licensed to teach at our beaches, college graduates, lifeguard and first-aid certified, and trained in our instructor program. We are professional outdoor guides ready to get you out in the water catching waves safely, and having tons of fun!

Contact us for information on additional courses for Santa Cruz surf lessons!

castle rock rock climbing

Beginning Surf – $175

Also available as a one day course ($99) Beginner Surfing l is our popular two-day surf clinic that lasts three hours each day on two consecutive days. You are welcome to join us for just one day although we highly recommend that the beginner surfer with a true desire to learn how to surf take the full two days. So what will you be learning? This clinic was designed with the beginner in mind – we welcome complete newbies as well as people who have tried surfing on there own for a while and still need help. We will walk you through all the basics to get you started and catching waves! Includes two days, three hours per day of instruction (the lesson is always held on 2 consecutive days, example: a 2-day class scheduled for January 1st at 9am will run January 1st and 2nd at 9am). All your gear is included – complementary surfboard & wetsuit (be sure to specify your sizes during registration). If you have your own surfboard or wetsuit, you are welcome to bring them, we recommend all wetsuits are at least 4/3mm.

Intermediate Surf Clinic – $99

Three hours of instruction. All your gear is included – complementary surfboard & wetsuit (be sure to specify your sizes during registration). If you have your own surfboard or wetsuit, you are welcome to bring them, we recommend all wetsuits be at least 4/3mm.

2-Day Yoga and Surf Workshop: $225

This two-day workshop will explore the grounding, centering and peaceful benefits of yoga mixed with the fun, excitement and exhilaration of surfing waves in the Pacific Ocean. We will start off with an hour of gentle, flowing yoga and meditation to unite body, mind and spirit. The yoga practice will focus on opening and stretching the muscles necessary for paddling, will emphasize balance for riding waves, and will prepare us for feeling the energy of the ocean. Two days, each day includes an hour of yoga instruction and three hours of surf instruction. All your gear is included – complementary surfboard & wetsuit (be sure to specify your sizes during registration). If you have your own surfboard or wetsuit, you are welcome to bring them, we recommend all wetsuits are at least 4/3mm.

Kids 1 Day Surf Clinic – $95

Our kid’s surf clinics are a great way to build confidence, make friends and have fun learning the incredible joy of Surfing! We provide a supportive environment with experienced instructors! We provide a non-threatening environment for the beginner surfer. Bring your child out to our Surf Clinic this year and let them experience the thrill of learning how to surf with our expert guides. The clinic includes three hours of instruction by our knowledgable and supportive staff. All gear is included – complementary soft surfboard & wetsuit (be sure to specify your child’s sizes during registration). If your child has their own surfboard or wetsuit, you are welcome to bring them. Also call or email inquire about additional camps and lessons for both youth and adults!

Survival Clinics
santa cruz mountain biking

Come take part in the program that made Adventure Out a household name on the West Coast. We are THE epicenter for primitive skills and survival instruction. Learn everything from basic survival (shelter construction, fire-by-friction, water collection), to refined and advanced skills such as traps and snares, bow making, stone tools, hide tanning, animal tracking, and more. Our instructors have decades of experience and have appeared in hit TV shows, best-selling novels, international magazines, and have devoted their lives to teaching YOU how to SURVIVE!

Contact us for information on additional survival courses we have!

Level 1 – 1 Day Survival Clinic – $125

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live with the Native Californians? Come learn the ancient skill of survival – shelter, water, fire, food. No matter what your background, from the novice camper to the seasoned backpacker, there is something for you in this class. Set among the beautiful redwoods of Santa Cruz and Marin, the 1-Day Wilderness Skills clinic is a great way to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the work week and get back to nature! Our trained instructors – expert survivalists and naturalists – are excited to share these sacred skills with you. Learning these timeless traditions, such as native shelter building and fire-by-friction, helps to build self-esteem and awareness from knowing YOU CAN SURVIVE! Includes 5 hours of instruction. All materials and tools are included.

northern california backpacking trails

Level 2 – 1 Day Survival Clinic – $99

This class is a continuation of our beginner survival skills clinic. It is an excellent opportunity to work with our instructors on advancing your survival knowledge as well as applying these skills without the use of modern tools. Held in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, our advanced survival skills clinic takes the foundational knowledgefrom our beginner class and expands it to more highly refined skills and extreme situations. Shelter is revisited and examined in low-debris and non-traditional situations. Additional fire-by-friction techniques are tought, new traps and snares will be built, and several other advanced skills. You must have taken our 1-day intro class to take this course and be age 14 and up – no exceptions. This course is fast-paced and relies heavily on the skills tought in the level 1 class.


Basic Animal Tracking – $90

Peer into the world of the wild animals of the Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains in this amazing new course – less than an hour away from downtown San Francisco! Track alongside expert trackers and learn to read the landscape like an open book. The woods are not empty if you know how to read the ground! Tracking is a lifelong study – this class will give you the tools to start down that road. Topics discussed will include clear print track identification, animal behavior and pattern tracking, landscape disturbance tracking, as well as human tracking, track aging, and tracking tools and journaling techniques. Teaching-by-doing is our motto: this workshop will be 100% hands-on and is a truly excellent way to enrich your outdoors experience. Whether you are a backcountry hiker, or simply like to take strolls in the park, being able to read the landscape and understand your local fauna better makes every trip into the outdoors an investigation and adventure.

Castle Rock Rock ClimbingAdventure Out

Go climbing with the Bay Area’s top climbing guides. We operate programs at Castle Rock State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mt Diablo in the North Bay, and the crown jewel of coastal California climbing: Pinnacles National Monument. When you climb with Adventure Out, you’ll take pride in knowing that you are not only getting the best instruction possible, but part of the proceeds of your trip fee go back in to the parks where we climb.

Contact us for information on additional rock climbing courses we have!

Climbing 1 – $99

Never tried climbing before? Curious? Perhaps you’ve climbed a few times in a gym and want to try the real thing? Discover what outdoor rock climbing is all about in this 4-hour clinic designed for the beginning rock climber. No climbing experience is necessary. In our level 1 class, getting you up your first few rock climbs is the goal. Additionally, we’ll share the sense of adventure that drives our guides’ passion for the sport, and provide you with the most enjoyable first day of climbing possible. We’ll begin with a short introduction to climbing gear and safety that includes teaching basic commands and climber tie-in knots. Then we’ll spend the remainder of our time climbing! This is a great opportunity to get exposure to outdoor climbing in a safe, supportive, fun and nurturing environment. We’ll take care of setting up the ropes and providing a safe, supportive environment for the beginning rock climber. You get to explore what it’s all about! The combination of Introduction to Climbing 1 & Climbing 2 is the ultimate introduction to outdoor rock climbing. Depending on your previous experience and your level of interest in pursuing climbing as a new hobby, you may consider taking both classes on the same day. Alternatively, take Climbing 1 to try it out, and return soon if you’ve gotten hooked on climbing. Or, for the novice to “advanced beginner” gym climber with little or no belaying experience, jump straight to Climbing 2.

Climbing 2 – $99

The second part of our introduction to climbing series is for many people. If you’ve taken our first class or are already familiar with basic climbing safety (figure eight knot, harness set up, and climbing on top rope), this is a great next step. This 4-hour clinic starts with a quick review of these skills. Then we’ll teach you how to belay in a traditional ground school. Perhaps you’ve belayed a bit in a climbing gym, but only with a grigri? This is a great starting point to round out your knowledge of belaying techniques and skills, so that you may better understand the dynamics at work in a belay system. Next, we’ll start you out on some easy climbing terrain so you can comfortably belay for the first time on real rock. While on these climbs, we’ll also introduce you to some fundamental climbing techniques. As time allows, we’ll progress to some slightly harder terrain where we’ll give you some exposure to intermediate climbing techniques while you continue to practice strong safety skills. The combination of Introduction to Climbing 1 & Climbing 2 is the ultimate introduction to outdoor rock climbing. Depending on your previous experience and your level of interest in pursuing climbing as a new hobby, you may consider taking both classes on the same day. Alternatively, take Climbing 1 to try it out, and return soon if you’ve gotten hooked on climbing. Or, for the novice to “advanced beginner” gym climber with little or no belaying experience, jump straight to Climbing 2.


Climbing 3 – $99

Do you have climbing experience? Have you taken our Climbing I and Climbing II courses? Do you want to continue your climbing adventure outside? Then this is the next course for you! Experience a variety of routes and difficulties, with instructions on technique and take your abilities to the next level. In this 4-hour clinic, we’ll visit some moderate climbing areas at Castle Rock State Park and help you develop the footwork and finesse needed to become a better climber. Without ropes, we’ll tackle some of the smaller rocks of the park. Climbing on these short (less than 15 feet) rocks with pads to cushion our falls enables our instructors to coach you on specific individual movements. This will also give you the opportunity to repetitively practice these techniques, allowing them to become more a part of your natural individual style. This class is ideal for climbers with anywhere from 1-6 months experience of regular gym climbing or outdoor climbing and would like to have more adventures on real rock. If you’re climbing 5.9 to easy 5.10, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you individualized instruction and technique pointers to help you take your climbing to the next level.


There is something magical and awe-inspiring about spending time away from our daily lives in the backcountry. Here in Northern California we are blessed to have some of the most incredible wilderness areas in the world right in our backyard with excellent backpacking trails. Our belief and vision at Adventure Out when it comes to backpacking is experience – to live free, breath clean air, and enjoy our natural surroundings. We don’t believe in the “death march” style of backpacking that has been popularized recently. It’s not about how many miles you cover, or how many ounces you can shave off your pack weight. But rather, taking time for you, away from the hustle-and-bustle, to reconnect with nature and your own inner spirit. Below are some of our favorite trips that we offer every year. In addition to these, we are available for private guiding everywhere in the state of California (and perhaps beyond!).

Contact us for information on additional backpack courses we have!

Lost Coast Backpacking: Coastal Skills & Sea Foraging – $425

This trip will be an adventure into the most remote and pristine sections of the California coast! It is a medium-strenuous trip that will take you along the last part of our coast with no roads – the California King Range Conservation Area. In addition to being the backpacking trip of a lifetime, there will also be lessons by Adventure Out’s wilderness survival skills staff on sea-foraging and edible plants. The trip itself will be 4 full days and 3 nights in the backcountry of California’s Lost Coast. All food will be provided and we will enjoy 4 relaxing days on California’s only stretch of coast (40 miles!) with no road access. More information on trip routes, itinerary, and camping locations will be provided upon registration. This trip is an incredible experience, and one of the only places left in the continental United States where you can experience this kind of solitude on the coast. Don’t miss this opportunity! Your trip includes: Pretrip planning assitance with the group leaders to pack for your backcountry trip. Professional and experienced guides, permits and camping fees. Backcountry, survival, and natural history education. Meals are inluded: dinner on Day 1 – breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Day 2 and 3 – breakfast on Day 4, but snacks are each individual’s responsibility.

Giant Sequoia Backpacking – $325

This breathtaking 3-day journey departs from Sequoia National Park – just a few hour’s drive from the Bay Area, but a world away. AdventureOut9This trip is run as a late summer trip to take advantage of the medium-level elevation and moderate temperatures that make backpacking through this Giant Sequoia grove not only thrilling, but leisurely. This trip will include pre-trip counseling – participants will receive as much consultation as necessary with their guide in advance to ensure they are prepared and properly packed for their adventure. This trip will not be too strenuous as we hike approximately 20 miles over the course of three days. Come experience the beautiful Sierra Nevada and adventure through one of the most unique landscapes in California. The trip itself will be 3 days and 2 nights in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park in California. In addition to having a great adventure through one of Northern California’s most majestic landscapes, you will also learn essential backcountry skills so that you can begin to plan expeditions on your own. Participants and guides will work together to navigate the trails, set-up campsites, and prepare meals.

Ancient Desert Survival Skills Backpacking Trip – $395


This is a great backpacking trip that will introduce participants to the ancient majesty of the desert. The trip will not focus on mileage but rather on the experience of being immersed in the natural world. Participants will sleep under the ancient desert stars and learn indigenous skills such as fire making, stone tools, water and food collection, and preparation. We will explore an ancient desert Palm Tree paradise following a stream into the desert where the Cahuilla Indians once dwelled, hopefully we will see some endangered Borrego or Desert Big Horned Sheep for which the canyon got its namesake. The final night of the trip will include an optional solo where participants will sleep under the stars without other human presence, but deeply surrounded by the rocks, plants, and animals of the canyon. The backpacking trip has a lot to offer both physically and spiritually for anyone interested in deepening their connection to the desert and learning native skills.


Santa Cruz Mountain Bikingmtnbike-man

The Santa Cruz Mountains offer some of the world’s best mountain biking trails and our area is home to many industry leaders from bike manufacturers, shops, professional riders, and of course, instructors. Adventure Out specializes in Beginner through “Advanced Intermediate” training. We offer two levels of beginner courses – click below to read about these options. However, mountain biking is one of the most technical outdoor activities around and intermediate instruction truly requires intense and detailed personal attention from an instructor.

Mountain Biking 1 – $90

This course is geared towards people who want to learn the basics on their mountain bikes. The course consists of on- and off-the-bike instruction and riding. The morning hours of the clinic will consist of outdoor classroom lesson instruction and bike handling drills. The afternoon hours of the clinic will consist of a moderate level 6-8 mile ride through the famous trails of the Marin County or the Santa Cruz Mountains! Specific instruction will be given on:

  • General Bike Fit Guidelines
  • Mounting and Dismounting Technique
  • Body Position, Focus and Balance
  • Pedaling techniques
  • Gearing/Shifting
  • Braking Techniques
  • Climbing Technique
  • Cornering Techniques, on uphill, downhill and switchbacks
  • Bike Handling Drills
  • Trail Repair, fixing a flat, and chain maintenance.
  • Trail Etiquette and general discussion on bike “anatomy”, hydration, eating, recommended bike clothing for the micro-climates of Northern California as well as stretching and conditioning.

Mountain Biking 2 – $90

This course is geared for people who know the basics and want to learn how to take it to the next level with their riding and repair. The morning hours of the course will consist of bicycle fitting, demonstration of repair for requested situations, and skill assessment. At mid-day, we will mount up and shred the trails for real life, on-the-fly experience in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains! Specific instruction will be given on:

  • Safety
  • Setup
  • Repair
  • Maintenence
  • Desired Direction
  • Training/Drills
  • Excercises
  • Terrain Variance
  • Training and Food/Diet

Each rider has a vision of where they want to be, we want to help you paint that picture. Specific attention will be given to individuals and an assessment with personalized training plan will help each person ride down the path they desire.


Adventure Out provides a 20% off special offer.  Come try us for Santa Cruz mountain biking, Castle Rock rock climbing, Santa Cruz surf lessons, Northern California backpacking trails, and more!


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