We Welcome Your Application to Join Us!
We build each of our groups with care, keeping the groups small (no more than twelve students), and paying close attention to age, grade, gender, and the mix of hometowns and schools. Our goal is to put together great groups — groups where nice kids thrive in a supportive, wholesome, and caring environment. Please note: availability as shown is based on students traveling without a friend; if your child is interested in traveling with a friend, please call our office for availability.
Important Information about Availability
This departure of this trip has good availability. Apply as soon as possible since availability changes quickly.
This departure of this trip has limited availability. Apply as soon as possible, and on receipt of your application, if space is still available, we’ll confirm a spot for you. If all of the spots are taken, we’ll call you to discuss options.
This departure of this trip is currently full — please call us to discuss options.
How to Apply
Apply online using a credit card for the $795 deposit (your card will not be charged until we confirm a spot for you). Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received (we do not hold spots over the phone).
When to Apply
The flow of applications starts in July and peaks in January/February. Some groups fill by the December holidays, and others will have space into the late spring. Our advice? Apply as soon as possible — it only takes a few minutes — and we’ll get to work right away to find a great spot for you.
Call (413.458.9672) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to hearing from you.
Canadian Rockies & Montana
Two weeks of spectacular riding out West.
Picture big lakes, bigger mountains, and an even bigger sky.
For some students, CRM, our two-week bike trip in the Rockies, is the capstone to a long Overland career. For others, it’s a first-time adventure. Either way, the rewards are many—and the fun and friends? Well, it’s an Overland trip, so they’re even greater.
Bike touring might just be the ideal way to see the West: the pace is perfect, you’re outside all day, and it’s all about the journey—seeing and discovering and experiencing the West with a great group of new friends and two terrific Overland leaders.
When the riding is done, when the last meal has been served, and the last tent packed away, you’ll look back on an experience that extends far beyond the boundaries of your time in the Rockies. The trip will stay with you, timeless and legendary—just like the West itself.
Good Things to Know. CRM compares to European Challenge (a three week ride from Munich to Barcelona) and the American Challenge (a six-week ride from Savannah to Santa Monica). We plan to run two sections of CRM (for a total of just 24 spots).
Smiles for Miles
Out Here, Everything is Big
Need to Know
Included in Trip Fee
- Group gear
Day 1: Trip Start
After meeting in Missoula, we’ll drive to our first campground in Whitefish, where we’ll build our bikes, practice riding as a group, and prepare for the adventure ahead.
Days 2-4: The Columbia Valley and Kootenay National Park
From Whitefish, we’ll begin our journey in the rolling hills of northwest Montana. We’ll spend a night on the sandy shores of Lake Koocanusa before crossing the Canadian border the next morning. Heading north through Columbia Valley, where jagged mountains rise sharply from snaking rivers, we’ll ride an average of 75 miles per day. We’ll spend one final night in British Columbia at the famed Radium Hot Spring on the edge of Kootenay National Park.
Days 5-7: Banff and Lake Louise
Leaving Kootenay, we’ll head west into Alberta as we cross the Continental Divide, riding past wide, turquoise rivers and over rugged peaks. We’ll spend a night at Lake Louise and continue south along the Bow River to Banff. There, we’ll spend a day off the bikes, exploring all the town has to offer: lakes, mountains, and small-town charm.
Days 8-10: Waterton and Glacier National Park
From Banff, we’ll pedal south through Canmore and then on packed gravel roads. Up and over Crowsnest Pass, the rugged mountains of British Columbia will give way to expansive golden fields of wheat and farmlands. After crossing back into Montana, we’ll enter Glacier National Park and camp on Saint Mary Lake– one of the most famous vistas in the park. We’ll then rise early for a challenging climb up Logan Pass on the renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Days 11-13: Whitefish and Missoula
After leaving Glacier, we’ll complete our journey as we triumphantly return to Whitefish. There, we’ll spend the day stand up paddleboarding and relaxing. Surrounded by Montana’s rugged peaks, we’ll enjoy the western sun and one another’s company as we look back on our two weeks of fun, accomplishments, and new friendships.
12 nights of frontcountry camping. All campgrounds facilities will include flush toilets or composting toilets. Many campgrounds will have showers and/or laundry.Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.
"My leaders were amazing, and they have inspired me so much. "
"Drew's final Overland trip, CRM, exceeded all of his expectations. The entire group was comprised of experienced bikers and the leaders were great. The scenery and trip were beyond compare! Thank you, Overland, for being an integral part of our children's growth and perseverance over the last 10 years. "
Summit, New Jersey
What to PackDownload PDF
We travel light at Overland.
Panniers are saddlebags sold in pairs that attach to either side of your rear rack. You should have large panniers, 2,400-3,000 cubic inches total (for the pair), designed for touring. One large pannier has internal dimensions of approximately 17" x 13" x 7". You should be able to fit all of your belongings, besides your sleeping bag and pad, into your panniers and have some space left for group gear.
- Navy Overland T-Shirt (1)
We will send every student an Overland T-shirt prior to the trip. Please wear this T-shirt to trip start.
- Synthetic High-Visibility T-Shirts (3) & Vest (1)
A high-visibility outer layer is required at all times while biking (high-visibility is a neon or fluorescent color, typically yellow, orange or pink). On warm days a high-visibility T-shirt will be sufficient. The vest should be large enough to wear over warm layers while riding on cooler days. High-visibility bike jerseys are acceptable but not necessary.
- T-Shirt (1)
- Lightweight Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (1)
- Bike Shorts (2)
Biking-specific shorts with a padded seat.
- Shorts (1)
Comfortable shorts to wear around camp.
- Fleece Pants (1)
Please do not bring cotton sweatpants (they are heavy and bulky and will not keep you warm if wet).
- Synthetic Long Underwear Top & Bottom (1)
- Underwear (5)
- Athletic Socks (4)
- Wool and/or Synthetic Socks (1)
- Swimsuit (1)
- Winter Gloves or Mittens (1)
Insulated, warm and waterproof. Avoid knit and porous materials.
- Winter Hat (1)
- Fleece Jacket or Pullover (1)
- Raincoat (1)
Waterproof material (e.g., Gore-Tex, or similar) is required. Your jacket should be large enough to allow layers underneath. Ponchos are not acceptable. Choose high-visibility if available.
- Waterproof Rain Pants (optional)
- Sleeping Bag
A lightweight, compact sleeping bag rated to 30 degrees Fahrenheit or less. We recommend either synthetic or treated down material. Your sleeping bag should compress into a stuff sack no larger than 20" in length.
- Sleeping Pad
¾-length or full-length closed cell foam (thin and firm) or self-inflating.
- Bowl, Mug & Utensils
6" to 8" plastic dish or bowl with top, insulated plastic mug, spoon, fork, and knife. These don't need to be special camping utensils (a Tupperware dish and regular utensils are fine).
Please bring an extra battery/batteries.
- Water Bottle
A 24-ounce bike bottle is ideal (but a smaller size is acceptable). Overland will provide a second water bottle on arrival.
- Hydration System
A CamelBak or Platypus (or similar) with a 2- or 3-liter capacity. Must be a high-visibility color (if it is not hi-vis, you must cover it with hi-vis fabric or tape). The hydration system should be designed to primarily carry water (if it is too big it will be uncomfortable to wear all day).
- Touring Bicycle & Rear Rack
One of the following bikes is required: Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Surly Disc Trucker, Fuji Touring, the Kona Sutra or Salsa Marrakesh. These bikes must be in excellent condition and must have been purchased in the past 48 months. Other bicycles are not acceptable. Please see the Right Bicycle for Your Overland Trip for more information.
- Bike Helmet
If you are flying to trip start, carry your helmet on the plane with you.
- Bungee Cords (4)
These should be 18-24" in length. Bungee cords are included with an Overland bike rental.
- Bike Lights
Bike lights (front and rear) are required—both when you train in the spring and once you are on your Overland trip. The lights should be USB powered with a variety of mounting options (clipping onto a pannier or a rear rack, for example). For front lights, we recommend either the Bontrager Ion 100 or the Bontrager Ion 120. For rear lights, we recommend the Bontrager Flare R or Flare RT. These lights are available from Trek bike dealers and on the Trek website.
- Water Bottle Cages
Two cages, attached to the bike frame. Some smaller-sized bike frames cannot accommodate two cages. If this is the case, you will be able to carry water bottles in your panniers or on your rack. All Overland rental bikes come with two water bottle cages.
- Spare Bike Tubes (4)
Four spare tubes that match your bike's tire size and valve stem.
- Spare Set of Brake Pads (1)
- Spare Bike Spokes (4)
Spare spokes that fit your wheels (two front and two rear) including the spoke nipple. Ask your local bike shop for guidance.
- Spare Bike Tire (1)
One spare tire that matches your bike's wheel size (use the same dimensions as the tires that are currently on the bike).
- Set of Tire Levers (1)
- Hex Wrench Multi-tool (1)
- Tire Patch Kit (1)
- Bike Gloves (1)
Well-padded for comfort.
- Chamois Cream (optional)
Special cream to reduce chafing and saddle sores. You can purchase chamois cream at any bike shop.
- Handlebar Bag (optional)
Great for snacks, sunscreen and bike tools.
- Shoes for Biking
Bike touring or mountain biking shoes with bottom treads and "clipless" recessed cleats. A popular style of clipless shoes and pedals are SPDs. You may also ride in running shoes and bring toe cages to attach to your pedals. Please do not bring racing shoes as they have hard soles that are uncomfortable to walk in.
- Water Shoes
Closed-toed sport sandals, water shoes or old sneakers to wear on the water. Sandals must have a heel strap for activities such as kayaking, rafting, or canoeing (flip flops and Crocs are not acceptable).
- Synthetic Camping Towel
A medium-size synthetic camping towel (synthetic camping towels dry much faster than regular towels).
- Travel Size Toiletries
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+) & Chapstick (with SPF protection)
- Insect Repellent
- Large Trash Bags (5)
To waterproof your gear.
- Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags (10)
To organize and waterproof your gear and small items.
- Camera, Charger & Extra Batteries (optional)
A digital or disposable camera.
- Personal Journal or Book (optional)
- Health Insurance Card
Please bring an original or copy of your health insurance card.
Please bring a passport that is valid until at least six months after your trip end date.
- Passport Photocopies
Make at least four photocopies of your passport and visa (if applicable). Leave one copy with your family and put photocopies in both your checked luggage and carry-on luggage for the flight, separate from your original documents.
- Permission to Travel to and from Canada
Please bring a copy of your Permission to Travel to and From Canada form.
- Spending Money & Miscellaneous Expenses
Each student should bring a debit card, an ATM card, or a prepaid Visa card to cover spending money and miscellaneous expenses. Some prepaid cards do not work internationally (notably, Visa); please ensure you purchase one that does. Spending Money: While all meals and activities are included in the trip fee, we recommend $25/week for spending money (for example: for souvenirs or an occasional drink or snack beyond what is provided to the group as a whole). Miscellaneous Expenses: Most Overland students will incur some expenses while traveling (for example: an equipment repair or baggage fees at trip end). Please add $100 to the debit/ATM/Visa card (in addition to spending money), to cover these expenses.
Things to Know
- We will update your packing list in April to include currently needed COVID equipment (for example, masks).
- Your group will have access to laundry periodically.
- Please do not bring your smartphone (or any other electronics).
Please visit the FAQ tab for more information on our cell phone and electronics policy.
- Do not bring any type of knife or multi-tool (such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool).
- A high-visibility outer layer is required at all times while biking. See packing descriptions for more details.
- If you are flying to your trip, pack your sleeping pad and bike shoes in your bike box or checked bag. Take your helmet and sleeping bag with you on the plane as carry-on items, in case your checked luggage fails to arrive on time. Pack all remaining items in your checked duffel bag or in your checked panniers.
- There are no reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen items.
Please schedule expensive items—phones, cameras, bicycles, etc.—on your homeowners insurance policy.
Questions? Call us: 413.458.9672.
Please tell me about Overland's COVID policies.
The Overland team is planning, preparing, and eagerly awaiting summer 2021. While we can’t predict what the coming months will bring, we do know how we will face them: optimistically, realistically, and together.
As we plan for the summer, we know that our existing trip structure is ideal:
Small groups (twelve students and two leaders)
Limited contact with the general public
In addition, this summer we will:
Treat our groups as family units / pods
Maintain social distance and wear masks when near the general public
Require a negative PCR test before trip start
Encourage smart air travel practices (for example, wear N95 masks in airports and on board)
We will continue to refine these policies as summer approaches, always with the goal of taking a thoughtful, commonsense approach to maintaining our students’ health and well-being.
Everyone here at Overland is committed to supporting each of our Overland families. Please call on us with any questions or concerns you might have.
Is Overland offering any additional flexibility to families this spring in terms of payments?
Yes. We have made all payments fully refundable until Saturday, May 15.
What is the weather like on Canadian Rockies & Montana?
You can expect typical summery weather with lots of sunshine, some rain, warm days, and cool nights.
What are the arrival and departure airports for my child’s trip?
Your child will fly to and from Missoula International Airport (MSO). We will provide more specific travel information once we have placed your child on a trip.
How often will my child have access to showers and laundry?
We'll have frequent (but not daily!) access to showers. Groups will do laundry once a week.
What do you do about bears?
Traveling as a large group goes a long way in preventing unwanted attention from wildlife. In addition, we instruct our leaders how to set up camp and store food in ways that reduce the chances of attracting wildlife, including bears. We’ll brief students on these routines at the start of the trip. Both of our leaders also carry bear spray in case of a bear encounter.
What are meals like at Overland? Can Overland accommodate allergies and intolerances?
Meals at Overland
Good food (and plenty of it!), excellent nutrition, and fun are the goals of Overland’s meals. Each group buys, prepares, and eats all of its meals together. Our students, with their leaders’ supervision, prepare all meals. A typical breakfast has cereal, milk, juice, and fruit; most lunches are sandwiches (or wraps) with a variety of fillings, plus chips, and fruit; dinners reflect easily prepared group meals like pasta, burritos, and stir-frys (all of which will typically have a selection of sauces and fillings). At Overland, meals are a group experience, an important way to foster connection with and consideration for other group members.
Allergies & Intolerances
We recognize there are many young people with food allergies or intolerances. We welcome these young people’s interest in joining us, and we ask parents of a prospective Overland student with an allergy/intolerance to please consider the following important information.
Most meals at Overland are prepared in basic kitchens (or outdoors), and groceries are typically purchased from small stores with limited choices. As a result, meals are prepared and served in what may be allergen-contaminated environments, and on many trips allergen-free/gluten-free foods are not readily available. While we cannot guarantee allergen-free meal settings, we will do what is reasonable to provide allergen-free/gluten-free foods on those trips where available.
In all things, our top priority is to help maintain all students’ well-being; to this end, all Overland leaders are trained to recognize and respond to allergic reactions, including administering antihistamines and epinephrine (both are carried in every trip’s first aid kit); leaders carry cell phones, and in some cases, satellite phones, so that should the need arise, emergency personnel can be contacted and their services requested. It is important for all prospective parents to understand that many groups travel in remote areas where emergency services may not be easily or readily accessible.
Our Admissions Process is Collaborative
During our admissions process, we will review all submitted Allergy Questionnaires to understand the applicant’s allergy/intolerance. We will then consider whether or not the applicant’s allergy/intolerance may be reasonably accommodated. If our admissions team has any concerns, they will contact the parent. In this conversation, we will seek to learn more about the allergy/intolerance, and we will discuss the available grocery stores, emergency services, and medical facilities on the applied-for trip. These conversations generally have one of three outcomes:
- The applicant is placed on the applied-for trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We offer a different trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We recommend waiting a year and re-applying.
Managing Food Allergies/Intolerances is a Partnership
Our commitment is to the health and well-being of each of our campers. Our goal is to partner with parents and campers—a partnership in which:
- We clearly describe our trips and policies;
- Parents clearly describe their child’s allergies or intolerances and their child’s maturity level and capability to self-manage their allergy or intolerance.
- We work together with parents in a collaborative and interactive process to determine if there are reasonable accommodations that can be made so that otherwise qualified applicants can participate in our trips.
- Students on an Overland trip take an active role in managing their allergies, including reading food labels as needed, eating only those foods with known ingredients, and seeking a leader if a reaction is suspected.
Meals: Vegetarians & Specialized Diets
Every summer there are many vegetarians who join our groups and who enjoy meat-free meals. We are happy to welcome these students as long as they understand they will share in the group’s meals but will simply have the meat portion withheld. For example: sandwiches at lunch with hummus, lettuce, tomato, and cheese (while the rest of the group has sandwiches with sliced turkey or ham); pasta at dinner with a tomato sauce (while the rest of the group has pasta with a meat sauce). We sometimes have requests from applicants with specialized diets—vegans, for example—to provide separate, specialized meals. As much as we’d like to be able to accommodate these applicants, the limitations of our kitchens, the size of available grocery stores, and the importance of group meals make it impractical to provide separate, specialized meals.
Please tell me about Overland's admissions process.
When we receive your application, if your first choice is available, we will: (1) call you to acknowledge our receipt of your application, (2) send you an email with a link to our enrollment forms, and (3) charge a deposit of $795 to your credit card. If your first choice is not available, we will call you to discuss options. For more information, and to access our application, please visit our Apply page.
How physically challenging are Overland's bike trips?
Overland’s bike trips increase gradually in difficulty–from two weeks on Cape Cod & the Islands to our six-week American Challenge. Many students start on Cape Cod & the Islands (averaging 20 miles of riding per day) or Vermont (averaging 25 miles per day). Nova Scotia & Acadia offers daily rides that are in the 30 to 35 mile range. For students looking for a three week West Coast bike trip, Pacific Coast groups ride 45 miles per day. High school students looking for a physically challenging summer experience can choose from European Challenge, Canadian Rockies & Montana, and American Challenge. These three trips vary in length and location, and on average ride 70, 75, and 85 miles per day, respectively. We’d be happy to talk with you about each trip and the best fit for you: please email us at email@example.com.
Does my child need to have previous experience?
While no previous experience is required, we have high expectations of our students. We expect your child–with your help–to select a trip that is appropriate for their interests and abilities. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the details of the specific trip and help your child understand what to expect. We also expect our students to prepare ahead of time: to review the packing list, gather clothing and gear, and complete whatever training the trip requires (for recommended training please see the Before You Go tab). Once the trip begins, your child should be ready–and excited–to contribute to a wholesome and enthusiastic group in which each member feels welcomed and valued.
Please tell me about safety at Overland.
Safety and risk management are at the forefront of our decision-making–from trip planning to leader training to supporting our groups in the field. We cannot guarantee absolute safety–no program can. All recreational activities include inherent risks. Therefore, we strive to manage the risks that we can, knowing we cannot eliminate them. We work hard to recruit, train, and support our trip leaders so they can create the kind of trips that have made us successful for over 30 years. Please click here to read more about our approach to risk management and our accreditation by the American Camp Association.
What are Overland’s policies on phones, electronics, and communication?
To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails, or text messages to or from our campers. Your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance, and in the case of an emergency. If your child brings a phone for use while en route to Overland, please do not send an expensive smartphone. Instead, an inexpensive prepaid cell phone will do. All phones will be collected on arrival and returned at departure. While we will take reasonable steps to prevent damage, theft, or loss, we take no responsibility for phones and we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged, or stolen phones.
Cameras are welcome but please do not bring any other electronics (e.g., iPods, iPads, Kindles or other readers, GPS or similar devices). All electronics (except cameras) will be mailed home on arrival (at your risk and expense).
We are committed to providing extraordinary support to you and your child. To that end, the Overland office is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer. Outside of office hours, our answering service provides emergency coverage. Our leaders in the field are in touch with our office regularly; they carry cell phones (and in some cases satellite phones). Anytime a camper is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or other medical personnel, parents are notified by our office. A director will call the parents to explain the nature of the injury or illness, the sequence of events leading up to the injury, and/or the steps leading to the treatment. Parents are typically able to speak with the medical personnel, with the leaders, and with their child.
Can I send mail to my child during a trip?
Getting a letter, card, or postcard while on an Overland trip is always exciting. Please keep in mind that sending mail to your child on an Overland trip is different than sending mail to a traditional camp because your child will be on the move. Our experience has been that mail often does not arrive on time, and, sometimes, even when it does, post offices, campgrounds, and other mail stops do not reliably deliver mail to our groups. For these reasons:
1. Please do not send anything valuable – please send letters, cards, or postcards only. If mail is late, lost, or misdirected, Overland’s leaders and staff are not able to return to the post office (or other mail stop) to collect it.
2. Please use the US Postal Service first-class mail only; do not use UPS, FedEx, or DHL (many of our mail stops accept US Postal Service mail only).
3. Please do not send overnight letters: many overnighted letters arrive before or after we arrive and are then sent back. For this same reason, please do not send mail that requires a signature upon delivery.
4. Please allow one week for postal delivery to U.S. mail stops.
5. Please allow two weeks for postal delivery to international mail stops.
Before you Go
Go west: bike the Rockies in Canada and Montana!
Students going on Canadian Rockies & Montana should prepare for:
- Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
- Camping out and cooking meals as a group
- 9 days of biking with an average of 75 miles per day
- A fun, supportive, and wholesome Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for the Biking
Overland bicycle tours are self-contained — there is no van support. You will carry all of your belongings, plus some group gear and food, on a sturdy rack mounted over the back wheel of your bike. You will hang panniers (these are saddlebags, pronounced “pan-yers”) off the rack and attach gear like your sleeping bag and sleeping pad to the top of the rack using bungee cords. On average, you will carry about 40 pounds of equipment on your bike (not including the weight of the bike).
You should come prepared and recognize that some days will be more challenging and longer than others. Delays occur due to a wide range of variables — weather patterns change and road conditions vary. You, or someone in your group, might get a flat tire or encounter another mechanical issue that could delay your group. On some days, your group will arrive at camp in the early afternoon, while on other days your group will spend more time on the bike.
While there is always a range of physical ability and fitness in each group, it's important that you follow the training schedule and that you take the time to gain confidence on a bike — mounting and dismounting, shifting gears, braking, and making turns. We expect you to prepare adequately so you can keep up physically and participate in all of your group’s activities.
Canadian Rockies & Montana
Daily rides average 75 miles over varying terrain, with three days over 80 miles and a longest day of approximately 100 miles.
- 8 weeks before your trip: two rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of one hour each (12 miles) over varied terrain.
- 6 weeks before your trip: two rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of two hours each (24 miles) over varied terrain.
- 4 weeks before your trip: three rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of three hours each (36 miles) over varied terrain.
- 2 weeks before your trip: four consecutive rides with loaded panniers of three hours each (36 miles) over varied terrain.
- 1 week before your trip: five consecutive rides—three of three hours each (36 miles) and two of four hours each (48 miles). All rides should be fully loaded over varied terrain.
You must be able to maintain 12 miles an hour fully loaded on terrain that includes hills. All pre-trip training rides must be completed using the bike, pedals, and shoes you will use on Canadian Rockies & Montana.
Please refer to the Pre-Trip Training Calendar where you will record your training in the weeks leading up to trip start.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge — and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group — will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip.
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