Girls* on Rock

Girls* on Rock is a unique, free wilderness science education program for high school girls*.

We welcome all girls*, including cisgender girls and transgender, agender, Two Spirit, intersex, nonbinary, and genderqueer youth. 

Girls* on Rock

Girls* on Rock is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls*. Each summer a team of 8-9 participants and 3 instructors spend 12 days exploring and learning about the alpine landscapes of the Rocky Mountains through art, rock climbing, and conducting scientific field studies with our team of professional glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists. 

As part of Inspiring Girls* Expeditions, our purpose is to give girls* a feeling for the processes that create the natural world and provide an environment that fosters the critical thinking necessary to all scientific inquiry. We encourage the girls* to observe and think like scientists by making observations and inferences. They develop their own experiments to test ideas and answer questions.

The girls* on the team also challenge themselves and gain self-confidence in their physical, intellectual, and social abilities. An Inspiring Girls* Expedition is the science version of a “language immersion” experience – where we connect science with all aspects of daily life with the goal of creating lifelong advocates for Earth science, specifically, and the scientific process as a whole, regardless of whether or not they decide to specialize in science in their future career.

Our selection of participants is not based on grades or other accomplishments. We focus on creating a diverse team and emphasize providing this experience to those girls who might not otherwise be able to have an opportunity like this. We welcome all girls* to apply, including cisgender girls and transgender, agender, Two Spirit, intersex, nonbinary, and genderqueer youth. 

More About Girls on Rock


Applications for participants open in December at Email us at to learn about volunteer opportunities and other ways to support Girls On Rock.


Girl on belay climbing

Girls hiking in a meadow


Areal View of Climbing Site

Girl climbing



Pacifica Sommers

I am a research affiliate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am interested in the forces that maintain - or undermine - biological diversity, especially at the microscopic level. My current research is on forces controlling microbial diversity on and around Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine glaciers.


Every year, the day-to-day itinerary and details of the expedition will change due to weather and other circumstances. The basic itinerary typically looks like this:

  • Day 1-2: Meet the team in Boulder, CO, pack for the expedition, and learn about traveling and camping in the mountains.
  • Day 3: Drive to trailhead (exact location TBD) and hike into the mountains to establish our base camp.
  • Day 4-9: Explore the landscape surrounding base camp while gaining essential mountaineering and climbing skills and working on science projects.
  • Day 10: Hike out and travel back.
  • Day 11: Wrap up science experiments and present results in short presentations.
  • Day 12: Final reflection activities and travel home.

Program Team

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