About Earth Explore Adventures

Our Story

Our Story.  By Founder and President Karl Van Amburg

For two decades my wife and co-founder Michon and I proudly operated the nation’s highest rated youth travel program, Earth Explore Learning Adventures.  

Now we’re leading adult trips.  Here’s our story.

Beginning in 1995, we set off to offer America’s students something different. Thrilling hands-on adventures in outdoor learning, centered on the active exploration of science and nature. Led by scientists and naturalists. Trips designed to stimulate a lifetime connection to Planet Earth. 

Our programs took thousands of 5th grade through middle school students and their teachers on adventures in science and hands-on learning throughout Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Alaska, Costa Rica, California and Hawaii.  And what amazing journeys they were!


Our kids dug up dinosaur bones with real paleontologists, stood with historians at the headwaters of the Missouri river to hear tales of Lewis and Clark, watched lava flow into the ocean in Hawaii with University of Hawaii scientists, witnessed Green Sea Turtles laying eggs on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, and hiked with naturalists in Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Denali, Kenai Fjords, Hawaii Volcanoes, Monteverde Cloud Forest and countless other amazing places.

In many ways, Earth Explore was about sharing the world with students the way we liked to share it with our own kids.  Through adventure, fun, and hands-on learning.

But, time moves on. Our kids are grown up now and on their own.  So in this new phase of our lives, we feel it’s the perfect time to do something we’ve long been asked to do.

You see, for all those years we sent students and teachers on epic learning adventures, the main question we fielded each summer was, “do you have these same trips for adults?”  

Yes, parents were excited for their kids, but also felt a bit left out.  And we understood.  Even for us, the complexity and responsibility involved in taking special care of the hundreds of students entrusted to us each summer kept us pretty cooped up.  Although our large staff of teachers, travel managers and program partners were actively engaged with the students each second of their trips, we could only leave the office briefly to be with them.  Some interesting problem or travel glitch that needed our attention always drew us back to the phones and the computers.

Costa Rica

Now though, we’re ready to travel, and not only that, we’re ready to lead trips to all of our amazing destinations.  And we’re betting that thousands of people our age want to get out and explore nature and science hands-on too!

So we invite you to come along as Earth Explore Learning Adventures, established back in 1995, becomes Earth Explore-Road Expats.  Finally Michon and I can join in, and share the kind of learning we’ve always loved with people much like ourselves; the parents who have always asked for their very own Learning Adventures.


This experience is something he will never forget.  The entire adventure is orchestrated meticulously by Earth Explore staff.  This allows parents to be at ease and the students to be completely immersed in the experience.  He is more confident and comfortable with being on his own.  He was thrilled with the entire experience and wants to go again!  Peter and Lori Boice


Eric talked about the program daily for at least a week when he returned.  I don’t think any other experience has had this much of an impact on him.  I would absolutely recommend Earth Explore because it is a great way for the kids to learn responsibility, to become more independent, and learn in a safe, fun environment.  Laura Rolfe