Campus Facilities

A QUICK TOUR – Before You Arrive

Landmark Learning was built from the ground up with the outdoor professional in mind, and its rustic foundation is complimented with modern amenities. Located on 40 mountain acres, Landmark hosts two complete campuses, the historic Downstream Campus and the state-of-the-art Upstream Campus. Each campus is complete with its own parking areas and lodging/kitchen options.

Campus Facilities and their amenities are available to students currently onsite for a course. We cannot accommodate overnight guests or other non-enrolled folks during course hours or after hours onsite. Showers and kitchen amenities are reserved for those folks paying for lodging or camping (either in their vehicles or in the tenting area.) Landmark Learning’s 40+ acres are surrounded by private land, and camping in non-designated areas is prohibited.


The Downstream Campus was built in 2000-2001, and is the first campus you will reach on Cane Creek Rd.

The Downstream Campus is available for renting on HipCamp as Cane Creek Holler, in Sylva NC, when the campus is not hosting courses. We cordially invite all Landmark students to return with friends and family when they come to paddle, ride, and vacation in the area!

Landmark’s original 1200 sqft classroom is the first building you encounter as you walk onto the property. It houses an open floor plan with two bathrooms, showers, and rudimentary kitchen access (refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker) for student use. A pavilion is available for outdoor cooking – most students bring camp stoves to cook on and crates in which to store their dry goods. Around back, by the gear room, is an outdoor clean-up and recycle station. WiFi is available in and around the Downstream Classroom.

Next to the classroom is the Cane Creek House, a 1920’s cabin renovated in 2017 to host Landmark’s faculty housing. The Cane Creek House and it’s front porch are off-limits to students.

Tent space is available and located near the classroom and parking area. You will need to provide all your own camping gear (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, etc). We ask that you use a tent no greater in size then a two-person tent to ensure enough space for others. We do not provide space for RV’s or pull behind campers. Electric hookup is not available, either.

Students can access the Nook, the Downstream Campus bunkhouses, via the private drive or by way of the trail up from the classroom area. All traffic to and from the Nook is by foot only, so plan accordingly – backpacks work best! It takes about 10 minutes to hike to the Nook. There are 4 bunks in each of 4 rooms which have electricity, heat, and fans but no running water. Reservations are first-come, first-served during enrollment and we make housing assignments based off your housing selection, gender-specific or gender-neutral. A port-o-john is located next door for convenience.

Continuing past the Cane Creek House, you will pass a private drive on your left – this drive is closed to student vehicles, but welcomes foot traffic.

When class is not in session, the Downstream Campus (minus the Nook) is available to students and alumni to rent on HipCamp and TheDyrt as Cane Creek Holler!


Further up Cane Creek Rd you will find the paved drive to the Upstream Campus, which houses our 8000 sqft facility, also known as the Cane Creek Lodge. WiFi is available in and around the Cane Creek Lodge.

The first floor is where you will spend the majority of your time at Landmark’s Upstream Campus. Come into the lobby to swap your outdoor shoes for indoor shoes. This is also where you will find the check-in info, along with housing assignments, on the magnet board and hutch. You will enter here each morning before class for your health screen.  Bathrooms are down the hall, and the spacious classroom is straight ahead. The classroom is open in the evening for studying and skills practice.

Upstairs, when you first enter the Dining Hall, you will find a repeat of the check-in info on the magnet/whiteboard. The Dining Hall and Kitchen are favorite spaces not only for meals, but after-class downtime and relaxing. Each student has a cubby for their dry goods, and there are 2 refrigerators to share. The kitchen is fully equipped to accommodate an entire class’s cooking needs. The bathrooms include showers for campers staying onsite in their tent or in their vehicle.

Also upstairs, you will find Landmark’s main office. Any administrative needs and questions are handled by our support staff within regular business hours (M-F, 8AM-5PM). Our modest course store is also open during business hours, or you can order online when you receive your free shipping coupon once your course is over.

Follow the drive up behind the Lodge by foot to access the camping area and bunkhouses (aka The Village). The two buildings each house 2 rooms that can sleep 4 max. Reservations are first-come, first-served during enrollment and we make housing assignments based off your housing selection, gender-specific or gender-neutral. The two rooms in each building share a common entry and covered front porch. Each room has its own shower/toilet/sink. Bring your sleeping bag, pillow, and a top sheet and towel for your comfort and use.

Again, tent camping is available, as well as ample hammock sites – please bring all your own gear. If you must camp in your vehicle, we can accommodate that in our parking lots – it does require the camping fee and grants you access to the kitchen/shower amenities. Electric hookup is not available.

The campuses are set up for students currently enrolled in base courses. Landmark does not operate as a hostel and will not accommodate overnight guests. Students are required to be packed and off campus the day the course ends. Additional lodging beyond our facilities can be found on our Local Resources for Students page.


Please do not use MapQuest/GPS to our base. The “direct route” that is GPS-oriented is no longer passable, due to hurricanes and erosion. Here are the directions you should follow.

If you plan to fly or take a bus instead to Landmark, please do not make reservations prior to 30 days before the course. You will receive a course confirmation email at 30 days, letting you know if the course is committed or canceled due to enrollment; at that time you may make your travel reservations.

If you require a ride from the Asheville airport (Asheville, NC) there are several shuttle services that run from the airport to Landmark (Cullowhee, NC).

Your other option is to coordinate a ride with another student. Contact the Student Services Coordinator at (828) 293-5384 to authorize the release of your contact information to the students in the course.

When planning your departure from Landmark, keep in mind that your course does not officially end until 5pm. It is an hour drive from Landmark to the Asheville airport. We suggest that you give yourself at least 2.5 hours buffer for departing evening flights or plan to stay overnight in Asheville and leave the following morning.

Please do not drive up the gravel road to the bunk houses or past the Landmark Learning office. This is for your safety and the preservation of our roads.

No Car at Landmark? We frequently have students attend our courses from all over the country and internationally, resulting in them not having a car while here on base. Western NC is not a pedestrian community (no sidewalks and miles from town), it’s easy to share a ride and expenses with other classmates to grocery stores, clinical sites, trailheads, or river areas, all of which are within easy access of the Landmark base in Cullowhee.

Transportation During Course: In courses that require travel to backcountry, trailheads, river sites, participants are responsible for transportation. We may arrange carpools to sites together as a class. At all times we attempt to find suitable parking options; however, Landmark assumes no responsibility for vehicles left unattended.

Parking at Landmark: Landmark’s campuses are squeezed up into an Appalachian “holler”…there is very limited flat space and so parking is extremely tight. If possible, please try to carpool to limit the number of vehicles. For the Downstream Campus, in the first parking lot on your left, please pull in close to the next vehicle, facing either the mountain or the creek. When the main parking lot is full, there is overflow space a bit further up Cane Creek Rd on the right, next to the creek – small vehicles fit better than trucks in this space. Beyond that is staff parking and then a turn-around area that needs to remain clear. For the Upstream Campus, please park facing either the creek or the Lodge, near to the next car to make room for others. If your car can’t manage the climb, please utilize the Downstream Campus parking areas.


Please bring an extra pair of “inside” shoes, slippers, or sandals for use in the classroom. We ask folks to remove their “outside” shoes upon entering, in order to cut down on clean-up, and for hygiene reasons would like people not to go barefoot.

No food or open containers are allowed in the Upstream Campus classroom – please be sure to have a covered mug for your coffee or tea. Water bottles are always welcome!


Landmark courses are designed with outdoor professionals and recreationists in mind. There is no phone available for personal use on either campus. A phone is available in the office should you need to call 911 in an emergency, or for incoming emergency calls. We do request that cell phones be turned off during class hours. Cell phone reception is quite spotty here in the mountains, but most carriers are accessible in town, just ten minutes away.

Wireless access is available at both campuses. There are several locations in Sylva and Dillsboro where free internet access is available – see the office for details.


Much of the instruction will be led as a participatory and hands-on activity, with microlecturettes for specific topics and workshops. In any campus course, each person is expected to participate fully within the class context, as well as in the living community during non-class times. This includes participating in general chores like classroom power cleans, collecting and maintaining classroom gear and equipment, but also include managing personal living needs within the context of the group, and assisting others with their needs as they become apparent. In a Backcountry Classroom setting, each person will be responsible for helping out as an active part in the group’s everyday camping tasks including: cooking, cleaning, equipment set up and break down, water purification, etc. Living with other people in close conditions requires practice in understanding and tolerance. All participants should be prepared to work within the group’s dynamics.


It is our primary mission to provide outdoor adventure programming while paying close attention to plans for risk management. The outdoors and outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. We have chosen equipment and program sites carefully. Our instructors are outdoor professionals who hold current certification in Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT, and professional level CPR. In the event of an accident, Landmark staff will aid in medical care of the ill or injured until EMS arrives or evacuation is executed. Any costs of medical care and evacuation beyond the initial medical care given by our staff, is the sole responsibility of the ill or injured.


Please leave your animal companions at home. Due to allergies and preferences of other people in your course and neighbor relations, it is inappropriate to bring them. If a pet is with you upon arrival we will direct you toward a kennel for the duration of the course. If this is unacceptable, you will be withdrawn from the course and cancellation policies will apply.


Landmark is just ten minutes from downtown Sylva and a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food places. Sylva boasts a movie theater, bowling, and Appalachian cultural opportunities. Landmark is located near some of the toughest trail running and mountain biking areas around. We are minutes from the Tuckaseegee River, the “Slab”, Devil’s Dip, and the Nantahala River. If you wish, come prepared to be active during your after-class free time. All recreational opportunities are at your own risk and Challenge by Choice!