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College Outdoors

Fall Trips

Please note that this list is updated frequently throughout the semester. Trips here are open to Lewis & Clark College students (undergraduate, graduate, and law), faculty, and staff only. Please contact our office for more details on any of these trips.

Fall 2018 Brochure will be coming out soon. In the meantime check out the trips that went out last fall to get an idea of what is coming up for this semester!

Fall 2019 Brochure

Fall Trip Descriptions

Backpack Sub-Alpine Lakes

The sub-alpine environment of Indian Heaven Wilderness near Mt. St. Helens is dotted with dozens of fascinating lakes. Fall colors will brighten the trailside as the hike features unbeatable views of Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Hood. On the trip, we’ll explore some of the trails and lakes of this high plateau. Inclement weather alternative: Deschutes River Canyon.

Waldo Lake Sea Kayaking

Imagine floating on water so clear it looks like you’re flying! Waldo Lake, perched at an elevation of 5,400 feet in the Cascade Mountains, is the second clearest lake in the world. On this trip we will be camping on the shore of Waldo Lake. We’ll explore this 10 mile long lake by sea kayak on Saturday and Sunday before returning Sunday evening.

Surf the Oregon Coast

Ever wanted to learn how to surf? Join us as we head to the Oregon Coast to surf for the day. Participants need to be good swimmers prepared to learn the basics of surfing. Fees includes transportation from campus, surfing equipment rental, and instruction. This is an awesome opportunity to learn to surf and enjoy the beautiful Oregon Coast!

Deschutes River Rafting 

Central Oregon’s Deschutes River features seven major rapids in twelve miles, making this one of the premier rafting rivers in the state. You will get wet, and you need to paddle hard! This trip is not recommended for non-swimmers, but if you like whitewater—this is an awesome time!  

Oregon Coast Hike

Hike this spectacular area of the coast!  We plan to hike a headland climbing 1,200 feet in elevation for some amazing views.  After the headland, we’ll stop by a sandy beach for a little relaxation before heading back to campus.  This a great way to see the rugged northern Oregon coast!  

Trail Engineering Clinic on the PCT

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) stretches 2,650 spectacular miles, from the border with Mexico to Canada. You’ll head up to a picturesque section on Mt. Hood to learn how hiking trails are engineered to minimize erosion, maximize sustainability, and optimize the wilderness experience for different types of users. You’ll have the opportunity to get dirty, learn to use trail tools, and give back to this iconic trail system!

Backpack Mt. St. Helens

Explore the trails of the Northwest’s most active volcano; observe close-up the aftermath of the 1980 eruption and the area’s natural recovery. Backpack in on Friday evening by headlamp. The next day, we’ll hike through islands of old growth forests shielded from the volcano’s fury by lucky geographic placement. Discover great views, ripe huckleberries, and stunning scenery at this national monument, known to Native Americans as “Loowit.”  Inclement weather alternative: Deschutes River Canyon.

Adventures with Professors

Take advantage of these opportunities to connect with your favorite professors outside of the classroom! Each hike will have a destination and theme in line with a professor’s unique expertise, and will give you an opportunity to experience the outdoors through a new lens.  

Rock Climbing at Smith Rock

Start scaling some of Oregon’s best rocks by joining us at Smith Rock, of the most well-known sport climbing areas in the country. This trip will be contracted by a professional rock guiding company in the Bend area. They will provide the appropriate gear and lessons for a full day of climbing. We’ll stay at a house near the park.  We’ll be climbing on Saturday. On Sunday, we’ll do some hiking in the area before heading back to LC. This is an opportunity for you to learn technique, visit a new climbing area, or take your gym climbing outdoors. 

Yoga Coast Retreat

Come have a relaxing weekend doing yoga with College Outdoors. This is also a great opportunity to spend some time on the Oregon coast. We plan to do short hikes mixed with relaxing yoga sessions. On Friday evening we’ll go to the Oregon coast and stay at a rustic lodge.  We’ll return to campus by Sunday afternoon. Come relax, unwind, and join us on this unique, popular College Outdoors trip. No prior experience is necessary. 

Mushroom Clinics

Oregon has an enormous number of mushroom species and it’s no wonder, with all this rain! As long as you’re living in Oregon and since they taste so good, you might as well be introduced to some of them. We will leave first thing in the morning and head to coastal forests where we will search for all sorts of fascinating fungi. Conditions permitting, this trip culminates in a mouth-watering mushroom feast!

Gorge Waterfall Hikes

Come join us on an excursion to see some of the Gorge’s lesser known falls and take in the autumn scenery. The natural power and beauty of these waterfalls has to be seen to be believed. Plus, getting there is half the fun- we’ll roam the trails of the Gorge with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the view.

Eastern Columbia River Gorge Hike

Come explore the dry side (the east end) of the Columbia River Gorge, east of the town of Hood River.  This dramatic landscape, sculpted by the largest floods in earth’s geologic history, has spectacular hiking trails, lots less rain, and usually a good supply of sunshine.  Join us to get some exercise, fresh air, and to see spring come to the east side of the Cascade mountains.  There might be some poison oak to avoid and occasional ticks to brush off your clothes, but the scenery here is completely worth it!  We will hike up to some stunning viewpoints above the Columbia River. 

Edible Plants, Ethnobotany, & Waterfalls

Spring on the sunny, dry side of the Columbia Gorge is amazing.  Learn to identify, as well as taste, some of the edible plants of the eastern part of the Columbia Gorge.  Learn about Native American uses of plants and trees.  Not only that, but learn about some of the poisonous plants you would want to avoid if you’re “wild foraging”!

Astronomy & Geology in Eastern Oregon (not offered Fall 2017)

Come enjoy the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the stars are out and the geology is amazing! On this trip we’ll head out towards Madras, Oregon and stay in a rustic lodge for the weekend. During the day we’ll hike canyons and dormant volcanoes while exploring vast geologic features from the Cascade Range’s eruptive past. At night we’ll use our perch in the high desert to our advantage and learn basic astronomy. This trip is packed full and not one to miss! 

 Standup Paddleboard Bend (not offered fall 2017)

Stay in yurts near the trendy town of Bend and paddle down the Deschutes River on stand-up paddleboards.  The river meanders through the region, and paddlers will encounter nominal class 1 riffles (class 1 means there is current, but no significant rapids).  You definitely want to have some upper body strength to do this trip but don’t need to be an experienced “stand-up paddler”.  It’s a plus if you’ve been canoeing or kayaking before.  This side of the Oregon Cascades usually has great, sunny, fall weather, and the mountain scenery you’ll see while paddling is spectacular.


If you have any questions please call our main office at 503-768-7116 or email us.