Reed College Canyon


Reed canyon is a 28-acre watershed in the heart of the campus, running east to west, dividing north from south, and is spanned by two pedestrian bridges and a land bridge. Home to a growing population of wildlife and native plants, the watershed includes the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek, a tributary of the Johnson Creek Watershed, and Reed Lake, which has been deemed the oldest naturally occurring lake in Portland.

This website includes details about restoration efforts for the canyon and also its history. Please enjoy the online view, and then make plans to visit. If you are new to the Portland area, you might want to start by looking at our canyon map.

Fall Canyon Day 2014

canyon day imageJoin the Reed community in planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasives and rebuilding sections of damaged trail. The event is free and open to anyone. Tools, training, food and fun will be provided. The event will be held on Saturday, October 4th 9am 'til 3pm. Meet your friends in the canyon near the Reed waterfall, just west of the landbridge and Reed Lake.

Dress for the weather and bring gloves if you have them.

For more information email or call 503-572-8636

Fresh from the Blog

Reed Canyon features on Oregon Field Guide

By Tony Moreno : 04/10/14

Watch Oregon Field Guide that highlights Crystal Springs and the Reed Canyon (starts around the 20:25 mark).

Spring Canyon Day 2014

By Tony Moreno : 02/25/14

Spring Canyon Day 2014 is coming! Saturday April 5th 9A.M.-3P.M. Join the Reed College community in restoring native plant habitat and enhancing water quality in the Reed canyon, the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek. This event is free and open … finish reading Spring Canyon Day 2014

Pictures from Fall Canyon Day 2013

By Tony Moreno : 10/28/13

This fall Canyon Day was held on October 5th. A beautiful fall day surrounded the activities which included the removal of 6-cubic yards of invasive plant material, and the reintroduction of over 800 native understory shrubs and ground covers.

Looking back helps us move forward

By Zac Perry : 08/23/13

The canyon fell into the trusting hands of the ‘crew’ this past summer. Their dedication to protecting this headwater forest and the cleanest water source in the City of Portland will leave a lasting impression on this campus. Don’t let … finish reading Looking back helps us move forward

Beavers’ work, closeup

By Tony Moreno : 07/11/13

Took a walk at lunchtime around the canyon, and there’s plenty of ample signs of beaver work. Decided to take a closeup of what their dentures have been doing to one particular tree . . .

rivelli rehabilitation image Crystal Springs Headwaters Fish Passage and Restoration Project

Summer 2010 had a major restoration project in the canyon. View a video on the restoration or read about the project or view photos of the restoration. There's a great documentary exploring the history, ecology, community and educational opportunities of Crystal Springs and news coverage of the project from KGW TV, and most recently from an article  and a video covering the restoration from the Portland Tribune.

canyon day

Videos! Canyon Field Notes

Find out what's happening in the canyon with Zac Perry, canyon guru, as he brings you info about bees, canyon restoration, and more. View videos.

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Canyon Plants

If you're interested in the botany of the Pacific Northwest, be sure to visit our plants page. We have photographs and descriptions of many of the native plants found in the canyon, as well as a page of information about our invasive species.

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View our weblog for canyon-related notes, updates, and images; canyon users can share their wildlife observations and other notes about what's going on.

If you have any feedback or suggestions about the blog, drop a note to (Take out the "NOSPAM" portion, of course). Thanks!