New Students

Supplemental Outdoor Experiences

Reed’s Supplemental Outdoor Experiences offer you a chance to see some of the spectacular areas just outside of Portland, meet other students, and enjoy an outdoor adventure before classes begin.

Trips are currently Full, fill out the following form to be added to a waitlist if someone declines their assigned trip.

Gear Up

Supplemental Outdoor Experiences bring small groups of eight to ten students to a variety of areas around the Portland metro area and into the rivers, oceans, mountains in the Pacfic Northwest. We will offer one day excursions from campus to explore areas via foot, Stand Up Paddle Board, Surf Board, Climbing Shoes and much, much more. Teams of student leaders and/or outdoor professionals lead the trips; all are trained in outdoor leadership, first aid, and CPR.

If you register for an Outdoor Experience, you cannot attend the SEEDS Community Engagement Experience.

Please note: Reed College reserves the right to alter or cancel trips based on conditions or situations outside the control of the college. These conditions include but are not limited to low registration, wildfire risk, and low water conditions. If Reed offers an alternative trip, participants will be contacted to opt-in to the new activity. If Reed must cancel a trip in its entirety, the college will notify participants and student accounts will not be charged.

Contact: Will Symms, assistant director of athletics, fitness, & outdoor programs, 503-777-7232.

Important Dates

Friday, August 27
6-8 p.m. Check in, meet your group and talk about the outing
Saturday, August 28
Early a.m. Trips depart
Late p.m. Trips return
Evening Fireside wrap-up

Trip Levels

What trip is right for me?

It’s good to be honest about your goals and expectations regarding your participation in an outdoor trip. Each trip description has a Level Rating average. Use these to guide your potential choice.

Beginning Level 1–3: Casual fare, 4–6 miles travel per day, more relaxation time. Flat-water paddling.

Intermediate Level 4–6: More difficult routes, 6–8 miles travel per day, willing to challenge yourself on harder water (flat and class 1–2 rated water), working harder.

Advanced Level 6.5–10: Good physical fitness is a must, 8–10 miles per day, snow travel and camping possible, possible white water paddling that needs willingness to adventure, some more technical skills are a plus but not mandatory (must be willing to go with the flow and try new things).

Trip Descriptions

Rafting the Deschutes River

Intermediate Level 4–6

Take a road trip through the cascade mountains to the little town of Maupin located along the Deschutes river in central Oregon.  Meet up with the experienced guides from River Drifters, and embark on a fun and adventurous day of white water rafting .  You will have to listen closely, and paddle as a team in order to navigate the many rapids.  You will get a chance to swim through a small rapid, and cruise down a natural water-slide.  This trip is not for those who are afraid of moving water.  For everyone else, buckle-up!  You are going to experience some epic energy from one of Oregon's most iconic rivers.

Kayaking and SUP ing to Willamette Falls

Beginning Level 1–3

Oregon's Willamette river flows straight through the city of Portland. Just south of Portland, Willamette Falls moves the largest volume of water of any waterfall in the state.  The river leading to the falls is calm and suitable for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.  You will be outfitted, given some basic training, and enjoy a historic tour of the Willamette river.  Reaching the falls will be well worth the effort.  Wildlife sightings and human history lessons will keep your mind engaged, as you ease into some meditative exercise.  

Team Building at scenic Oxbow Park

Beginning Level 1–3

Camp Collins at Oxbow park offers the most beautiful and diverse ropes course in the country.  You will meet up with an industry leading team of facilitators who will make it their mission to give you a day filled with meaningful experiences.  The fastest way to make friends is through having fun! Some activities will challenge your communication skills, others will give you an opportunity to push your personal limit of what it means to be challenged.  You may find that you are at your best while simply supporting others.  The possibilities are endless when we unplug and tune into each other.  

Zip Line Tour at Pumpkin Ridge

Beginning Level 1–3

Harness up, put on your helmet, and enjoy a guided zip-line adventure.  Be one with the trees and fly through the air from platform to platform high in the canopy.  This trip is sure to adjust your perspective and put you in the moment.  No skill is needed, you just have to listen carefully when being empowered, and trust your gear.  We don't know how we will respond to being high in the trees until we are there.  Like all challenges, you will have to adapt and learn.    

Surfing the Oregon coast

Intermediate Level 4–6

Take a scenic drive to Cannon Beach where you will meet up with professional surf outfitters and instructors.  Once you're geared up, it's time to learn how to surf.  I can't think of a better way to learn, with your new friends and expert locals to guide the way.  The Oregon coast is amazingly beautiful, and this trip will be sure to get your energies up and going with the flow.

Painting on the Oregon coast

Beginning Level 1–3

If you love the ocean and have a bit of an artistic side, then this trip is for you.  Take a scenic drive to the coast and meet up with a professional painter and art teacher.  You and your new friends will get a glimpse of life on the Oregon coast while embarking on your own creative journey.  Guided painting will surely cool your nerves and open your creative side.  Relax and express yourself.  Start your time at Reed with a creative project, and keep it as a momento for the rest of your life.

Jet Boat and Segway tours

Beginning Level 1–3

Jet boats are fast, really fast.  They can get you around quickly and sometimes feel like a thrill-ride. You and your new friends will take a tour of the Willamette River to the iconic Willamette falls.  This is the largest waterfall by volume in all of Oregon.  Segways are a lot slower, but they are ideal for gliding you over pavement.  You will get to tour the city of Portland without taking a single step.  Learn interesting facts about Portland, and get oriented with your new home city while on a mechanical magic carpet ride. 

Rock Climbing Adventure

Intermediate Level 4–6

Join our veteran climbing instructor Rodney Sofich on a day adventure around Portland, finding some local crags to climb outdoors and perhaps a tour of the indoor climbing gyms in our area. Portland is home to multiple indoor top roping and bouldering gyms you can explore during your time at Reed, plus we have some world class climbing within 3 hours of campus to meet your climbing needs.

Urban Hiking and Food Cart/Coffee Adventure

Beginning Level 1–3

This classic hike is called the “4-T” hike. What do the T’s stand for? Glad you asked, they stand for Trolley, Tram, Trail and Train! Using these four methods of transportation you will wander around Portland hiking to its tallest point, check out downtown food carts for lunch and enjoy some famous Portland coffee on your tour. This tour will help you learn the lay of the land so you can plan your own adventures throughout the year.

Mountain Biking on the Spring water corridor

Intermediate Level 4–6

Take off from campus and cruise along the spring water corridor to Powell Butte park to explore some beginning mountain biking trails. Along the way we will log some miles on the corridor in an urban exploration and hit some food carts for lunch on the way back to campus. This is a great intro to mountain biking for those interested in getting into the sport for lifelong happiness on two wheels.

Outdoor Experience Costs & Registration

We are hoping to offer trips at no cost but if funding is not available we will charge student accounts a per trip charge. This range is between $50-$125 dollars per person. We will notifiy costs to participant once we have final confirmation, individuals can opt out if costs are not acceptable.

Surfing, Team Building Ropes Course, Rafting, Jetboat and Segway Tours, Ariel Zip Line tour, Kayaking and SUP $125.00
Urban Hike, Mountain Biking, Painting on the Oregona Coast, Urban Hike $50.00

When you sign up for an Outdoor Experience, we will charge your student account after the trip has completed. This fee is refundable if you are unable to attend and notify us before Friday, August 10.

To sign up for an Outdoor Trip, complete the application form linked here. Registration begins on July 15th and is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; materials must be received by August 10th.

Please be honest when answering questions about your outdoor experience. Trips are designed for all skill and experience levels, so don't worry if you've never climbed Denali or hiked the length of the Appalachian Trail.

Gearing Up for Your Outdoor Trip

While the weather is generally excellent in August, there are no guarantees. A waterproof jacket and pants are must-have items for the Pacific Northwest! If your hiking boots are new, wear them around town for a few days before the trip: your feet and your group will thank you.

If you don’t have all the gear you need, Reed’s backpack co-op has a limited number  items to loan. You can gear up with your group when you meet them on August 27th between 6-8pm.

The following items are needed for all outdoor trips:
Warm pant layer—if desired; no jeans and no cotton
Warm lightweight jacket—fleece is best
Rain gear is always good to have in the Pacfic Northwest
Hiking/trail running shoes
Water bottles, two minimum (one-quart capacity each)
Personal snacks
Swim suit and towel if you are on a water trip


If you are a student in need of accommodations due to disability, physical or otherwise, please let us know in advance so we can be as accommodating and inclusive as possible in our programming. You may also contact the Disability Support Services office to discuss your needs and other possible accommodations for your time at Reed.