Oregon Cascades Explorer

Oregon Cascades Explorer

Explorer Adventure - Grades 7-9

From the snow-capped volcanoes of Oregon’s Cascades to the arid beauty of the state’s desert canyons, this 14-day adventure offers a stunning variety of environments and experiences. Swim in beautiful alpine lakes, raft thrilling whitewater, and climb the most famous rocks in the Pacific Northwest.

16 Days

$3,995

  • June 28th - July 13th
  • July 16th - July 31st
  • Portland, OR

Day 1-2

Your trip will begin at the Portland airport. After everyone has gotten off of the plane, you’ll all assemble in the airport and meet each other for the first time. Once you’re all together, you’ll head to your nearby campsite at the base of spectacular Mt. Hood for your first night of camping as a group. Settling in, it will be a pretty exciting evening as you’ll play games, get your first lesson in setting up camp, and enjoy your first frontcountry meal. Early the next morning in Bend, OR, you’ll pick up some food and other necessary supplies for your first leg of wilderness travel. Finally, you’ll end your day discussing the area into which you are about to venture and familiarize yourself with maps of the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Day 3-8

Departing from lively Bend bright and early, you’ll become well-acquainted with the Three Sisters Range as you hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. As you hike, you’ll learn about general wilderness travel practices, Leave No Trace principles, backcountry cooking, and route finding. These new skills will surely make for great campfire conversation as you settle down each night at some of the most picturesque sites imaginable. Finally, weather and conditions permitting, you will make a summit attempt on the South Sister before you depart from the area. You’ll discover the truly matchless view from the summit; you’ll be able to see a majority of the dramatic Cascade Range, including summits of Mt. Hood and even Mt. Rainier. With your first major trek complete, and your trip as a whole off to a pretty astounding start, you’ll depart the Three Sisters area and prepare for the next segment of your excursion.

Day 9-11

Following the Three Sisters, you’ll shower, do laundry, go food shopping, and then you’ll be on the road again. Your next locale will be Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock’s high desert cliffs and crags are known as some of the best climbing in the USA. Your group will spend time with expert local instructors who will teach you the ins and outs of rock climbing in this remarkable area. Eventually, once your climbing skills are superbly accomplished, you’ll take on one of the best-known routes in the area, the Tyrolean traverse of the “Monkey’s Face!” The course will be a challenge, but your rewards—unparalleled views and a monumental sense of accomplishment—will truly be as great as the obstacle you will have overcome to get there.

Day 12-14

After your lofty experience at Smith Rock, you’ll head straight to your next thrilling activity:  whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River! You’ll take a day to prepare for another few nights in the backcountry and then you’ll hit the water. On this distinct stretch of river, perfect weather is almost the norm; you’ll take on exhilarating rapids with names like “Rattlesnake” and “Buckskin Mary.” Besides learning how to negotiate your way through the whitewater, you’ll spend a memorable night camping alongside the river, reliving the day’s excitement as you dry off and enjoy a well-earned dinner.

Day 15-16

Once you’re off the water, you’ll do your last round of showers and laundry as a group. You’ll organize your gear and prepare to head back to the Portland area for your departure, as well as your group’s end of summer banquet in Hood River. There, you’ll gather round the dinner table to reminisce and talk about the good times had and never to be forgotten. Regretfully, the following morning you’ll part ways, but your heads and hearts will be full of memories of life-long friends.

Day 1-2

Your trip will begin at the Portland airport. After everyone has gotten off of the plane, you’ll all assemble in the airport and meet each other for the first time. Once you’re all together, you’ll head to your nearby campsite at the base of spectacular Mt. Hood for your first night of camping as a group. Settling in, it will be a pretty exciting evening as you’ll play games, get your first lesson in setting up camp, and enjoy your first frontcountry meal. Early the next morning in Bend, OR, you’ll pick up some food and other necessary supplies for your first leg of wilderness travel. Finally, you’ll end your day discussing the area into which you are about to venture and familiarize yourself with maps of the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Day 3-8

Departing from lively Bend bright and early, you’ll become well-acquainted with the Three Sisters Range as you hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. As you hike, you’ll learn about general wilderness travel practices, Leave No Trace principles, backcountry cooking, and route finding. These new skills will surely make for great campfire conversation as you settle down each night at some of the most picturesque sites imaginable. Finally, weather and conditions permitting, you will make a summit attempt on the South Sister before you depart from the area. You’ll discover the truly matchless view from the summit; you’ll be able to see a majority of the dramatic Cascade Range, including summits of Mt. Hood and even Mt. Rainier. With your first major trek complete, and your trip as a whole off to a pretty astounding start, you’ll depart the Three Sisters area and prepare for the next segment of your excursion.

Day 9-11

Following the Three Sisters, you’ll shower, do laundry, go food shopping, and then you’ll be on the road again. Your next locale will be Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock’s high desert cliffs and crags are known as some of the best climbing in the USA. Your group will spend time with expert local instructors who will teach you the ins and outs of rock climbing in this remarkable area. Eventually, once your climbing skills are superbly accomplished, you’ll take on one of the best-known routes in the area, the Tyrolean traverse of the “Monkey’s Face!” The course will be a challenge, but your rewards—unparalleled views and a monumental sense of accomplishment—will truly be as great as the obstacle you will have overcome to get there.

Day 12-14

After your lofty experience at Smith Rock, you’ll head straight to your next thrilling activity:  whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River! You’ll take a day to prepare for another few nights in the backcountry and then you’ll hit the water. On this distinct stretch of river, perfect weather is almost the norm; you’ll take on exhilarating rapids with names like “Rattlesnake” and “Buckskin Mary.” Besides learning how to negotiate your way through the whitewater, you’ll spend a memorable night camping alongside the river, reliving the day’s excitement as you dry off and enjoy a well-earned dinner.

Day 15-16

Once you’re off the water, you’ll do your last round of showers and laundry as a group. You’ll organize your gear and prepare to head back to the Portland area for your departure, as well as your group’s end of summer banquet in Hood River. There, you’ll gather round the dinner table to reminisce and talk about the good times had and never to be forgotten. Regretfully, the following morning you’ll part ways, but your heads and hearts will be full of memories of life-long friends.