Getting out in the city

Portland—some see it as the home of hipsters, hippies, vegans and birds put upon things. It’s a small city often overlooked, easy to pigeonhole and stereotype. But to you and I, the City of Roses is our home, and we know how far beyond the stereotypes it goes.

Oregon is packed full of outdoor attractions: Mount Hood, Crater Lake National Park, Bonneville Dam, Hells Canyon, Timberline Lodge and Cape Kiwanda. The largest city in the state, Portland is home to its fair share of attractions as well: the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, Forest Park and Hoyt Arboretum, to name a few.

Located in a dense urban area, it may be hard to imagine what the Portland State campus has to offer in terms of outdoor activities (apart from busting your butt to get from Fourth Avenue. Building to XSB in the five minutes you have before your next class begins). However, there are numerous outdoor activities that PSU students can get involved in here on campus.

The best place to start for this would be the Outdoor Program office. Located at the corner of 5th Avenue and Harrison Street, the ODP is your one-stop shop for information and resources to get you connected with the great outdoors.

Teacup Cross-country Skiing/splitboarding, Marquam Nature Park Service & Yoga, Silver Falls Day Hike, and Intro to Outdoor Sports Climbing are all events on the February calendar alone. Most events have a cost associated with them, but for those of you who consider yourselves broke college kids like myself, the ODP also offers an array of free events.

All trips are student led, which means every year, even every term a variety of different outdoor activities appear on the schedule. Future event dates and more information can be found online at However, to sign up for said events, you need to make your way down to the physical office location on 5th and Harrison.

Your student I.D. badge gets you a lot more than access to your building and into games for free. It’s also your ticket to exclusive prices on outdoor equipment that the ODP has available for rental. Equipment for backpacking and camping, climbing and mountaineering, skiing and snowshoeing, rafting, kayaking and other water sports can all be found at the ODP.

Students can hit two birds with one stone by getting involved with the ODP and earning college credit at the same time. Something to look out for in the coming terms are PE 199 Independent Study Outdoor Program introductory seminars such as Intro to Whitewater Kayaking, Intro to Sea Kayaking, Intro to Rock Climbing and Intro to Mountaineering. Other credit earning courses include Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Responder Recertification.

Next time you need to get some fresh air, stop by the ODP, who make it easy to get out of the city and into the natural beauty of Portland and Oregon’s landscape.