Columbia, Cascades and Coast Adventure
- Camp in Washington state
- Surf lessons on Pacific Coast
- Raft White Salmon River
- Horse ride Columbia River Gorge
- Backpack near Mt St Helens
- Lighthouse and Lewis & Clark
- Swim ocean, river, stream
- Explore Long Beach & Trail
"I wish you could have seen my daughters face while she scrolled through the camp photos: pure joy. I am telling you she is a changed girl. The girl that arrived at PDX was lacking in courage and confidence and this affected her happiness. The girl we picked up at SEA had the aura of one who felt accomplished and her happiness was clearly beaming.” Jane G (Thibodaux, LA) Read More Testimonial Reviews
A Summer Adventure Camp in Southwest Washington for Teen Girls
There’s no stopping on this one-way itinerary leading to fun and adventure in the Pacific NW! The first section of the adventure takes place between Portland, Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge where top-notch whitewater rafting rafting and horseback riding are enjoyed. The second section takes place higher up in the forested area of the Southern Cascade Mountains between the Columbia River Gorge and Mount St Helens and offers backpacking and day hiking with volcanic landscapes, woods, streams, lakes, lava fields, wildflower meadows and views of Mt St Helen's south face. The final section of our adventure takes place on the Washington and Oregon coast and includes lots of beach time and exploration, lighthouse and Lewis & Clark information, and learning to surf in the ocean!
Be ready for go, go go here, it’s one BIG adventure to the next and no time to lose! This camp is perfect for girls who really want to kick off their summer strong - it’ll get you pumped up for the great outdoors and leave you feeling vibrant, bold and ready for even more adventures yet to come this summer.
Want more fun this summer? It's easy to add on the North Cascades Adventure (I) and enjoy 24 days of adventure with Alpengirl!
Day 1: Arriving at Portland Int’l Airport your Alpenguides will greet you and introduce you to the rest of your group. Name games and icebreakers abound before we all hop into the van and drive to our first campsite. Once we learn how to set up our tents, we’ll continue to get to know each other, then enjoy the first of many delicious and fresh camp meals.
Day 2: Waking up energized from a good night’s sleep, you’ll bring your sleeping pad out to our morning circle for the first of our daily yoga sessions. We’ll allow our bodies to settle into the new rhythm of being outside as our Alpenguides teach us the basics of outdoor living and tent camping.
After lunch today, it’s whitewater rafting on class III-IV rapids of the White Salmon River. Once a lava tube, this river runs through narrow, volcanic basalt canyons before heading out into the warm sunshine of a forested valley. The undeveloped shoreline and inaccessible deep forests invite wildlife to visit the refreshing river, a sight only experienced by rafters and kayakers. River rafting on the White Salmon River epitomizes the lush and wild character of the Pacific Northwest in one exciting raft trip! If river conditions and water levels are agreeable and our Alpengirl boats are paddling strong and working as a team and our raft outfitters give us the "go ahead" girls who choose to (optional) may even launch a 10 ft waterfall!
Tonight we’ll settle back in at the campground, and are able to freshen up with a real shower, and the first camper cook group will take their turn at whipping up a great hot dish from the Alpengirl Camp Cookbook - perhaps we'll try Pan-glazed Balsamic Chicken served over a bed of cous cous with a side of steamed vegetables.
Day 3: It’s an early day today, we’ll do yoga, have breakfast, pack up camp and meet our guides for horseback riding through the foothills of the Columbia River Gorge. Taking photos along the way of flowing creeks, steep colorful hillsides, shaded canyons and a nice view of Mt. Hood. This trail offers the opportunity to trot or run, depending on group experience and comfort.
After a rush of energy early in the day today, you’ll get to kick back in the van napping, talking, and listening to music as we make our way away from the Columbia River Gorge area and head into the Cascade Mountains to arrive at tonights campsite in the woods.
Day 4: Spend a casual day visiting waterfalls, pools and old growth moss-cloaked forests along a beautiful river where we may even jump in for a cool and refreshing swim! This evening we'll start preparing our gear and looking at maps for our backpacking trip starting tomorrow. Tonight may be a great night for a campfire and s’mores!
Days 5-8: The area near the western edge of the Mount St Helens’ 1980 blast zone is our destination and it has a little of everything like old growth forests, huckleberries, desolated canyons, wildflower filled meadows, large dry washes to cross and awesome moonscape gorges. We’ll spend the next 4 days backpacking and exploring this unique and awe-inspiring area.
Our first day we’ll gain about 900 feet of elevation over about 3 miles to set up tents at a normally lush and well-watered primitive campsite in the woods beneath two large buttes. Sometimes we opt to continue our first day hike uphill for 1 more mile and camp on the Loowit Trail above treeline on the side of Mt St Helens so girls can enjoy a clear sky view of Mt Adams in the distance before the stars come out to shine. The second day we continue our backpacking for about 6 miles along the trail to reach a campsite at a large river wash for the night. Typically, on our third day, we’ll pack up and backpack uphill and some downhill about 3 miles to our next campsite in the woods at a small lake. Our final day it’s a 4 mile downhill backpack, across an ash filled stream, past a blue mountain lake, through a bear grass filled meadow and we’ll catch a final view of awesome Mt St Helens in the distance.
Depending on the early summer trail conditions, group interest and abilities we may opt for some extended day hikes on 1 or 2 of the days. We’ll combine day hiking and backpacking and attempt to cover a total distance of about 17-20 miles. The early summer wildflower display of lupine and paintbrush is a special treat you will not regret experiencing - It’s a truly magnificent landscape everyone should experience.
Day 9: Ahhh it’s time for a hot shower and some clean laundry! Today it’s mostly about freshening up, leaving the mountains and arriving on the Washington coast for the final leg of our Columbia, Cascades and Coast adventure. We’ll have showers, do laundry, re-supply groceries, visit a lighthouse and explore a portion of the local Discovery Trail with Lewis & Clark Expedition info along the way. Tonight we'll enjoy a completely different campsite setting along the coast where we’ll have the much anticipated Alpenwear Fashion Show and perhaps even have time for the Alpenolympic Talent Show on the beach!
Days 10-11: Surfs Up! Alpengirls will have 2 different surf lessons on the Oregon coast. The 1st day we'll learn the very basics and give it a try, the 2nd day we'll really get the hang of it and become surfer girls! During lesson #1 we’ll meet our surf instructors who’ll teach equipment knowledge, ocean safety and awareness and surf etiquette, and the skills needed to catch and ride our first wave. Lesson #2 expands on the basics, and we'll learn more about how to choose the best board and wetsuit depending on skill and conditions, how to make it through the white water, we'll learn more in-depth surf etiquette and about wave selection. The optimal amount of time for surf sessions here is about 2-3 hours, after that, even the most energetic Alpengirls are ready for a break. These surf lessons are geared for never-ever surf girls and will be a great starter experience for Alpengirls.
Our final hurray is along the Oregon coast in a small town where we enjoy a brief souvenir shopping trip and stopping at the ice cream stand before our end of session awards ceremony. We’ll settle in to camp tonight for our final night camping near the coast.
Day 12: It’s time to go home! Exchanging hugs with your friends, you’ll depart from Portland Intl' Airport, knowing that you’ve had a ton of fun and accomplished great things as an Alpengirl and are a part of our fantastic community for life. See you next summer!
PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample itinerary. Alpengirl reserves the right to cancel or alter any aspect of our program, including program itinerary, trip dates, activities or location, as a result of unforeseen circumstances, including weather, environment, or health hazards. To the best of our ability, substitutions of activities will be comparable to, or better than the original activity. Parents will be notified by email if there are any significant itinerary changes.
Trip Campsites & Amenities
Eight nights are spent in tents in public “front country” campgrounds where we have pre-assigned campsites with neighbors and campground hosts nearby, running potable water, and private outhouses or flushing toilets.
Three nights are spent in tents in wilderness “back country” areas where we will purify our water before drinking and learn and practice basic Leave No Trace camping skills such as how to select a campsite, how to go to the bathroom, and how to keep clean outdoors.
Why Choose This Trip
This is the only Alpengirl camp where girls learn to surf! Plus, it has a really exciting, top-rated raft trip. Every day is packed full of different activity and there’s lots of diversity in the areas we adventure in from the scenic gorge area, the forested mountains, the unique moonscape views surrounding Mount St Helens, to the coast, ocean and beach.