2017 Annual Mt. Adams Camping/Rafting/Caving Trip

Common Adventure Disclaimer:

UO Outdoor Program operates under Common Adventure principles.  Trips posted on the OP trip board are consensus based cooperative trips, using and renting resources of the OP Equipment Co-op.  Trips posted on the Co-op trip board are posted by interested volunteer participants; they are not offered by the Outdoor Program administration.  Trip initiators are not paid leaders or guides, and may have no special training in the activity or in outdoor leadership.  Any University of Oregon Program staff who participate in a Common Adventure trip, either as Initiators or participants, are not leaders or guides, nor are they acting as agents of the University; they are equal paying members and are responsible only for themselves.

The annual camping trip near Mt. Adams in Washington State is September 7-10.It’s three nights and includes whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River, hiking, stargazing, caving, fishing, swimming, repelling off an 85 foot waterfall, eating like royalty, viewing the entire Cascade Mountain Range from an old fire lookout, and exploring 2 new and unnamed waterfalls recently found within miles from our campsite (one is about 45’, the other is 100’). For a full list of trip events see the info below.

Trip Information:


When: Thursday September 7th to Sunday September 10th (3 nights). More specifically: We will be leaving Eugene at 6am on September 7th and returning at 11pm on Sunday September 10th. It takes about 3 hours to get to the campsite from Eugene.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Thursday August 31st at 8pm at the OP Barn. 

Where: The base of Mt. Adams at Forlorn Lakes, near the town of Trout Lake, WA (South-central Washington State, about 30 miles north of Hood River, OR, or about 3 hours from Eugene). Here’s a website run by the Forest Service: www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/ You can view pictures of the area but not our campsite because Forlorn Lakes is remote and largely unknown.


Cost: The exact cost is subject to change depending on the number of participants, but the current estimate is $100 per person, which is due at the August 31st pre-trip meeting. This covers just about everything including equipment (including the rafting gear), gas for the van, supplies, and food.


Uniforms: Years ago we picked an official uniform for these trips, as seen in many of these pictures. The uniform is Swiss Alpenflauge camo (the official camouflage of Switzerland), and we find it useful to roll around in the dirt, keep warm, and generally just to have fun in. You may purchase one for around $25 online if you want to keep yours, or just borrow extra ones I have for free. They include a jacket w/ hood, pants w/ suspenders, and a backpack. Don’t worry, these uniforms are not a total fashion-flop and we are not a militia.



Whitewater Rafting: We will be whitewater rafting down the White Salmon River. The trip starts from BZ Corner, takes half a day, and features a class V rapid (Husum Falls) and 3-4 class IV’s. We will be guiding ourselves using excellent equipment rented from the UofO Outdoor Program.

4 Waterfall Expeditions: Have you ever swam underneath a waterfall? You will. The 1st waterfall we consider to be our own personal waterfall because we have never seen anyone else there in all the years we have been going to it, although some kayakers have recently become famous for hitting it, which is insane: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT1SVIdgxFY Don’t worry, we will just be swimming and repelling, not kayaking here. The 2nd waterfall is a hike to a beautiful 3-part waterfall. The 3rd & 4th are unnamed and not on any maps.

Rappelling: If we have the expertise and equipment we will include repelling as an activity connected to the waterfall expedition. This entails repelling off a 120 foot cliff next to a waterfall into the water. I would highly advise going to a repelling wall at a gym or something in preparation.

Saturday Market: Every Saturday Trout Lake holds a “Saturday Market” which features local arts and crafts, baked goods, etc. Everything you’d expect from a remote mountain town. There is also a good chance that there may be other special activities going on around the area such as a rodeo, fair, etc. www.mtadamschamber.com/

Huckleberries: It will be huckleberry season around Mt. Adams and our campsite is covered in them.

Stargazing Viewpoint: There are 2 viewpoints for stargazing less than one mile from the campsite. One has an incredible backdrop view of Mt. Adams, the other of Mt. Hood. There is also one on a cliff.

Hiking to the Fire Lookout: An old fire lookout on Red Mountain, used by the Forest Service for almost 100 years to spot fires and even to watch for the Japanese fighter planes during WWII, features views all the way from Canada to California and the entire Cascade Range.

Fishing: The fishing at Forlorn Lakes is not the greatest but there are fish in it. We have extra poles.

Lake Swimming/Rafts: We will be camping right on a lake, so bring some shorts. We will also have rafts.

Caving: This is one of the old standards of our trip. But this year we’re adding some new caves. While all helmets are provided, you must bring at least 2 flashlights one of which being you main source which should be at least 6 volts or bright LEDs. You will need to wear warm grubby clothes (jeans) and gloves to protect your hands. The caves we will be going into are not strenuous, do not require any vertical maneuvers or any other dangerous operations, and are all one channeled (one tunnel).

UFO’s: Mt. Adams has the highest number of UFO sightings in the US. There is even a UFO “ranch”: www.eceti.org/Eceti.TenYearsofFootage.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHcsykrrGSg www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFt80bp24MY&feature=player_embedded www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljrKfjPIO3w&feature=player_embedded


Personal Checklist

Swiss Uniform. (I have lots of extras you can use)

Sturdy Shoes or Boots

Water shoes (or rent booties from the OP for $2) – for rafting and rappelling

Warm Clothes for the evenings (it gets cold at night)

Sleeping Bag (or rent from the OP)




Personal CD Player and/or Ipod

Small Bug Spray/Repellent (I have extra)

Two+ Flashlights for Caving/Flashlight Wars. (+ extra batteries)

1. Big/Main very bright Light, should be at least 6 volts. (4 D Batts.)

2. Back-up for Main Light (2 batteries)

3. Helmet-Mounted Light (optional)

Gloves – for caving (with decent grip, “work” gloves are fine)

Water gloves – for rappelling and rafting (will stay on when wet)

Cash for extra expenditures


Swim Suit

Sunglasses (bring a cord/strap for rafting to keep them on your face)

Windbreaker (for rafting)

Suntan Lotion (I have extra)

Chapstick, prescriptions, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

Rafting Gear (rent from OP) – helmet, wetsuit, booties (optional), life jacket

Knee and elbow pads for caving (optional, I have a few extra)



ESTIMATED GROUP COSTS (This is roughly what your fee pays for):

$20 per night (x4 nights) per campsite (x2 sites) = $80

$? food and supplies

$70 per person for gas money (This covers all GROUP gas)

$50 Petty Cash for additional ice, bread during the trip, anything we might run out of

$120 Rental of rafting equipment, etc.






Jim Cleavenger
Pre-Trip Date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 8:00pm
Event Date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 8:00am to Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 6:15pm
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email: 
Pre-Trip Location: 
The exact cost is subject to change depending on the number of participants, but the current estimate is $100 per person, which is due at the August 31st pre-trip meeting. This covers just about everything including equipment (including the rafting gear), gas for the van, supplies, and food.