Women-focused guided trips provide great ways to escape work, family and the bustle of everyday routines. In Oregon, you can travel solo or with a group of female-identifying friends to a scenic spot where you can learn how to surf, cycle Crater Lake’s rim or even learn to paddle through Rogue River whitewater rapids. We’ve rounded up some of the state’s best adventures for women, with women and led by women guides.
Surf the Wild Pacific in Seaside
If you want to try out surfing in a supportive environment, book a girlfriend getaway surf weekender through Northwest Women’s Surf Camps. This two-day surf immersion was created specifically with a female audience in mind with an all-female coaching team. Classes are held May through September.
The Seaside-based day camp includes a surfboard fitted to you and all gear (especially wetsuits), plus the instruction and practice time you’ll need to gain the confidence to continue surfing independently. You’ll leave the weekend with what owner/coach Lexie Hallahan calls a surf sistership of supportive women cheering each other on.
Raft and Sleep Under the High-Desert Sky
Nothing matches a warm summer night under the stars on a high-desert river in Oregon. It’s even better if someone else does all the packing and meal planning. Arrowhead River Adventures offers a spring high-desert women’s retreat featuring an all-women raft float through the Central Oregon wilderness on the John Day River in May 2022.
Led by trained female guides, all you need to do is show up with your girlfriends and take part in long, lazy days on the raft. No experience is required and kayaking is optional — you may just want to bring the book you’ve meant to finish, or reconnect with your sister or nieces in the vast expanse. Every creature comfort is included. If this women-only trip sells out, you can alternately book a private John Day trip for your group or join their “Wild Rogue” women’s retreat, rafting fun in September 2022.
Backcountry Backpacking in the Blue Mountains
Join an all-female guide team from Wander Women on a backpacking trip along the Elkhorn Crest Trail in Eastern Oregon’s Blue Mountains — one of the state’s most breathtaking, remote backcountry areas. A four-day, 12-mile itinerary will take you and your gal pals — or college roommates — over the granite spine of the Elkhorn Range. You’ll camp next to pristine alpine lakes with elk grazing in meadows.
“We spend about five hours a day on the trail,” explains owner and guide Kori Rosenstiel, “including time for snacks, photo ops, lunch and a casual hiking pace that emphasizes enjoying the experience.” Hikers supply their own hiking boots, backpack and sleeping bag, and everything else — including any required permits — is provided. If the Elkhorn Range trip in September 2022 is booked, the company offers other female-only adventures, like a John Day River hike in June 2022 and several more in 2023.
Paddle Through Rogue River Wilderness
Share the rush of whitewater rafting on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River with your bridesmaids — or grandma — on a six-day, guided, lodge-to-lodge trip through this historic river in Southern Oregon. Learn basic techniques before hitting Class II, III and IV rapids on the Upper Rogue. This trip is offered through AdventureWomen.
You’ll marvel at the rocky canyons and wildlife sightings during the day and stay in comfortable lodges on riverbanks with warm showers at night. Friendly expert whitewater guides show you the ropes and host happy hours and riverside picnics with home-cooked meals.
Eugene to Crater Lake Rim on Two Wheels
You’ve visited Crater Lake with the kids and dog and a family vehicle, but have you cycled around the volcanic rim with other women? Rally your mom friends — or your mom — for a six-day Crater Lake bike tour through Bicycle Adventures, which partners with Cycle Portland. This intermediate-level ride is an all-inclusive itinerary from Eugene in the Willamette Valley, and is led by four guides (two are female).
You’ll travel along the McKenzie River through old-growth forests, past lava fields, through Bend, into Crater Lake National Park and for 35 miles around the lake’s rim road. “We have quite a few solo female travelers who feel comfortable coming out to adventure and travel with us,” says Meg Clark, guest services director for Bicycle Adventures.
All the details are taken care of: high-end bikes, food, lots of downtime and even a support van. Premium lodging along the route includes two nights at the historic Crater Lake Lodge, perched on the edge of the lake rim. The entire tour encompasses 224 miles of biking.
Learn to Backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail Near Mt. Hood
Experience a portion of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail and gain essential skills for four days of backpacking on this women’s-only trip through Rare Earth Adventures. Starting and ending in Troutdale outside of Portland, you’ll cover approximately 30 miles of the PCT through the tall conifers of Mt. Hood National Forest, hiking about 8 to 12 miles a day, so check the site for fitness recommendations.
A female team of experienced wilderness guides will instruct you in all the necessary skills for the first-time backpacker, including trail first aid, navigating and creating an ideal campsite. Other than a backpack and sleeping bag, the trip includes all food, gear and permits so you can focus on nothing but fun.