Opal Creek Expeditions



Confident. Empowered. Inspired.

A week in the wilderness will transform your child. Our small-group expeditions give campers the skills and autonomy to become outdoor leaders. Our unique model combines backpacking skills with observational science, giving your child hands-on experience with camp cooking and first-aid, plant identification and compass navigation, and more.

New for 2017!


» Click here for full descriptions of our 2017 Opal Creek Expeditions offerings!
» Click here to go straight to our Opal Creek Expeditions registration page!


All Opal Creek Expeditions follow Leave No Trace principles and maintain a staff-to-camper ratio of 1:5. Our instructors are all WFR-certified and trained extensively to be prepared for any backcountry medical emergencies.

Opal Creek provides some group gear for Expeditions. A complete gear list will be sent upon registration. If there are items you do not own consider renting equipment from local retailers.


“Cyrus came back with a little more woods-swagger, and definitely seemed calmer, older, and confident in finishing big trips. Hats off–way to keep it educational, fun, and safe!”
-2016 Back to Basics parent


Orientation Meetings

Each spring we will host orientation meetings for parents and backpackers to meet with our program director.  We strongly encourage everyone interested in an Opal Creek Expedition to attend one of these meetings, especially first-time backpackers.  We will discuss proper gear and backpack sizing; review the camp itineraries and hiking routes; and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Orientation meetings for spring 2017 will be announced shortly.

Please call the Portland office at 503-892-2782 with any questions about these meetings.


Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center operates under a special use permit with the Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests.

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  1. […] Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center Overnight camps at Jawbone Flats in the Willamette National Forest with an ecological focus and strong emphasis on backcountry travel. Grades served: fifth through twelfth Online: http://www.opalcreek.org/opal-creek-expeditions […]

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