Headwaters New Student Outdoor Trips

Headwaters is one of OSU-Cascades’ signature programs. Register now!

A Tradition at OSU-Cascades

Headwaters trips are outdoor trips that take place the week before fall term. All new students including transfer students are welcome to register. Students tell us Headwaters is one of their favorite programs at OSU-Cascades – you don’t want to miss it!

Newbies and Experts Welcome

Trips are open to all levels of experience. Choose from a canoe trip along the Deschutes River, a backpacking trip in the Cascades Lakes region, or a rock climbing and river rafting adventure. Accommodations for disabilities may be made by calling 541-322-3116.

Early Move-In

If you are living in the residence hall fall term, you can move into your room the arrival date of your Headwaters trip (see below). Classes begin on Wednesday, September 25.


The cost of the trip (see below) includes meals, equipment and early move-in fees (if applicable) for the residence hall. After you register online, please call Cascades Adventures at 541-322-3116 to pay the trip fee over the phone. Your registration is not confirmed until you have paid the trip fee.

Pre-Trip Meeting

All trip participants must attend a mandatory pre-trip meeting the arrival day of the trip. Meeting time, a packing list, and a trip itinerary will be sent in a confirmation email.

Choose Your Adventure

Read about the Headwaters trips below and click on the button to register.

Headwaters Canoe Trip from Wickiup Reservoir to Benham Falls

Tuesday, September 17 - Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cost: $60
Residence Hall Move-in: Tuesday, September 17

You’ll start this trip at the source of the Deschutes River and spend five days paddling toward Bend. This is a perfect trip for students new to canoeing as well as experienced paddlers. You’ll practice skills on Wickiup Reservoir before meandering down the beautiful flatwaters of the Deschutes River, stopping to camp along the way. Each evening you’ll cook meals, play games and tell stories from the day. Led by two Cascades Adventures canoe trip leaders, this trip is a popular one. The arrival date is for move-in, a pre-trip meeting and packing — then you'll head out on the trip for five days and four nights.


Headwaters Backpacking Trip in the Cascades Lakes Region

Wednesday, September 18 – Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cost: $50
Residence Hall Move-in: Wednesday, September 18

The majestic beauty of the Cascades Lakes region and the headwaters of the Deschutes River calls to Central Oregonians, and this trip explores that beauty on foot. You’ll hike four to six miles each day, leaving plenty of time for swimming and hanging out. In camp you’ll cook meals together, stargaze and enjoy the night sounds. Led by two Cascades Adventures backpacking trip leaders, you’ll spend four days hiking and three nights camping. The arrival date is for move-in, a pre-trip meeting and packing.

Register Now

Headwaters Central Oregon Experience Trip

Thursday, September 19 – Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cost: $50
Residence Hall Move-in: Thursday, September 19

New this year! Always wanted to try rock climbing or river rafting? You can do both with this Headwaters option. We’ll start with belay school on campus, and then have a variety of routes set at Smith Rock. We’ll also jump in the big rafts and hit the Deschutes River. Basecamp is close to Smith Rock and includes a game tent, amazing stargazing and lots of food. Led by Cascades Adventures rock climbing and raft trip leaders, you’ll spend three days exploring and two nights camping. The arrival date is for move-in, a pre-trip meeting and packing.

Register Now

Headwaters Reunion BBQ

Wednesday, October 23, 4:30-6 p.m.

Beaver Dam Cafe
Cost: Free

Reconnect, celebrate your adventures in the wild and reminisce with other Headwaters participants. Join students from all Headwaters trips along with faculty and staff to share stories and continue building relationships on campus.

Contact Us

Outdoor Program Coordinator
Julia Conrad
Office Phone: 541-322-3116
Office: Tykeson Hall 110