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Outdoor Recreation

UO Facilities & Programs

Outdoor Program
For all sorts of outdoor information and excursions, contact the UO Outdoor Program. Check out their website for information on trips and rental gear.
UO Student Rec Center
To stay fit when you can’t get out, you can always go to the student rec center, a new facility that houses everything from a swimming pool to raquet ball courts. Current students just show their ID card and have the run of the place. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better club no matter what you were willing to pay.

Club Sports

Club Sports offers a way for students to get involved in team sports with other students. Teams include everything from sky diving to cycling. Club sports is also a great resource for hooking up with other athletes.

Eugene is well-known as a running town. The UO hosts national track events at Hayward Field, but it’s common to see Olympians out on the mulch trails around town as well. For more information on running in Eugene and events hosted by the UO:

Oregon Track Club (check out the running map of area paths) (to see when the track meets are happening)

Outside the city limits you will find miles of country roads for an escape on your road bike. You will also find some of the best mountain biking around within an hour of campus. Just stop by the local bike shops for tips on the best routes. Commuting in Eugene is easy – in large part because the large network of bike paths makes it easy to avoid traffic. The city puts out a bike map so you can plan your commute. Eugene is also home to several bike manufacturers, including Co-motion, Burley Design Cooperative, Bike Friday, and Rolf Wheels.

Fly Fishing
Two rivers run right through town, the McKenzie and the Willamette. Both offer excellent trout fishing – and the Willamette is a healthy steelhead fishery as well. In addition, there is excellent fishing outside town in both rivers and the high lakes of the Cascades. You can learn more about the local fishing scene by visitng the Caddis Fly Angling Shop website or by calling Homewaters Fly Shop at 541-342-6691.

Skiing & Snowboarding
When the snow falls, grab your skiis or your board and head for Willamette Pass, just an hour and a half east of town. Or go a little further and head up to Mt. Bachelor or Hoodoo. Or head north to Mt. Hood and check out Mt. Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Timberline, and Cooper Spur. Other ski areas to check out include: Mt. Ashland (about three hours south), Anthony Lakes (near LaGrande) and Mt. Bailey (snow cat skiing near Diamond Lake)

For additonal information about skiing in the area, check out Professor Hutchison’s ski page at

Rock Climbing
Oregon is home to Smith Rock, the best rock climbing in the lower 48 and just 2 and a half hours from Eugene. Eugene also has a local rock gym, the Crux, and a local rock wall, the collumns. In addition, UO students have access to the climbing wall at the Rec Center.

There are three skydiving companies listed in the yellow pages. You can also hook up with the club sports team:

Eugene Skydivers
Skydive Oregon
UO Club Sports

There are plenty of places to surf on the Oregon coast. The best place to get advice might be from the surfers on the club sports team.

Well, Hood River IS in Oregon, after all. Some of the best windsurfing you’ll find, just three hours north-east of Eugene.

There’s no shortage of waterways to explore around Eugene. You can canoe, kayak or raft the Willamette and the McKenzie close in. Or you can go a little farther and check out the Deschutes, Rogue and Umpqua – you’ll have more white water than you can handle. For more information on canoeing, kayaking and rafting in the area, check out Oregon River Sports. For those more interested in water skiing and jet boats, Fern Ridge Reservior is close by and popular for sailing, water skiing, and power boating. Dexter Reservoir is also popular and just 20 miles from town.

You can swim indoors right on campus at the Rec Center. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can swim in the local reservoirs or drive out to the beach (an hour away) to dip your toes in the chilly Pacific.

Florence has the world’s first (at least that we know of) sand park, where you can surf the dunes in style:

Ultimate Frisbee
Ultimate is a popular Eugene pasttime. The UO has men’s and women’s club sports teams – likely the best place to hook up with other players.

The only question in regard to hiking in Oregon is where to begin. Fortunately, you can get in a nice day hike without leaving town. The Ridgeline Trail runs right across the southern edge of town, along with the very popular Spencer’s Butte, which boasts 360-degree views of the Willamette valley. Beyond that, there is a great hiking trail that runs along the McKenzie (also great for mountain biking) and the miles of trails you’ll find in the Cascades – it’s endless, really. For a real visual treat, take yourself over to Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, known for it’s crystal-clear blue water and gorgeous views.

Check out the web for state parks and national parks in Oregon. There’s plenty to see.

There’s no end to the trails worth packing in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is home to the Cascade Mountain Range (which includes the Three Sisters Wilderness Area) and next door to Washington, home of the Olympics. There’s certainly more incredible backpacking than you’ll have time to do in grad school!! Check out the web for state parks and national parks in Oregon.

Hook up with the UO’s Outdoor Program for some great trips and advice in regard to mountaineering. There are plenty of large peaks to climb around Oregon and Washginton, including the Three Sisters, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. The Cascade mountain range includes many other peaks. This website gives an overview:

Good clean fun in the mud. Contact UO’s club sports to find out more about rugby in Eugene and how you can get involved:

UO Men’s Rugby
UO Women’s Rugby

Hockey/Ice Skating
The Lane Events Center has an indoor rink if you’re interested in ice skating. The UO club sports program also has a hockey team.

Once again, the best way to get involved with rowing is to contact club sports.

The UO has covered and uncovered tennis courts available to students. So bring your racket!