Portland and outdoor recreation go hand-in-hand. Our area is equipped for nearly every outdoor activity you can imagine—including skiing, snowboarding, rafting, kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking and much more. Many Portlanders even live in the city and its surrounding communities solely because of the area’s proximity to the mountains, access to rivers, and abundance of hiking trails.
But exploring the great outdoors is always more fun with a buddy. Thankfully, Portland is home to several outdoorsy groups where you can meet a few friends while you trek through the wilderness! Whether you’re a hiker, a runner, a biker, a fisher or a skier—there are a few friendly groups on this list just for you.
If you’re looking for a solo adventure, or just want to spend the day outside with your family—check out our Portland Outdoors Guide!
Formed in 1971, the Portland Bicycling Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a cycling community. In addition to offering a full-ride schedule each month, they take community involvement seriously, providing safety classes for young riders and volunteering at various community events. You can get information on joining or register for a class by visiting their website.
Portland Velo is a local cycling club focused on recreational road biking. They meet for rides throughout the week, offering paces for a wide range of skill levels. Prospective members are welcome to participate in one of their Saturday rides (which feature over 100 riders each week!), so check out their ride schedule and get ready to hit the road!
Boredom isn’t allowed at the Urban Adventure League—not that it would ever be a problem! This outdoorsy group hosts various events that explore the local urban environment using feet, bicycles, public transit and any other means of transport. One of their most popular events is their monthly Sunset/Moonrise Ride, where members ride out to a scenic spot to watch the sunrise and moonrise with friends after stocking up on supplies at Beaumont Market. Not much of a biker? They also offer plenty of fun events for you too—including Pizza Walks and camping trips.
Whether you’re an old pro or a beginner ready to dive into the world of hiking, you’re welcome at the Portland Hiking Meetup Group. This Meetup group hosts several hikes and other social meet-ups throughout the month. Visit their Meetup page for a full list of upcoming events—but make sure to look at each trip’s skill level first to see if you’re up for the journey!
For over 100 years, the Trails Club of Oregon has been bringing local nature lovers together. They hike year-round, exploring all types of trails around the area. This friendly hiking group is open to any skill level; just make sure you check the trail difficulty before you head out. And, if you aren’t sure you want to officially join the Trails Club of Oregon yet, you can try out a hike as a guest. Just visit their calendar to see when the next hike will be, suit up in the proper footwear, fill up your water bottle, and hit the trail!
Do you love hiking and photography? Boy, do we have the perfect club for you! PDX Photography and Hiking is a group that offers slow-paced, casual hikes where you can get the perfect shot without having to rush. They offer hiking events that vary from rambles down well-known trails to off-trail bushwhacking to indoor events in the warmer months. PDX Photography and Hiking is completely free to join and open to photographers and hikers of all skill levels.
The Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club (OKCC) is a group of boaters in the Portland area who have come together through their passion for whitewater boating. They are active year-round, hosting a variety of fun activities both on the water and off, and are open to all kayakers regardless of skill level.
Kayak Portland is a community of kayakers that is active all year long. When the weather isn’t kayak-friendly, you can expect picnics, pool sessions and more unique events. All meet-ups are open to anyone and everyone, so visit their Meetup page to see what events are coming up soon!
Photo courtesy of NOPO Run Club
If you’re looking for a more “casual” running group, join the NOPO Running Club every Wednesday for their weekly Beer Run! Each week, local running enthusiasts complete a 5 or 10K before socializing over a beer, as the route always starts and ends at a rotating bar. In addition to being a fun place to meet new people, NOPO also offers plenty of opportunities for community outreach!
Red Lizard Running Club is a nonprofit organization with over 1,500 members that welcomes runners of all skill levels. They meet several times throughout the week and participate in local races as a team. In addition to providing a local running community, members also volunteer their time at the Special Olympics, the Portland Marathon and soup kitchens!
Founded in the 1970s, the Mountain High Snowsport Club is one of the largest skiing and snowboarding clubs in the Portland area, boasting more than 300 members. Join them as they ski at local resorts, take day trips Mt. Hood, and even travel across the country to take on some of the best slopes in the world—all while making some lifelong friends! While the group’s primary focus is skiing and snowboarding, members also enjoy a variety of social events throughout the year. You can find a full list of upcoming events on their website.
The Skiyente Ski Club, founded in 1955, is the oldest all-women ski club in the United States. While they do enjoy their fair share of skiing throughout the year, Skiyente does much more than that. As a member, you can enjoy a wide variety of club-hosted events, including an annual wine and cheese drive, a holiday party, a spring tailgater, and their widely popular King Winter Coronation and Dance.
Photo courtesy of Jacob Raab via Mazamas
There’s no need to hire a guide to find adventure in the mountains when you can join the Mazamas! This group of climbing enthusiasts enjoys everything from mountain climbing to hiking. But while the climbs can be pretty tough, they are open to every skill level—because everyone has to start somewhere! The Mazamas have a jam-packed calendar this season, with over 700 hikes and 350 climbs scheduled annually. You can learn more about how to join Mazamas on their website.
Do you love exploring Oregon’s gorgeous landscape? Then Climb Matrix is the group for you! This community of climbers is open to everyone, whether you’re a climbing expert or a brand new enthusiast. They host plenty of fun events throughout the year, both on the rocks and off. Visit their Meetup page to see what events are coming up—from weekly indoor climbs to monthly beginner’s sessions!
This group is perfect for anyone who enjoys fly fishing, traveling throughout the Northwest, exploring the outdoors and, of course, craft beer! They put on a ton of meet-ups throughout the year—including casual meetings at local breweries and fly fishing trips to some of Portland’s best rivers. Their group outings mainly focus on fishing for trout east of the Cascades, but group leaders hope to eventually extend trips to Montana! Check out their Meetup page to see when they’ll be meeting next.
What do you like to do outside in Oregon? Chat with us, and other like-minded individuals, in the comments!