Leap into Summer: Experience the Outdoors


Keirsten Estep

Hikers making their way through the Latourell Falls Trailhead.

Juliette Ramirez-Torres, Staff Writer

   With the summer season quickly approaching, the question of what to do starts to cross people’s minds. With policies and rules surrounding COVID-19 still changing, going outdoors has become a safe bet for those who are wanting to get out of the house.  

   Hiking or camping is perfect for the warmer weather and sunnier days. There are certain aspects of being outdoors like the fresh air or the disconnection from technology that really makes the experience different from being at home.

   “I find it’s a fun way to get off your phone and truly just relax,” sophomore Hailey Owens said

   Camping or hiking allows people to enjoy their time without a screen in their face. Not only does being outdoors have unique qualities, but it also has many benefits. 

   “It’s good exercise, even a daily mile hike will leave your legs much stronger and your body will feel better,“ senior Kaleb Martin said. 

   Hiking can get people’s bodies moving in an enjoyable and rewarding way. Besides being good for people physically, hiking can also be beneficial for mental health.

   According to a study done by researchers at Stanford University, spending part of your day outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can contribute to a lower risk of depression.

   For all the right reasons, hiking and camping becomes more popular in the summer. This year will be a little different and there are some changes because of safety measures adjusted for COVID-19.

 “We normally go camping 3-4 times a year but recently it’s been difficult to get camping spots because of COVID,” Flowers said.

   Due to COVID-19, campgrounds are spacing out campsites, so it is limited. People can reserve their campsites prior to their trip. Information regarding new rules are typically on the parks’ websites. If people have questions, they can find the park phone numbers through their websites and contact them. Going through the process of preparing and planning a trip is well worth it when people are able to take advantage of their time outdoors.

   “How relaxing it can be to wake up with not much noise. It’s nice to hear the wood burning in the fire pit early in the morning,” junior Darian Flowers said.

  Some experiences you can only get from being outdoors like smelling that burning fire. There are so many beautiful places waiting to be explored and to be made. Here are some recommendations from students, along with some information about the place.


Fort Stevens State Park:  Beaches, a historic fortress, a 1906 shipwreck, hiking, and biking trails.

Barview Jetty Park: A beach, old military bases to visit, and multiple bike trails.

Lost Lake Campground, Resort, and Day Use Area:  Water activities, hiking trails, climbing, fishing, camping, and much more.

Horsetail Falls: Waterfalls, an easy 2.6-mile loop trail, and swimming holes.

Multnomah Falls Trail: A moderate 2.4-mile hiking trail, a waterfall,  dog friendly, and bird watching.

Gresham Butte Saddle Trail: An easy 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back hiking trail, an abandoned bus, and dog friendly.

Misery Ridge and River Trail: A difficult 3.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail, a river, and dog friendly.