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The Gearboat Chronicles

7 Truly Epic Team Building Activities for Pacific Northwest Businesses

Thinking about treating your team to an unforgettable outing to build camaraderie, trust, teamwork, and communication skills? Forget about boring “team building” sessions in a hotel conference room. There’s no shortage of truly epic adventures awaiting you in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the great outdoors!

In today’s post we’ll take a look at 7 of the most popular (and thrilling) team building activities for Pacific Northwest businesses. Share this post with your team and see what they’re most excited about!

Whitewater River Rafting in Eastern Oregon

When it comes to whitewater river rafting in the Pacific Northwest, you won’t find anyplace better than the Snake River in Hells Canyon, Salmon River or Grand Ronde River. The area is known for powerful, world-class whitewater runs, including class II, III, and IV rapids and spacious camps perfect for brainstorming sessions.

On your trip, you’ll float through deep, natural river canyons, see Bald Eagles and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, and swim in beautiful clear, cool river water. Plus on overnight trips you’ll be able to relax, sit around a fire, enjoy a few drinks and s’mores, and bond with your team.

Trip Length: 1-5 Days or More
Group Size: Up to 18 (Hells Canyon & Grande Ronde) & 24 (Salmon River)
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
What’s Included: Meals, All Gear, Camping Equipment, Experienced Guides
Experience Needed: None. Expert guides show you the ropes!
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Whitewater rafting requires teamwork and communication. Plus it’s a one-of-a-kind adventure for you to share with your team!

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Skydiving in Central Oregon

Photo Credit: Morgan Sherwood on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

What brings a group closer together than jumping out of an airplane? Central Oregon is known for clear skies, beautiful scenery, and awesome views– at least when it’s not raining! Skydiving is a truly epic adventure and one that’s great for a team building trip. Your whole office will be talking about it for years!

Trip Length: 1 day depending on driving time
Group Size: Ideal for groups of 11-20
Season: Best in Summer Weather
What’s Included: Hopefully a parachute! First-timers will need to take part in a tandem jump with an experienced instructor
Experience Needed: None
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Few people get the chance to do something so exciting and it’s a great bonding experience.

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Bungee Jumping in Shelton, Washington

Maybe not quite as epic as skydiving, but bungee jumping is still an awesome team building trip! Shelton Washington is home to the High Steel Bridge, one of the highest bungee jump sites in the country. Leap from 385 feet above the Skokomish river. Breathtaking!

Trip Length: 1 day depending on driving time
Group Size: Minimum of 12 jumpers
Season: Best in Summer Weather
What’s Included: Equipment and Training
Experience Needed: None
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Just like skydiving, bungee jumping is a great shared experience your team will talk about for years.

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Camping and Hiking at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

Photo Credit: Dagmara Mach on Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Crater Lake is one of the most unbelievable sites not only in the Pacific Northwest but the entire world. Your first view of the seemingly impossibly blue water is something no one ever forgets. Hike around the rim or visit one of the many day hikes. Or book a boat ride around the lake and explore Wizard Island! Camp at one of the nearby campgrounds or book a night or more at the historic Crater Lake Lodge.

Trip Length: 2+ days. About a 6-hour drive from Portland, Crater Lake is too far away for most day trips.
Group Size: Best for groups of 20 or fewer
Season: Summer only! Crater Lake sees nearly 45 feet of snowfall each year.
What’s Included: You must plan everything for this trip.
Experience Needed: Steep trails are common and some hikes are moderately strenuous.
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Best for larger groups who might not be up for an extremely active adventure, a relaxing trip to Crater Lake would be a great way to reward a hardworking team. Let your employees bond over some much needed R&R.

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Windsurfing at Hood River, Oregon

Photo Credit: Sarah McDevitt on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Located on the Columbia River, Hood River is the Windsurfing Capital of the world! Strong winds blow through the Gorge and on some days hundreds of windsurfers take to the water. There are many guides and instructors who specialize in corporate outings and team building adventures. Plus nearby Hood River has great places to eat, drink, and shop. A trip to Hood River can combine the best of an active outdoor adventure with the fun of a neighborhood pub crawl.

Trip Length: 1 day. Hood River isn’t much more than an hour from Downtown Portland.
Group Size: Best for groups of 10 or fewer
Season: Summer
What’s Included: Equipment including board and wetsuit, as well as expert instruction
Experience Needed: You’ll use muscles you didn’t know you had! Windsurfing can be strenuous but relax with a cold beer at Full Sail Brewery.
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Your team will laugh together over their epic wipeouts and make unforgettable memories during this unique team building trip.

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Snowboarding or Skiing on Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest. For thrill seekers there’s plenty of downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities and cross country skiing is great for groups who prefer a quieter day in the great outdoors. It’s hard to believe such a great adventure is just a short drive away from the skyscrapers of downtown Portland!

Trip Length: 1+ day. Mt. Hood is about 90 minutes from downtown Portland. Many condo rentals are available in Rhododendron or Government Camp for overnight trips.
Group Size: Any size
Season: Although year-round snowboarding is possible on Mt. Hood, winter is the best time to plan a trip. Nobody wants to ski in the rain!
What’s Included: There are plenty of places to rent all the equipment you need. Lift tickets vary in price during the season but some group discounts may be available.
Experience Needed: Different trails and ski runs offer fun opportunities for beginners and experts. When planning a team building trip make sure to take into account the fitness and enthusiasm of your team.
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Skiing and snowboarding can make for a great team building trip. However make sure that your entire team is excited about the prospect. Spending a day in the cold isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time!

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Orca Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands

Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the best place in North America to see wild orca whales! You and your team can embark on an epic team building trip and spend a day seeing some of the most amazing animals in their native habitat! As a bonus the waters of the area are protected from the open ocean and are calm, so no need to worry about seasickness!.

Trip Length: 1 day. The San Juans are a 2-3 hour drive and ferry ride from Downtown Seattle.
Group Size: Up to 40 or more depending on the boat
Season: Orcas live in the San Juan Islands year-round. Clearer and dryer summer weather may make for a more enjoyable trip, however.
What’s Included: Guided trips are all-inclusive and are often led by expert naturalists. Be aware however that whale sightings are not guaranteed (although many tour groups see whales on 95% of trips).
Experience Needed: None.
Why It’s a Great Team Building Activity: Not all team building activities need to be active and athletic. Sometimes it’s just fun to spend a day together on the water, relaxing and taking in the sights. Plus, how many people have ever seen a killer whale in the wild?

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Start Planning Your Adventure

At Winding Waters River Expeditions we’ve helped businesses of all sizes plan all-inclusive whitewater river rafting and team building adventures. Whether you’re a small startup or a big corporation, we can help create a trip that meets your needs and your budget.

Give us a call at (541) 432-0747 to learn more!


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