Visitors of all cultures, races, ethnicities and identities should feel comfortable basking in the magnificent natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Luckily, several fantastic organizations exist to help all people explore the great outdoors in and around Portland.
People of Color Outdoors
Portland’s Pamela Slaughter, the founder of the nonprofit People Of Color Outdoors creates safe and welcoming ways for Black, Indigenous and people of color to enjoy nature in and around Portland while learning about nature and the environment. Their educational events aim to create a safe space for those who have felt marginalized or even harassed while enjoying the outdoors.
Wild Diversity provides safe and welcoming opportunities for people of color, low-income youth and those in the LGTBQ+ community to experience outdoor adventures. Events include all-level hikes and multi-day and backpacking trips. The group even offers scholarships for those who can’t afford the costs.
Friends on Bikes
Founded by Filipina cyclocross racer Gritchelle Fallesgon and Korean-born cyclist Molly Sugar, Friends on Bikes diversifies the cycling scene by connecting and hosting rides for women and non-binary people of color. Launched in 2017, this Portland-based group organizes monthly all-levels social rides, as well as “bike-packing” trips, workshops and happy hours. Follow Friends on Bikes on Facebook for details about upcoming rides and inspirational posts celebrating cyclists of color.
Jorge Guzman immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was 12 years old. However, he didn’t feel a strong connection to Oregon until he began surfing and snowboarding. Inspired by his experiences, Guzman founded Vive NW, a nonprofit organization that connects local Latinx communities with the great outdoors. The group hosts a wide range of dynamic events, including hikes, ski lessons, stand-up paddle boarding and snowshoeing excursions.
Unlikely Hikers began as an Instagram hashtag and blog from Portlander Jenny Bruso, a self-identified fat, femme, queer writer and “former indoor kid.” By posting stories and photos of so-called “unlikely hikers” — a tongue-in-cheek term that encompasses anyone who is not white, straight, thin, cisgender and able-bodied — Bruso hopes to disprove stereotypes of what hikers and wilderness lovers look like. Visit Bruso’s website or Facebook page to sign up for Portland-area group hikes. Past excursions have included Forest Park, Sauvie Island and Mount Hood.
PDX Climbers of Color
Through outings, skill session, and climb nights at local rock climbing gyms, PDX Climbers of Color levels the playing field by eliminating the social and economic roadblocks that typically make the sport inaccessible.
Latino Outdoors PDX
Dedicated to inspiring, connecting and engaging Latino communities in the outdoors, Latino Outdoors PDX organizes events and showcases how conservation roots have been ingrained in Latino cultura for generations.
Portland POC Hikes
Portland POC Hikes is a hiking group specifically for Black, Indigenous and people of color. Join their private Facebook group to learn about upcoming events.
One of the best ways to explore the Rose City is on two wheels.
Just a 90-minute drive from downtown, Mount Hood sits right in the city’s backyard and makes for a heck of a winter playground.
With easy access to the great outdoors, Portland is a perfect destination for hikers — explore the city’s urban walks, verdant parks and lush gardens, or escape to the nearby gorge and mountains.
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