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Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals

With a complete storefront, rental and service shop, CWU Outdoor Pursuits & Rentals offers year round access to rental gear, scheduled trips, custom trips, ski/snowboard waxing & tuning services and outdoor events. Whether you engage in summer or winter outdoor adventures, OPR can help you plan your next outdoor adventure. OPR serves CWU students, faculty, staff, and current alumni association members.

Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals is a year-round rental & service shop and provides equipment for all seasons. In addition to offering gear you could possibly need to float the Yakima River, or snowshoe in the Cascades, a full supply of camping gear is also available.

Participation in the Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals program is more than just fun in the outdoors. Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals supports the individual development of participants through outdoor experiences. Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals aims to inspire participants to pursue their goals and challenge what they thought were their limitations.

Stoked to hit the winter slopes, OPR offers waxing & tuning services so you can keep your boards performing well all season. When the season is over, bring your equipment in for a coat of storage wax to protect those bases over the summer.

Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals is welcoming and suitable for participants of all backgrounds and skill-levels. Whether you're an expert or a first-timer, OPR has something to offer you. Come by OPR and let us try to enhance your outdoor experience!


This page contains links to websites outside of www.cwu.edu. The views and opinions expressed on unofficial pages of Central Washington University faculty, staff or students are strictly those of the page authors. The content of such pages has not been reviewed or approved by Central Washington University.

  • Fall Quarter Hours of Operation

    OPR Fall Quarter hours

    Fall Hours
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 10am-4pm
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: 10am-1pm
    Thursday: 10am-1pm
    Friday: 10am-4pm
    Saturday: 9am-1pm.

    Fall Quarter closures include Veterans Day, November 11, Thanksgiving break, Thursday, November 23, 24, 25 & 26 & Study Day, Monday, December 5.

    Please call 509-963-3537 or email outdoorpursuits@cwu.edu to find out more.

  • Special Gear Rental Periods

    The Outdoor Pursuits & Rentals Shop offers special deals for holidays and school breaks when the rental shop is closed. Listed below are the special rental periods and deals. For specific questions, please call 509.963.3536.

    • Martin Luther King Day - Free day with any weekend rental.
    • President's Day - Free day with any weekend rental.
    • Spring Break - Pay the weekend price for the full week.
    • Memorial Day - Free day with any weekend rental.
    • Juneteenth - Free day with any weekend rental.
    • Fourth of July - Free day for any rentals over the 4th.
    • Labor Day - Free day with any weekend rental.
    • Thanksgiving Break - Pay the weekend price for all of break
    • Winter Break - Schedule an appointment with OPR to pickup your equipment during Winter Break.
  • Guided Trips & Events

    OPR Trips

    Fall Quarter
    *As of September 15, 2022, some trips have been removed from the schedule. The list below is the most accurate trip schedule to date.

    Instagram Live
    Thursday at 12pm
    Every Thursday at 12pm during the Fall, Winter & Spring Quarters, OPR will bring you live content via Instagram. The topics will be outdoor focused, but could be just about anything. Tune in to @CWURecreation to watch.

    Weekly Fireside Chats
    Wednesday, September 28, October 12, 26, November 9, 30
    Begins at 4pm and ends at 6pm
    Cost: FREE
    Come enjoy a warm fire and stuff your face with S’mores. This a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, find out more about Adventure Programs and eat S’mores.

    Bicycle Maintenance Clinics
    Thursday, October 6, 13, 20, 27
    Begins at 11am and ends at 1pm
    Cost: FREE
    The Recycle Shop will be on campus hosting the free clinic. Bring your bike to this clinic.

    Rafting
    Saturday, October 1
    Departs OPR at 10am and returns at 3pm
    Cost: $35 students, $42 non-students
    Enjoy a fun day of rafting with Adventure Programs on the upper Yakima River. All rafting gear and transportation is included with the cost of the trip. Registration deadline Thursday, September 29 at 4pm. Pre-trip meeting is at 4pm on Thursday, September 29. Level of difficulty is beginner to intermediate.

    Sunset Hike
    Thursday, November 10
    Departs OPR at 4pm and returns at 7pm
    Cost: $10 CWU students, $12.50 non-students
    Looking to enjoy an evening hike while the sun fades away? Join our trip leaders and your fellow students for some exercise and beautiful scenery in the Ellensburg area. Level of difficulty is dependent on location and could be beginner, intermediate or advanced. Registration deadline is 4pm the day of event.

    Beginner Backpacking
    Saturday & Sunday, October 8 & 9
    Departs OPR on Saturday 8am and returns Sunday 5pm
    Cost: $30 students, $37.50 Non-students
    Join OPR and hike in the Cascade Mountains where you'll learn how to backpack, setup camp & cook your meals. Registration deadline is 4pm Thursday, October 6. Pre-trip meeting is at 4pm on Thursday, October 6. Level of difficulty is beginner. Pre-registration required.

    Naneum Ridge Mountain Biking
    Saturday, October 15
    Departs OPR 10am and returns at 7pm
    Cost: $20 students & $25 for Non-students
    Bring your mountain bike, helmet, snacks, water and any bike trail tools you may have. We’ll be riding the new trail system being built in the Naneum Ridge State Forest. Registration dealine is Thursday, October 13 at 4pm. Pre-trip meeting on Thursday, October 13 at 4:30pm at OPR. Level of difficulty is beginner to intermediate. Pre-registration required.

    Sunset Standup Paddle boarding
    Tuesday, October 18
    Departs OPR at 4pm and returns at 8pm
    Cost: $20 students & $25 for Non-students
    Enjoy a relaxing evening of standup paddle boarding. Standup paddleboards are included with the cost of the trip. Registration deadline is Monday, October 17 at 4pm. Pre-trip meeting on Monday, October 17 at 4pm at OPR. Level of difficulty is beginner to intermediate. Pre-registration required.

    Day Hike
    Saturday, October 22
    Departs OPR 10am and returns at 5pm
    Cost: $25 students, $31.25 Non-students
    Enjoy a hike to an OPR favorite location. Take in the scenery as you hike through alpine meadows and forested mountains. Registration deadline is Thursday, October 20 at 4pm. Pre-trip meeting on Thursday, October 20 at 4pm at OPR. Level of difficulty is beginner to intermediate. Pre-registration required.

    Winter Quarter
    Snowshoeing
    Cross Country Skiing
    Backcountry Skiing
    Snow Tubing
    Ski & Snowboard Shuttles

    Spring Quarter
    Hiking
    Mountain Biking
    FREE Bicycle Maintenance Clinics
    Standup Paddle Boarding
    Fireside Chats
    Rafting

    Training & Certifications
    AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Course
    Swiftwater Rescue Course
    Wilderness First Responder

  • Yakima River

    Enjoy a scenic float down the Yakima River, take in the stunning views of the canyon and valley, and watch for wildlife along the banks of the river. Be adventurous, see what the nature around the Lower Kitittas Valley has to offer.

    Action Stage - (33.5 feet - 35.5 feet.) At this stage, the river is near bank full at Ellensburg. Lowland flooding is possible in the low areas along the river. If the water level is above 33.5 feet, please consider your recreation options carefully and know that you are responsible for your own safety while on the river.

    The Yakima water level is always very closely monitored by the USGS. You are able to see what the water level for each of the stages in real-time. Yakima River's real-time water levels.


    What to Bring

    • PFD (Personal Flotation Device) / Life Jacket & WEAR IT!
    • Water
    • Food
    • Waterproof sunblock
    • Chapstick
    • Proper footwear with snug straps that will not fall off
    • Inexpensive sunglasses
    • Swimsuit
    • And the pump. When the raft hits the cold water it can lose pressure over the duration of the float. During a break in your float, keep the raft out of direct sunlight and give it a couple pumps before heading back out!

    Caution:

    Rafting is a potentially hazardous activity. Always raft with a group and seek training prior to floating the river on your own. Moving water is a powerful element and awareness of potential hazards may allow you to have a more safe and enjoyable experience. OPR offers a Swiftwater Rescue course annually each Spring for those interested in getting more training.

    On the Yakima River, OPR equipment is prohibited floating the stretch between the Upper Bridge at KOA campground to the Lower Bridge at Irene Rinehart Park (People's Pond), and from the Lower Bridge (People's Pond) down to South Ringer Loop launch. AVOID THESE AREAS!!! These areas are potentially hazardous and are off limits for OPR equipment. The Ringer Loop Road is closed in the middle because it was washed out by the Yakima River a few years ago. Please avoid putting your water vessel in the river at North Ringer Loop. North Ringer Loop is the little grassy park with the picnic table that is near the Yakima River RV Park. This section of river is within the prohibited stretch referenced above. For the Ringer Loop put-in, you should drive to the second road named Ringer Loop Road and drive to the WA state managed parking area with boat launch to put your water vessel in the river. At this site, there is a Bureau of Land Management sign labeling this area South Ringer Loop. Please note a Discover Pass or day use fee is required here. For a list of Yakima River put-ins & take-outs and FAQ on our rental gear and floating the river, click here.

    Please send inquiries via e-mail outdoorpursuits@cwu.edu. Or contact Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals by phone at (509) 963-3537.

  • Useful Links
  • Forms
  • Banff Mountain Film Festival

    Banff Mountain Film Festival

    Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022
    Doors open at 6pm and the film starts at 7pm.
    Cost: $12 CWU students, $16 non-students, $16 general admission day of the film.
    Welcome to the 2022-23 World Tour. Each year, a collection of the best films celebrating outdoor culture is seen by more than 390,000 in 40 countries at over 840 screenings, including Central Washington University. There will be door prizes. To purchase tickets in advance, visit Wildcat Tickets. To watch the previous year's trailer, visit https://www.cwu.edu/rec/film-festivals.

Contact US

Sr. Coordinator for Adventure Programs - Bradley Gasawski
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA, 98926-7448
Phone: 509.963.3537
E-mail: outdoorpursuits@cwu.edu