Getting Started


Wanting to get into outdoor activities but unsure where to start? The outdoors can seem intimidating at first, but in reality, getting outside is much more accessible than it seems! We recommend participating in EPIC Adventures events as they are perfect for beginners and people wanting to learn (you don't need ANY experience to participate)! If you are unable to participate in EPIC, we still encourage you to find other organizations, classes and workshops in your community. Finding a community of people who enjoy outdoor activities can help you get started. Check out the resources in this section to get started!

Classes and Clubs

Spokane Park and Rec publishes a catalog each season full of classes and activities that you can take part in. These events are a great way to get started in activities.

Meetup is a great resource to find people with similar interests as you. Check out the many outdoor groups. Events vary by group, but all are welcoming to newcomers.

Spokane Mountaineers offer clinics and events for climbing and other activities like hiking and snowshoeing. They have an annual student membership for only $35.

Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club is a great option for people wanting to spend more time out on the water. They offer clinics and events for teh community to sign up for.

Wild Walls is a climbing gym in Spokane that offers classes for beginners. If you have a climbing gym in your area, visit their website for class offering and events. Climbing gyms can be a great place to meet people who like to get outside.

Mount Spokane and other ski resorts offer classes and packages for beginners. Rent equipment from them or from us with your discounted student price!

Online Guides

Trip Planning


CalTopo Free online maps. This site allows you to look at different map types of the same area. There are good online tutorials to learn how to get the most out of this website.

GAIA This paid map service can be downloaded as an app on your phone and used as a navigational tool in the backcountry. We love this app, but you do have to pay for it (small fee that is worth it). This app allows you to download maps to use when you are out of service.

AllTrails Another online source for finding maps. They also have an app that can be used similarly to GAIA.

Interactive Forest Service Map This interactive map will show you forest service trails, campgrounds, roads and more. You can click on some areas to find out more information and gain access to recreation site webpages.

Forest Service 7.5 Topo Maps On this website, you can zoom in to any Forest Service region and click on the topo map you want. The website will produce a high quality PDF that can be printed for free.

Weather and Road Conditions

Activity Specific Resources


Hiking Project Great source to find local hikes. A crowd-sourced trail guide and mapping resource that includes GPS tracks, detailed descriptions, photos, ratings, and comments. Available online and as a phone app.

AllTrails Another great source to find hikes and view ratings, conditions, and maps.

WA Trails Association Another resource specific to Washington for finding hikes, maps, and passes.

Hiking Gear Checklist REI's list of gear for a day hike.

Skiing & Snowboarding
Rafting and Kayaking
Camping and Backpacking


At EPIC, the outdoors are our office, our playground and our home. We have so much respect for the outdoors and for this reason, we feel a responsibility to protect it. This means educating ourselves about environmental issues, being responsible when venturing out into the wilderness and teaching others how to do the same. It is important for us to learn how to take care of the environment so we can continue to enjoy it for generations to come. Here are some resources to help you learn more about protecting the environment as well as opportunities to get involved.

Spokane River Keeper

Leave No Trace LNT offers research, initiatives, and education about protecting the outdoors. Check out their many articles before venturing out on a trip to ensure you're properly taking care of the environment.

The Mountaineers Check out the courses you can take on conservation! They also have a Conservation Blog where you can find dozens of articles on protecting the environment and updates on Washington's lands.

American Rivers Check out their articles under "Threats and Solutions" to learn more about protection, restoration, and conservation of rivers in the US.

The Nature Conservancy Take a look at their blog to learn more about conservation on a global scale.

Documentaries There are many environmental documentaries worth taking a look at to learn more about climate change. Here is a list of some noteworthy ones and where to find them.

Get Involved

Diversity & Inclusion in the Outdoors


Diversify Outdoors - Diversify Outdoors is a coalition and a campaign to create outdoor diversity, equity and inclusion space online and in communities across the U.S. Check out their Resources page and Get Connected page to find people/groups to follow online and on social media.

Melanin Base Camp - Melanin Base Camp purpose is to inspire you with weekly content from Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous and Queer People of Color who love the outdoors. Check out their blogs and resources.

Latino Outdoors - Latino Outdoors focuses on expanding and amplifying the Latinx experience in the outdoors; providing greater leadership, mentorship, and professional opportunities while serving as a platform for sharing cultural connections and narratives that are often overlooked by the traditional outdoor movement.

The Black Outdoors - The Black Outdoors' mission is to increase awareness of and participation in outdoor recreational activity amongst black people and other underrepresented groups.

EWU's Office for Diversity & Inclusion - The Office for Diversity and Inclusion is a resource for diversity expertise and inclusive excellence. Their vision for inclusive  excellence includes attracting and retaining the talents of diverse faculty, students and staff to facilitate teaching, learning, scholarship and service in a  welcoming climate.