The Chemeketans are a nonprofit, member based, outdoor club founded in 1928 and based in our hometown of Salem, Oregon. The club hosts a wide variety of activities from day hiking to cross-country ski trips, and mountain climbs. They also engage in service, through building and maintaining trails.
The Club has been relatively dormant for much of the COVID-19 pandemic but with the situation rapidly evolving they are looking to bring back much of their regular programming this summer, starting June 15th.
To learn more about the Chemeketans and to help spread the word about their offerings, I reached out to the club president Gregory Adelman, who kindly answered my questions and shared some neat historical pictures with me.
What brought you to the Chemeketans?
My first experience was going up to Jefferson Park with my dad on a hike led by Mary Coleman and Don Gallagher. After that I went to the Outing with my grandparents and I have been going every year ever since!
What is the best part of the club?
The Chemeketans offer activities for every skill level and outdoor interest. We do our best to make everyone feel included no matter what fitness level or interests.
What is the first thing non-members should know about the club?
We welcome all outdoor enthusiasts to any of our events and it is super easy to become a member after participating in a few activities.
What kind of trips/events does the club offer? How often do trips go out?
We have activities ranging from an hour or two of urban hiking to multiple day backpacking trips in Europe and everything in between. There are day hikes and trips planned for weekends and weekdays throughout the year. Our largest event is the Annual Outing in August each year where we go to a new area for two weeks of camping and day hikes.
What is the best way to get involved with the Chemeketans? Is there a good entry level activity to get a feel for the club?
On our website is a calendar of events with a description of the hike and a meeting place. Contact the leader of an interesting activity to sign up and then just show up!
Are there any big plans in store for the Chemeketans in coming years?
For the next few years, we plan on working at diversifying our membership to include more outdoor activities as well as gaining members with different levels of experience. I'm sure we will be doing our part to help rebuild the Santiam Canyon region as well since it is a very popular location for our members to hike in.
What might this summer look like, event wise?
We want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors like normal once it is safe to do so. We are currently in the process of deciding on our Annual Outing which would take place near Mt. Rainier.
Are their plans to rebuild the Chemeketan cabin after the recent fire?
The Cabin site is currently a work in progress to get cleaned up before any large decisions can be made, but we are hopeful to be able to continue using the land for many years to come.
Broken Top Hike
Mt. Rainier from Chemeketan Camp at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground. [Photo] Gladys Miller
Hoodoo Ski Bowl
Idanha, OR train stop