Invest in the performance and effectiveness of your team.

Dissolve barriers. Build trust. Improve communication and productivity.

What is a Challenge Course?

A Challenge Course (sometimes called a ropes course) is a collection of activities called “elements” built of ropes, cables, and wood structures. These elements have been placed anywhere from ground level to 125 feet up in the forest canopy and are designed to encourage team bonding and personal growth.

Groups who benefit most

  • business groups
  • management teams
  • sports teams
  • leadership groups
  • school groups
  • youth groups

Your group experience

Structures and activities on the Challenge Course facilitate active participation, strategic learning, and intentional fun. Your group’s session is custom designed to spark group discussions around:

  • teamwork
  • communication
  • trust
  • goal setting
  • confidence
  • problem solving
  • encouragement
  • leadership development
  • group affinity

Your group experience will be designed around your goals and needs.  A challenge course program may include games, low element activities focusing on group dynamics and teamwork, and/or high element activities designed for trust building in groups and confidence building for individuals.

Individual choice

Tilikum works under a “choose your challenge” philosophy. In all activities…

  • the individual chooses their level of involvement and commitment.
  • individuals are encouraged to accept challenges outside their comfort zone.
  • individuals are not coerced or forced to participate at a level beyond their choosing.
  • the individual experiences a setting of care and respect for their chosen level of risk.


Participants on high elements are required to wear helmets and harnesses and are connected to a belay system. All Challenge Course activities are designed and presented with specific consideration for your psychological, emotional and physical safety.

Challenge Course policy

  • Participants must be 10 years of age or older.
  • Groups must have a minimum of 10 participants.
  • Events must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance.
  • Each Guest must fill out a Tilikum Participant Agreement before engaging in Challenge Course activities. Guests without completed Participant Agreements are not allowed on the Course.

Challenge Course facilitators

Facilitators are carefully trained for leadership and safety on the challenge course to provide your group the highest quality adventure program experience. All Tilikum facilitators hold current certification recognized by the Association for Challenge Course Technology.

History of Tilikum’s Challenge Course

Tilikum’s Challenge Course was originally designed and built by Project Adventure, Inc. in 1993. The Course is currently inspected and maintained by Synergo, a Northwest leader in the field of challenge course construction, inspection, and training.


For more information, to schedule a tour, or to schedule your team on the Challenge Course, email Scott Diefenbaugh/Challenge Course Manager, or call Scott at (503) 538-2763, ext. 105.

Like more information for your type of group?

See what people are saying about the Challenge Course program at Camp Tilikum.

  • Legacy IM Residency Program

    Great overall experience! facilitators were welcoming and friendly, good at including all members of the group. Our group worked together to solve larger tasks, and came away a more cohesive unit. Thanks so much!

  • Group Coordinator

    "This activity fit our goal of developing leadership and teamwork within our program so much better than any of the other activities we have done over the years."

  • Commonwealth Real Estate Services

    "The instructors are thought provoking and professional. Lessons learned at Camp Tilikum have helped our corporate team back at the office in more ways than we originally anticipated."

What to expect.

Frequently asked questions and what you can expect on the Challenge Course.

Challenge Course elements

#11 – Thunder Drop

Watch the video

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