Is it too early to start planning one of your summer whitewater rafting trips? We don’t think so! And one of our favorite destinations for summer rafting adventures is the great state of Oregon. If you’re looking for a west coast adventure, regardless of where you’re from, Oregon should definitely be on your list of destinations. Keep reading for more about the rivers in Oregon and some great outfitters that can help you hit the water out west!
Oregon is a pretty big state, with parts of it receiving up to 200 inches of rain every year! This means that there is a fantastic variation in the state and its topography – so there is a whitewater adventure for every level of rafter.
Some of the top whitewater destinations in Oregon include:
John Day River:
If you’re looking for one of the longest rivers in the Pacific Northwest, combined with spectacular scenery and incredible camping and outdoor opportunities, then look no further than the John Day River. Stretching over 280 miles, this river features Class II whitewater rafting and is also renowned for some of the best fishing and hiking in the state. Whitewater trips are available from May until early July, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance.
If you find yourself in the Cascade Range, you’ll find it hard to resist the temptation of the Mackenzie River. This Oregon classic starts at Clear Lake and is split into two major sections: the upper and the lower. The upper is known for an exhilarating trip that is perfect for the practiced whitewater rafter. The lower is an inviting trip that is perfect for families or first time rafters.
Exhilarating whitewater, spectacular rocky mountain vistas, and sunny warm desert canyons combine to make the Deschutes the best known river in Oregon. The Deschutes offers hot sun tanning days and cool swimming under clear blue skies. This section is a designated Wild and Scenic River offering exciting Class III and IV rapids including Oak Springs, Elevator, Buckskin Mary, and Boxcar. For good reason, this great river attracts many boaters during weekends on its one day run… be prepared for a water fight at any moment!
Taking a quick trip to Portland but need a way to get your rafting fix? Then the Clackamas River is the trip for you. The beginning of the season (March to June) is ideal for the larger rapids, but as the summer sets in, the river changes and becomes a more technical trip. The river is situated in the Cascade Mountains into the Willamette River – through a canyon of Douglas firs and basalt rock.
A few great destinations for whitewater rafting in Oregon:
Do you have a favorite whitewater trip or river in Oregon? Tell us about it in the comments below!