There are so many great rafting trips you can do in Oregon that it’s hard to choose only five—but we’ll try! Among our picks, you can ask what’s best for your crew. Family friendly or adrenaline rush? A quick trip to get your feet wet or a longer multi-day rafting experience? Easy access or are you willing to make the drive for something remote and pristine?
From three-hour tours to multi-day rafting and camping adventures, these diverse Oregon rivers all have something in common: Fun!
Here are the 5 Oregon rivers you must do this summer.
The Lower Deschutes River
One of the most popular rivers in the state, the Lower Deschutes gives you the full package. Hot Oregon desert sun and super fun whitewater rapids combine to make this a must-do trip. Excursions leave daily out of Maupin, Oregon, a convenient 90 miles north of Bend and just 2 hours east of Portland. The Deschutes is a family friendly river with chill float time to enjoy the scenery, but also enough real whitewater to get the heart pumping. There will be plenty of opportunities to perfect your yee-haw as you “ride the bull”. If you don’t know what that means, you’ll just have to come find out!
The high season for rafting trips on the Deschutes is late-June through mid-September, although we’re running trips as early as April and as late as mid-October. This river is perfect for first time rafters and families with kids as young as 6 years old. With 100 miles to explore, there are many options and variations.
Half Day, Full Day and Multi-Day Rafting Trips on the Deschutes
For folks wanting to get in a quick trip, our half day guided tour hits the highlights of the river in about 3 hours. For a longer Oregon rafting experience, try our Full Day guided tour. The Full Day rafting trip is approx. 6.5 hours and floats 16 scenic miles. It also includes a filling and delicious riverside grilled lunch.
But to get the ultimate Deschutes River treatment, try a multi-day rafting trip. You’ll experience beautiful riverside camping, star gazing, rock skipping, and carefully prepared meals that are a big step up from your typical camping fare. All Star Rafting offers 2-day, 3-day, or 5-day rafting and camping trips on the Deschutes. We provide all rafting and camping gear, with tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads available upon request.
The Rogue River
The Rogue River is unquestionably one of the most amazing Oregon rafting trips—a top tier, bucket list destination.
Gorgeous scenery and incredible nature sightings of river otters, black bears, and ospreys are commonplace. Picturesque side hikes compliment your time on the water as the river winds its way through Southern Oregon. The Rogue is rich with the history of the area’s native inhabitants, opportunity seeking settlers, and historic gold mining. The area inspired authors such as the prolific Zane Grey, whose cabin you can visit.
Rogue multi-day rafting trips meet in the small town of Galice, just 20 minutes west of Grants Pass in Southern Oregon. The best time to raft the Rogue is late-May through September, when the weather and the water levels are most favorable. The Rogue is an incredible experience, and kids as young as 6 can join in on the fun.
Multi-day Rafting Adventures with Camping and Stays in Historic Lodges
All Star Rafting offers 3-, 4- and 5-day camping trips on the Rogue, or a 3-day trip that stays in charming and historic lodges along the river. For another option, you can choose a 4-day combination camping/lodge trip to experience both styles. Again, all camping gear is provided, and we prepare hearty and healthy meals to appeal to all tastes. You just have to sit back and enjoy the scenery!
A trip on the Rogue River is truly Oregon rafting at its finest.
The White Salmon River
While technically a Washington River, we’ve adopted the White Salmon River and claimed her as our own. Located along the Columbia Gorge, the White Salmon is hands down the most thrilling half-day trip around. A short drive from the outdoor mecca of Hood River, Oregon, the White Salmon is classic Pacific Northwest rafting. Sparkling whitewater is nestled in a forested canyon, and the exciting rapids come at you fast.
Our guides will take you through creatively named class III+ rapids such as Top Drop, Corkscrew, Waterspout (AKA the “Granny Snatcher”), and Stairstep. When water levels are appropriate, we run the impressive Husum Falls—an incredible 10’ waterfall that gives an opportunity for the biggest splash of your life. (There is also an easy hike around the falls for those who prefer to view the drop from shore).
We run White Salmon rafting trips from April through late-September. Water levels for running Husum Falls generally come around the beginning of July, but that can change from season to season. We take adventurous kids as young as 10 on the river, but you do need to be at least 16 to run the falls.
Half Day Trips Launch Daily
All Star Rafting offers White Salmon trips daily, leaving at 9:30AM and 2:30PM, but we’re also happy to schedule custom times for big groups.
Less than an hour from busy downtown Portland, the Clackamas River is a feast for the eyes. Moss laden trees and prehistoric size ferns line the banks as you crash through white-capped rapids. The Clackamas changes personality from spring to summer, with early high water levels creating high adventure rafting that becomes more family friendly as the season goes on.
When to Attack the Clack? Spring and Summer Trips
Spring trips on the Clackamas begin in March and can stretch into mid-June. Summer trips start mid-June and go through August. Our full day trips start at 10AM and include a deluxe deli style lunch, splash jackets, wetsuits, and booties. Half day trips become available in the summer, launching at both 9:30AM and 1:30PM. Kids as young as 10 may join our spring flow trips, and we welcome kids as young as 6 during the summer.
The Grande Ronde
A multi-day rafting trip on the Grande Ronde is the definition of “getting away.” Hidden in the corner of Northeastern Oregon, the Grande Ronde River winds its way through two mountain ranges: the Wallowas and the Blues. Pristine and remote, you can take a multi-day rafting trip on the Grande Ronde to get off the grid. The rafting is relaxed and scenic, accessing camping and hiking you would never experience otherwise. You’ll be sure to see some impressive wildlife on your trip and enjoy the smell of Ponderosa pine. This is the perfect multi-day rafting trip for families—or anyone looking for a relaxing weekend to explore a new part of Oregon. Trips launch from Minam, 45 minutes northeast of La Grande, Oregon.
Relaxing 3 or 4 Day Trips
We run trips on the Grande Ronde in the spring and early summer to take advantage of good water levels and pleasant weather. We offer 3-day trips or 4-day with a layover day at camp. As with all our multi-day trips, camping gear is supplied with tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags available upon request. Healthy and filling meals are thoughtfully prepared with our guests’ preferences in mind.