Oregon rafting is an unrivaled adventure you just can't miss during state vacations. It is a quintessential outdoor experience. One you try it, it will make you realize the genuine power and beauty of Oregon's natural backdrop. Roughly chiseled rivers carve through thickly forested pines, leading the way through Oregon's vast and wonderful landscape.Oregon river rafting, contrary to popular belief, doesn't have to be a heart-stopping ride either. For those that are a little more reserved, or have smaller children, a lazy jaunt down the river is entirely possible. On the flip side, Oregon river rafting can definitely mean an electrifying ride of a lifetime.
There are six main rivers to choose from (and many smaller rivers) once deciding that white water rafting in Oregon is for you. With a ton of guides whisking rafters off on tours, there are also tons of choices in expedition companies. Choosing a company is all a matter of personal choice. If you don't know where to begin, try a recommendation from a friend, tourism office, or get busy reading reviews of Oregon outfitters to get an idea of which company offers a good price, an excellent trip, and plenty of support. Once you choose an outfitter, your Oregon rafting trip need only one more thing—a river selection. This could be decided simply by your geographical location, or by suggestions from the rafting company.
Most rafting outfitters offer Oregon rafting trips seven days a week since rafting is one of the top things to do. Every age and level is accommodated and trip durations are extremely flexible—enjoy white water rafting in Oregon for a half-day thrill up to a five day venture and even longer. The Deschutes River and John Day River, near the John Day Fossil Beds, are two of the most popular for an Oregon rafting adventure. Raucous rapids, exhilarating jolts, stunning desert canyon backdrops, and plenty of magnificent mountain views is what to expect during an Oregon rafting trip down the Deschutes River. With parts of the river assigned a Wild and Scenic River designation, both class III and class IV rapids will feel like the journey of a lifetime.
The John Day River canyon is one of the most admirable of all destinations for white water rafting in Oregon. The river bullets you off on an escapade that is exciting, endearing, and in some areas, overwhelmingly beautiful. Raw and wild with plenty of pristine scenery, John Day River is almost 300 miles long, making it the longest of any Pacific Northwest (without a dam) river that also enjoys a Wild and Scenic River designation. Chiseled bluffs and basalt rocks impress, while palisades and craggy drops reach more than 2,900 feet. Riverside sanctuaries, golden beaches, and ancient petroglyphs are just some of the attractions along the way. Excellent fishing, great bird-watching, and ideal camping areas make John Day an even more appealing Oregon rafting destination.
Whitewater rafting in Oregon at the Grande Ronde in the northeast is ideal between April and July. A true state treasure, this river carves through lava flows, winding deeply through the canyons, careening past striking basalt structures. Eventually Grande Ronde meets headway with the Columbia River where ponderosa pines, mixed conifer trees, and firs unite in dense forests, creating a haven for native wildlife. Swimming, hiking, and plenty more recreational pursuits are accessible.
The Owyhee River in southeast Oregon, the Mackenzie River, and the Umpqua River, one of the most thrilling of all rivers for whitewater rafting in Oregon, are more options for river tours. The Umpqua features more drops, rapids, and fast-flowing water than any other river in Oregon offering continuous action perfect for intrepid adventurers. Whichever is your river of choice, be sure to find out what kind of deals can be score by booking early. Oregon hotels and motels can come at a much cheaper rate when booking in advance, as can many bed and breakfasts. Beginning in April, when Oregon river rafting season kicks off, trips can get booked up quickly so reserve in advance if possible. And don't worry about gear; all Oregon river rafting equipment is supplied during expeditions.