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The Best Whitewater Rafting in Oregon

Whitewater Rafting in Oregon

The State of Oregon is one the best places for whitewater rafting in the world!  Oregon has 68 Federally-designated Wild & Scenic rivers and creeks.  Flowing from steep mountain and through both forested and desert canyons, Oregon has a river trip to suit every taste and ability.  ROW Adventures has been sharing guided rafting trips in Oregon since 1979 and you can count on our experienced guides for exceptional service and intimate knowledge of the area’s natural history. 

There is a great variety of rapids on the rivers of Oregon.  Most of the rivers are suitable for a wide range of abilities so whether your experienced or new to rafting, there’s something that will fit.  Some of the state’s famous rapids include Rainie Falls and Blossom Bar on the Rogue; Wild Sheep, Granite and Rush Creek on the Snake; Whitehorse and Oak Springs on the Deschutes and many others

Lodge-to-Lodge Rafting in Oregon

Oregon has one of the only "lodge to lodge" rafting rivers on the Rogue River.  These trips give guests the best of both worlds - outdoor rafting fun during the day and the comfort of a lodge with beds and showers at night. The lodges are basic but comfortable, set in remote wilderness near the river. As the sun shines down on the Rogue River you are surrounded by the untamed natural beauty Southwestern Oregon. Flowing through the Siskiyou Mountains, a diverse forest of pine, fir, cedar, oak, madrone and manzanita flanks both sides of the canyon.  Crystal clear streams with newts, turtles and inviting swimming holes flow in from side canyons.  ROW offers three and four-day trips on this fabled western river.

Map of ROW Adventures Rafting Trips in Oregon

Oregon Map of Rivers

Best Oregon Rafting Trips

Deschutes River :  Oregon’s most popular river is the Deschutes.  The popularity stems from consistently sunny and dry days, an important draw for those that live in some of Oregon’s soggy climes.  With trips from a day to as long as five days, the Deschutes flows through a variety of scenery varying from forested mountains to deep canyons of volcanic basalt.  Fun, splashy, intermediate rapids, big mountain and desert canyon scenery, and idyllic camping under the stars all add up to a fantastic rafting adventure.

Rogue River :  Perhaps the most famous Oregon river is the Rogue.  Flowing through canyons of jaw-dropping beauty, the Rogue River has adrenaline-pumping drops, peaceful pools and lush, verdant scenery.  Located in the southwest corner of the state, rafting trips on the Rogue are easy to access via the Medford airport or driving from any major city on the west coast. In addition, ROW is one of the only companies on the Rogue River to deliver both a lodge-to-lodge rafting option as well as a camping option.  The Rogue offers something for everyone with plenty of fun rapids, wildlife viewing and soul-comforting, inspiring scenery.

Grande Ronde River Rafting :  In the northeast of Oregon is the Grande Ronde River.  This is gentle class II river trip suitable for all ages of rafters.  At the edge of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, the river flows quickly through canyons of pine and fir, and as it descends towards the Snake River, opens up to mountains of waving grass studded with towering ponderosa pines. Trips are three to five days and this is the perfect choice for families or those looking for a mild whitewater trip. 

Owyhee River :  In the southeastern corner of Oregon lies a little-known desert gem, the Owyhee River.  ROW offers trips on both the Middle and Lower Owyhee sections from four to five days.  The scenery is more what you’d expect to find in Utah, with deep canyons and during the spring season, bountiful wildflowers and birds.  These are some of the most isolated canyons of Oregon where the geology provides a full-color storybook of wonder.

Hells Canyon Rafting :  On the Oregon-Idaho border, the Snake River has carved the deepest canyon in North America – Hells Canyon!  With the biggest rapids in all the Pacific Northwest, Hells Canyon is a legendary whitewater rafting trip where scenery, challenging rapids, excellent fishing, superb hiking and more all combine into a classic adventure.  During the day we explore a rich legacy of Indigenous rock art, pioneer homesteads, excellent hiking trails and superb fishing for trout and smallmouth bass.  Add in beautiful camps on the river’s edge and you have a dream rafting trip ranging from three to six days.

Oregon's Top White Water Adventures

Whitewater rafting on Deschutes river

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three people in red whitewater raft paddling

Rogue River Rafting

Rogue River Hiking in Oregon

Rogue River Hiking

Owyhee River Whitewater Rafting

Owyhee River Rafting

Red rafts floating on the snake river in Hells Canyon Idaho

Rafting the Snake River through Hells Canyon

rogue river in Oregon with red rafts floating

Rogue River Rafting and Camping

Rafting tour on the grand ronde river in oregon

Grande Ronde River Rafting

Ouzel Outfitters

INSPIRED BY WILDERNESS

oregon river rafting trips

Welcome to Ouzel Outfitters

Exceptional river rafting adventures in oregon and idaho since 1979.

Share the perfect outdoor experience with family and friends. Whether you're looking for just a few hours of whitewater adventure, a weekend overnight getaway or a week-long wilderness rafting adventure, Ouzel Outfitters is bound to have the right trip for you. 

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Choosing the Right Rafting Adventure

Bend and central oregon.

Of the many places to plan a vacation in the Northwest, Central Oregon offers the greatest range of adventures and activities for families, groups and individuals. Premier golf, hiking, biking, rafting, rock-climbing, canoeing, caving, and excellent museums are just a few of the attractions in the area. At the heart of it all is Bend, which offers a sophisticated base from which to explore the area. Hospitality abounds with a wide range of restaurants and accommodations from four-star luxury to comfortable affordability. 

 A Note About Safety

Whitewater rafting is an adventure sport. Adventure sports, by nature, include inherent risks to participants which cannot be completely eliminated. It is incumbent upon our guests to determine whether the chosen activity is appropriate for them and/or their families and to be adequately prepared for the trip.  More on safety and participation requirements...

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WHITEWATER RAFTING

In oregon & washington, oregon rafting.

Rafting in Oregon & Washington on some of the Northwest’s best rivers since 1979. River Drifters has been sharing the experience of rafting in Oregon and Washington for over 40 years. From the beautiful deserts of Southeast Oregon on the Owyhee River to the warm friendly waters on Oregon’s most popular Deschutes River , to the awe-inspiring lush green canyons of the Rogue River or one of the many rivers of the Columbia River Gorge, we have a trip for you! We take care of the details so that you can soak up the full whitewater rafting experience, breathtaking views, and unique wildlife along the way.

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Multi-day trips, paddleboarding, explore rafting on oregon and washington’s best whitewater rivers, deschutes river, white salmon river, clackamas river, from the river blog ….

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River Drifters has the perfect Oregon rafting trip for everyone! Call today or book your trip online!

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10 Top Unforgettable Whitewater Rafting Adventures in Oregon

Clackamas River

White Water Rafting - Oregon

You'll be hard pressed to find a better state than Oregon for whitewater rafting. Whether you're looking for river trips through deep canyons, thick forests, or high desert, Oregon rafting offers something for everyone. Plus, there are more federally designated Wild and Scenic rivers in Oregon than in any other state in the country!

Plan your next river rafting trip (or two!) at one of these phenomenal Pacific Northwest spots and get ready for white water adventure all summer long.

Best Oregon Rafting Trips

Rogue River

1. Rogue River near Medford, Oregon

The Rogue River is one of the original eight "Wild and Scenic" rivers and is a truly unique rafting experience. The most scenic section of the Rogue River runs for roughly 35 miles from Grave Creek to Foster Bar, and this is best experienced as a two or three-day guided trip, with rapids ranging from class II to class IV.

For a shorter trip, try a section of the Rogue River slightly north to run the popular and fun class IV "Nugget Falls." There are many outfitters in the area providing river trips that include food and transportation back to your car, but no matter what adventure you pick, you'll be blown away by the beautiful scenery and may even see a black bear or two!

Upper Klamath

2. Upper Klamath River near Ashland, Oregon

Not for the faint of heart, the Upper Klamath's rapids are rated class III to class IV+ . Starting in Southern Oregon and ending in Northern California, the best stretch of the Upper Klamath runs for 12 miles and can be done as a long day trip or a relaxed 2-day river trip.

Due to the difficulty of the rafting here, you should only go with experienced guides if you're not very confident in your skills. Rapids such as "Caldera," "Satan's Gate," and "Hell's Corner" are all fun but hard to navigate (if the names alone weren't a dead giveaway!).

North Umpqua

3. North Umpqua River near Roseburg, Oregon

The headwaters of the North Umpqua begin around Crater Lake and run for 14 miles from Boulder Flat Campground to Gravel Bin and consists of mostly class III+ rapids. The Umpqua has more rapids per mile than any other rivers in the area, creating a fun option for those skilled in navigating challenging rapids on an inflatable kayak.

If you're camping at Crater Lake, the Umpqua's nearby, crystal clear water makes an ideal choice for whitewater rafting since you can complete the entire trip in a day.

RELATED: Crater Lake Camping – Where To Stay When Visiting Crater Lake National Park

North Santiam River

4. North Santiam River near Salem, Oregon

At a little over an hour from Portland and just 30 minutes from Salem, the North Santiam is relatively short but fun rafting trip that's great for a single day rafting adventure. There are plenty of milder class II III rapids here, perfect for beginners.

Although the river is accessible year-round, September and October are the best months for the most exciting rapids, spectacular scenery, and gorgeous fall colors.

Clackamas River

5. Clackamas River

The Clackamas River offers a couple great river rafting choices for those looking for an easy half day or day trip rafting in Oregon. The upper Clackamas runs for 11 miles, beginning at Sandstone Bridge and ending at the Moore Creek Boat Access Site (where you'll encounter the class IV "Hole in the Wall" where even experienced rafting guides can get trapped!). Another popular and less daunting rapid is the aptly named class III "Toilet Bowl."

There's also an 8 mile rafting section from June Creek Bridge to Collowash River, but this is best done in fall or spring after we've had substantial rain.

Deschutes River

6. Deschutes River in Maupin, Oregon

As you travel east through the lush Columbia River Gorge, you'll soon emerge into the expansive high desert. Here, you'll find the little town of Maupin that's known as a haven for river rats across the state and it's one of the best rafting spots to experience the Deschutes River.

The Deschutes starts in Central Oregon around Bend and heads north to empty into the Columbia. There are few areas to start, with the most popular being Warm Springs and the other at Harpham Flats, both offering options of a half day trip, full day trip, or multi-day trip with mostly class II III rapids.

"Oak Springs" and "Boxcar" are two of the most well-known and exciting rapids (I've actually been thrown out of the raft at Boxcar!). There are also nice swimming holes along the way and many rafters like to float the "Upper Elevator" rapid in their life jackets.

Owyhee River

7. Lower Owyhee River near Owyhee, Oregon

Tucked into the southeast corner of Oregon, the Owyhee River isn't near much of anything but that's part of what makes a river trip here so alluring. It's also one of the longest stretches we're highlighting at 48 or 65 miles, making it necessary to plan on a multi-day river rafting trip. The Owyhee is best done in Spring since the summer months can get too hot and inhospitable. This is also definitely a trip that's best done with an experienced guide.

This is some of the most remote rafting in Oregon, so you should plan an extended road trip to explore the breathtaking scenery of the Owyhee Canyon and surrounding area.

Snake River

8. Snake River in Hells Canyon

Hells canyon and the Snake River nearly bested the Lewis and Clark expedition back in 1805, but it's now one of the best whitewater rafting trips in the state. The Snake River flows for over 1,000 miles through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, ultimately draining into the Columbia. This rafting trip starts at the Hells Canyon Dam and continues for 32 miles north along the Oregon-Idaho border ending at Pittsburg Landing.

Be forewarned this is some of the most sought after rafting in Oregon and if you want to go in the summer, you'll need to reserve a spot months in advance. Fun fact: Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the country—deeper than the Grand Canyon!

McKenzie River

9. McKenzie River near Rainbow, Oregon

The Mckenzie River is a mellow (but still fun) river rafting trip that's ideal for beginners or families with younger kids. The river is full of fun rapids between class II and class III and is doable year round. The 26.5 mile trail that runs along the river is also a popular route for mountain bikers and backpackers.

RELATED: McKenzie River Trail: Hiking, Biking, Camping & More

Honorable Mention

White Salmon

10. Lower White Salmon River in Washington

Okay, so the White Salmon is actually in Washington, but I've got to show some love to our neighbor in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

The White Salmon empties into the Columbia right across from Hood River, Oregon and you can start your trip a mere 5 miles north of the Oregon-Washington border. Or, start your adventure further upastream near the town of Trout Lake so you can brave the 12 foot Husan Falls.

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Rogue River

Rogue river rafting.

The Rogue River in Southern Oregon is one of America’s top whitewater rafting and kayaking destinations due to its incredible scenery, whitewater, wildlife, and amazing riverside lodges. Rafting trips on the Rogue River can range from four hours to four days, making sure everyone can find the perfect trip.

On the shorter side of trips

We offer our beginner and small-kid friendly full and half-day trips on the Hellgate Canyon section of the Rogue River.  If you need a little more excitement, our 4 hour  class IV Nugget Falls trip runs the two largest commercially rafted rapids on the river.

If you are more interested in scenery than whitewater, our Rogue River Sunset Tour takes you out around dusk to enjoy the river at its most scenic and least crowded time.  Finally, our Thrill-Seeker trip is the full day trip that makes the most of everything. Kayak in the AM in the beginner-friendly Hellgate Canyon section of the river, enjoy lunch at the Torpedo Bar, then raft the class IV Nugget Falls section of the Rogue River.

Looking for a longer trip in the famous canyon? Our three or four day vacations through the wild and scenic Rogue River canyon are very likely what you are looking for. This is one of America’s original Wild and Scenic rivers— the scenery and wildlife viewed here are second to none. 

This is the only multi-day trips in the country where you can float lodge to lodge on a Wild and Scenic river, which is an amazing experience and provides just the right amount of “wilderness” for many people. If three or four days seems a bit too long, check out our 2 day “ intro to kayaking and rafting ” trip on the Hellgate section of the Rogue River.  This is a quick escape that provides the perfect chance to get the kids playing on the river and sleeping under the stars.

Rogue Wild and Scenic - 3 or 4 day

Spend 3 or 4 days paddling the Rogue River on OTT’s original and one of the countries most popular, whitewater rafting trips. Nestled away in southern Oregon, this rafting vacation has everything you need for the ideal family adventure: warm water, great weather, fun rapids, swimming, history, NO CELL SERVICE or internet, and comfortable wilderness lodges.

Wild & Scenic Rogue River Camping - 4-day

Have the full wilderness experience on the incredible Wild and Scenic Rogue River.  Spend 4-days and 3-nights with your family/friends immersed in the natural majesty of one of the countries most prized rivers. Raft, swim, hike, relax around the fire and sleep under the stars.  A trip your family will never forget.

Rogue Intro to River Running 2-day

Introduce your friends and family to the joy of river running on this two day camping trip on the world famous Rogue River. This trip includes numerous class II rapids, a number of scenic gorges, countless swimming holes and a night sleeping on a beach riverside. Complete with spectacular scenery, ample wildlife and no cell phone service, this is the perfect quick escape.

Rogue Nugget Falls - 1/2 Day

If you need a few hours of adrenaline pumping white water rafting fun on the Rogue River this is your trip. Get ready to crash through big holes at Nugget Falls, surf the raft at Lineman's, and cascade over Til’omikh Falls to end the day. This trip is only offered in paddle rafts exclusively and is generally reserved for people 8 years old and up.

Rogue River Hellgate Tour – Full Day

Our most kid-friendly whitewater rafting trip, the Rogue River 1-day trip, located just outside of Grants Pass, is southern Oregon's most popular 1-day river rafting trip. Perfect for the kids 5 and up or those looking to learn to inflatable kayak; with plenty of class II rapids and opportunities to swim and splash. This Rogue River raft trip includes a riverside lunch, plenty of swimming, and beautiful scenery.

Rogue River Hellgate Tour – Half-day

The Hellgate Half-day is the perfect trip for an adult wanting to try inflatable kayaking or a family with younger kids looking for a first-time river trip.  Filled with amazing scenery, warm water, and fun class II rapids, the Rogue River Hellgate Half-day is a wonderful river escape.

Rogue River Lower Hellgate Trip

Due to BLM Road Closures related to the fire of 2022 we will not be running this trip in 2023

Rogue River Thrill Seeker - Full Day

Can't decide which Rogue River day trip you want? Maybe you want to try the inflatable kayaks and see the scenery of Hellgate Canyon but you are also interested in paddle rafting the famous class IV nugget falls? Do them both! The Rogue River Thrill Seeker combines both of our Rogue River day trips for the perfect single day river adventure. Inflatable kayak in the morning and paddle raft class IV rapids in the afternoon. Why choose, do them both!

Rogue Sunset Tour - 1/2 day

This is the trip for those who want the ultimate relaxation trip. The quiet time of the day with the crowds gone, the light is magical, the wildlife is out and it is simply relaxing in a way we cannot describe. So if you want that peaceful end to your day, grab your special someone and come out to see the bid the sun goodbye for the day from the best possible place.

The Paddled Pub

Floating on the river and drinking beer—it’s a dream come true, we know. The Paddled Pub is a one of a kind river experience. Dreamed up by us and built right here in Southern Oregon there is nothing like this ANYWHERE. Sitting around our custom designed pub bar the space feels familiar, like your local, “where everybody knows your name” kind of pub. But when you get a little splash from the river and look around you quickly remember this is not Cheers and not your local pub. You are on a raft floating down the majestic Rogue River.

Row Your Own - Wild and Scenic Rogue River

The Wild and Scenic Rogue River is a trip that should be on any boaters “must-do” list.  Where you just don’t want to deal with the permit system, you want some support getting through the rapids for the first time, or you just don’t want to deal with packing a kitchen and shopping for food; our Row Your Own trip is the perfect way to float the Wild and Scenic Rogue River.

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Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures

Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures

Sunny morning floating down the Rogue River in a raft.

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“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”

Rafting on the Rogue River rapids, being splashed - First person view.

MORRISONS ROGUE WILDERNESS ADVENTURES

Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures has been leading world-class river rafting trips in Oregon for over 50 years. 

Our multi-day Rogue River rafting trips float through 40 miles of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River. Adventure with us for 3 or 4 days in a remote and pristine wilderness.

Interested in enjoying just a day on the river? Check out our river rafting day trips! We offer a variety of options ranging from introductory floats to exciting class IV whitewater river rafting.  

Join us for a unique type of hike that combines the luxury of lodges in the evenings with a truly remote wilderness experience.  

Experience the magic of the Rogue River Trail and plan your raft-supported hike today!  

The Rogue River is known worldwide as one of the most incredible places to fish for Steelhead.

Our Multi-day canyon trips in a drift boat give great opportunities for many Steelhead & Salmon fishing styles, including conventional fishing, the rogue river twitch, spin-casting, bait-bouncing, and pulling plugs.

Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures is the only Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge in Oregon. Our day trips feature fly-fishing for steelhead along with conventional-style fishing.  

TripAdvisor Reviews. Score of 5 out of 5. 2020 Certificate of Excellence.

HAPPY CUSTOMER

Just Amazing "Just Amazing  -- Honestly , this trip couldn’t have been better. Really well organised and well equipped. The rafting was fun and the scenery was breathtaking. Can’t fault anything. The guys were brilliant and the food was just ridiculously good.… Read More
Great Fun Great People "Great Fun Great People , We are locals and raft all the time. We always use Morrison’s Rogue Wilderness Adventures. They have a great staff and great equipment"   --  Beverly W.
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Rogue River Rafting - Oregon - Stair Creek Falls

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Rogue River Rafting - Oregon Rafting - Bears

Rogue Wildlife

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Rogue River Rafting

Trip length, who it's for.

Class III / IV- Options for everyone Minimum age 7

GATEWAY CITY

Meeting location.

T he Rogue River is an iconic American classic, one of the country’s great summer wilderness trips, a founding member of the National Wild and Scenic River System, and a river with such a grand reputation that in some circles it is simply known as “the Canyon”. It flows through an area rich with pioneer history and lore – some of it surviving to this day in the form of remote, river-accessed, wilderness lodges and abandoned historic homesteads. The canyon itself is a stunning wilderness playground that is home to a staggering amount of wildlife and abundant whitewater. Momentum is based a short drive away from the Rogue and we are honored to have one of the best summer rafting trips in our backyard.

The Rogue River begins in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness and Crater Lake National Park. It flows south west through the Cascades and then briefly touches civilization near the town of Grants Pass. We begin our trip just downstream right before the river plunges into the rugged and remote Siskiyou Mountains.

A trip down the Rogue has been compared to being in a “Planet Earth” movie. There are narrow canyons of polished rock, cool grottos draped in ferns, heavily forested hillsides, big sandy beaches, some of the best swimming holes anywhere, cascading waterfalls, and hikes up tumbling sidestreams. It is common to see bald eagles, osprey, otter, and black bear.

There are over 80 rapids and the whitewater is fun and exciting yet safe. The rapids and the choice of craft make the Rogue almost unmatched in its ability to satisfy a wide range of tastes and skill levels. It is not uncommon to have trips enjoyed by three generations of family or friends. You have the choice of sitting in relaxing oar boats, participating in more exciting paddle boats, or navigating the whitewater in an inflatable kayak (this adds a big level of excitement to the rapids). Click here to read more about Inflatable Kayaking.

Our Rogue River trips are done with Momentum’s signature style, attention to detail, and handcrafted quality. With comfortable and innovative wilderness camping, creative menus, personal service and hospitality, one of the most experienced (and friendly) guide staffs in the world, and with all the little details and touches we are known for.

For all the grand descriptions and accolades heaped on the Rogue for many of the guides who grew up here, it is simply home – a place to recharge, relax, and live simply . In the end that might say the most about this place.

Note: Each trip covers the same stretch of river but there are different ways to experience it. We offer 3-day lodge trips where nights are spent in comfortable and rustic wilderness lodges and 4-day camp trips where nights are spent under the stars. We also offer custom 3 to 5-day trips for groups and charter trips. You can read more about our trip styles below.

Options and Info

Rogue River Rafting - Rogue 4-Day Camp Trip

Rogue 4-Day Camp Trips

The Pacific Northwest’s classic river trip - done with Momentum's signature style, innovative wilderness camping, creative menus, attention to detail, & hospitality. A mix of adventure, relaxation, and comfortable riverside camps on one of the west’s original wilderness rafting trips.... learn more

Rogue River Rafting - Rogue 3-Day Lodge Trip

Rogue 3-Day Lodge Trips

The lodges on the Rogue are extremely unique - there are very few places in the world with a system of remote riverside lodges only accessible by boat or small plane. It allows for the amazing experience of true wilderness adventure capped off by comfortable and cozy evenings in a remote lodge tucked deep in the canyon. ... learn more

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Rogue High Adventure Options

Inflatable Kayaking on the Rogue River - It's just you, your kayak, rapids at "face" level, and guides leading the way. The style of whitewater on the Rogue makes it one of the best wilderness rivers for Inflatable Kayaking.... learn more

oregon river rafting trips

Custom & Charter Trips

Build Your Own Rogue River Trip. We specialize in putting together custom, charter, luxury camping, and private trips – it is one of our passions. Close to half of our trips are private or chartered and we have crafted custom itineraries and catered to unique needs and interests. Give us a... learn more

Why Momentum on the Rogue River

• Small Trips, unparalleled personal service, and a greater experience. • A small company committed to amazing trips & our wild places. • Safety: All our guides have a minimum 5 years of experience leading trips around the world. • Creative menus: featuring local and organic produce & products. • All inclusive: all camping gear included if needed (ultra-comfortable 3” sleeping pads). • Overall comfort: Innovative wilderness camping and lodging, attention to detail, & our signature hospitality. • Most importantly - we are friendly, we love what we do, and it shows!

Learn more >>

DATES & PRICES / BOOK

Recent Testimonials

  • 5 --> "Momentum Guides & Trips are Amazing – We did a 4 day trip down the Rogue River. The entire adventure was flawless and amazing. The guides are fun smart and provide Ritz Carlton like service in the wilderness– obviously the bathroom situation is a bit tough on us city folk 🙂 You spend each day rafting, kayaking and/or swimming down a very scenic river only to arrive at at a charming campsite. The execution from start to finish is well orchestrated and eases all burdens for the people who have wilderness-deficit." --> "Momentum Guides & Trips are Amazing – We did a 4 day trip down the Rogue River. The entire adventure was flawless and amazing. The guides are fun smart and provide Ritz Carlton like service in the wilderness– obviously the bathroom situation is a bit tough on us city folk 🙂 You spend each day rafting, kayaking and/or swimming down a very scenic river only to arrive at at a charming campsite. The execution from start to finish is well orchestrated and eases all burdens for the people who have wilderness-deficit." 1 2 3 4 5 -->
  • 5 --> "Our group of 4 went with Erik and Beth down the Rogue River for 3 days. It was a combo white water raft/kayak trip. The guides were excellent, the food and accommodations were superb, and the trip was one of the best I have ever been on. I have booked trips in Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, and many other locales. Momentum is by far has the best guides and service. The Rogue River trip is great for families, friends, and people of all ages. I highly recommend this adventure!" --> "Our group of 4 went with Erik and Beth down the Rogue River for 3 days. It was a combo white water raft/kayak trip. The guides were excellent, the food and accommodations were superb, and the trip was one of the best I have ever been on. I have booked trips in Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, and many other locales. Momentum is by far has the best guides and service. The Rogue River trip is great for families, friends, and people of all ages. I highly recommend this adventure!" 1 2 3 4 5 -->
  • 5 --> "There are a ton of companies offering river trips in Oregon, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by promises, prices and hype. Look no further, we’ve done the research, we’ve gone on two Momentum trips in the past few years and this is hands’ down the best. I am not paid by Momentum! I’m just a middle-aged LA working mom who loves to travel and eat! My vacations need to be good, and this one was right at the top of the list." --> "There are a ton of companies offering river trips in Oregon, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by promises, prices and hype. Look no further, we’ve done the research, we’ve gone on two Momentum trips in the past few years and this is hands’ down the best. I am not paid by Momentum! I’m just a middle-aged LA working mom who loves to travel and eat! My vacations need to be good, and this one was right at the top of the list." 1 2 3 4 5 -->
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The rogue river in Oregon.

Rogue River

People floating and relaxing on the Rogue River with life vests.

Experience Oregon’s Rogue River

One of the original rivers to be protected under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Rogue River is well-deserving of this conservation accolade. The river is famous for abundant wildlife, cool clear water, and lush canyons with perfect campsites.

The Rogue has a violent history, though. During the Rogue River Wars, native tribes were chased and forcibly removed from the area as the Gold Rush brought traffic and white settlers to the region. Tututni, Shasta, Upper Rogue River Athabascan, and several other tribes formerly resided along the river, often relying on its massive salmon runs for sustenance.

Through the 20th century, dams cut off the fish migration, and what was once a bustling commercial fishery died out. Many of the smaller dams have since been removed, though the William L. Jess Dam that creates Southern Oregon’s Lost Creek Lake still stands. West of Lost Creek Lake, recreational trout and salmon fishing are still popular on the Rogue.

The wild stretches of the river are marked with technical and roaring hydraulics, like the Class IV Blossom Bar Rapid. Small tributary canyons create scenic waterfalls into pristine pools, perfect for side hikes. Gravel bars with sandy tree-lined banks offer flat and shady camping. All these elements culminate to make the Rogue River one of the most sought-after multi-day rafting destinations in the country.

Oar rafts and inflatable kayaks tackle rapids on a family adventure down Oregon's Rogue River with OARS

Rogue River Rafting

Location: Oregon Adventure Level: Moderate Minimum Age: 7

oregon river rafting trips

Rogue River Rowing Clinic

Location: Oregon Adventure Level: Moderately Challenging Minimum Age: 18 (16 with parent/guardian also in the class)

This was truly the most amazing vacation my family and I have ever been on! Amazing guides, phenomenal food, exciting adventures, and forever memories. I HIGHLY recommend this trip for families. OARS Rogue River guest

Useful Travel Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions?

How long are Rogue River trips?

OARS Rogue River trips float a 40-mile section, starting near Almeda Bar and taking out at Foster Bar. We offer 3-, 4- and 5-day rafting itineraries. Unfortunately, OARS is not permitted to run 1-day rafting trips on the Rogue River.

What Rogue River specialty trips does OARS offer?

We offer a variety of specialty trips on the Rogue River, including wine and craft beer tasting, gourmet food-focused trips featuring local chefs, all-adult, and all-women adventures, as well as an annual rowing clinic for those looking to sharpen their river-running skills.

What is the whitewater like on the Rogue River?

The Rogue is generally considered a Class III river, making it very suitable for beginner or first-time rafters. A few of our favorite rapids are listed below:

Mile 9.1 — Rainie Falls (Class III-IV) This is typically a rapid we’ll scout along the left bank before either walking around or running the “fish ladder” on the right, depending on the water level.

Mile 12 — Wildcat Rapids (III). Splitting around a center divide, the river accelerates into a boulder-clogged right turn at the confluence of Wildcat Creek.

Mile 16 — Black Bar Rapid (Class III) Just before reaching the famous Black Bar Lodge; expect a few big drops and some major splashes.

Mile 28.4 — Mule Creek Canyon (Class III) One of the most unique sections of the Rogue River, with narrow, sheeted dike walls on either side that make for a thrilling welcome into a corridor with extremely powerful, unpredictable hydraulics. Inflatable kayaks should especially watch out for large boils and surging whirlpools in Coffeepot.

Mile 30.3 — Blossom Bar (Class IV). The largest and most difficult rapid within the Wild & Scenic section. Many boulders cluster the river here at the end of two vertical drainages, demanding that guides take challenging lines to maneuver around them. Its name stems from the abundant pink azalea flowers that color the banks along the rapid in the spring.

When is the best time to raft the Rogue River?

Rogue River trips run throughout the spring and summer, starting in May and ending in mid- to late-September. Spring trips are more likely to offer wildflowers in bloom, higher flows, and a more thrilling whitewater experience. It’s also the best season for hiking. Summer trips are fantastic for families who want to spend time swimming, inflatable kayaking, and exploring the river banks. Many of our specialty trips, like wine and craft beer tasting, leave later in the season when the winds are often calm and the weather is mild. Rain is possible any time of the year but more likely on early- and late-season trips. Wildfires are possible any time of the year but are more likely to affect late-season trips.

Can I fish on the Rogue River?

The Rogue is a fisherman’s paradise. There are four species of trout that live in the Rogue, though only steelhead is commonly seen on our trips. Two species of salmon also make their way up the Rogue to spawn in their place of birth. Chinook salmon can be seen fighting the rapids in the spring and again in the fall. The Coho, also known as the silver salmon, makes a fall run only. Generally, water temperatures are too warm for fishing in June, July, and August. The most abundant seasonal period on the Rogue is from September through mid-November, which offers some of the West’s best fly-fishing.

You’ll need to bring your own gear; please bring your rod protected in a hard case. Anyone over the age of 12 who is fishing (or is helping someone under the age of 12 to fish) must have a valid Oregon fishing license with steelhead and salmon tags.

Related Blog Posts

A Love Letter to the Rogue River

A Love Letter to the Rogue River

Oregon Road Trip: Portland to the Rogue Loop

Oregon Road Trip: Portland to the Rogue Loop

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of the Rogue River

Ask a River Guide: The Secrets of Oregon’s Rogue River

Discover your next oars adventure.

People kayaking on the rogue river.

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(541) 395-2404 • [email protected]

Deschutes River Rafting Adventures

One, two or three day trips available.

  Guided Whitewater Rafting Trips

When you choose to go whitewater rafting on the Deschutes with Imperial River Company, you choose to go first class. From our private put-in and expansive lunches to our friendly guides and bus drivers, we give you an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime! We provide high quality rafting trips on the Deschutes River with certified guides, all while offering the best facilities and conveniences of any rafting company…period.

oregon river rafting trips

All Day – 18 Mile

oregon river rafting trips

Half Day – 13 Mile (Morning)

Boxcar Rapids on the Deschutes River

Half Day – 13 Mile (Afternoon)

oregon river rafting trips

The Frenzy 5 Mile

Oak Springs Rapids on the Deschutes River

45 Mile – 2 day, 2 night

oregon river rafting trips

53 Mile – 3 day, 3 night

Imperial River Company is the premier Deschutes river rafting guide. The Deschutes River carves its way for 250 miles from Little Lava Lake to the Columbia River. The lower 100 miles of the river flows through beautiful desert landscape and is termed the “Lower Deschutes.” Our 25-room lodge and guided whitewater operation are located in the center of this lower 100 miles, in Maupin, Oregon. The Deschutes River is one of the most popular rivers in Oregon, perfect for families, first-timers and experienced whitewater enthusiasts. We are the only outfitter that offers guided rafting, lodging, private river frontage, on-site restaurant & bar, group catering and a sand volleyball court!

Call or click to reserve your trip! 541.395.2404

River Rafting - Deschutes River

Will there be enough water to go on a rafting trip this summer?

Yes, rafting trips on the Deschutes River will be great this summer! The Deschutes River is fed by reservoirs and spring water. The flow is very consistent year round. When other rivers in the area are drying up from a drought or low-snow fall, the Deschutes is still flowing strong.

Why choose Imperial River Company for my rafting trip?

We run the best all day rafting trip on the Deschutes River…no doubt about it.  No crowds!  Private launches on our OWN PROPERTY where a lodge, restaurant and bar are waiting for your relaxation and enjoyment.  No parking on the street just to meet in a parking lot and be shuttled to the river.  At Imperial, you check in in the heart of our riverfront property and enjoy our spacious lawn until your launch time.  Did we mention that we are right on the Deschutes river?

Plus, our very experienced Oregon river guides know how to run the Deschutes River and have a lot of fun, but most importantly are safe while doing it.  They choose to live their summer on the river and look forward to spending the day with you.  (They also look forward to telling you a few of their stories and bad jokes, too.)  But, seriously….they are very well trained and most importantly respect the water.  They take simple precautions to make sure you have a terrific day and stay safe doing it.

We’ll always judge your skill level and desired aggressiveness on the river and take the appropriate path on the river to ensure 2 things: success and enjoyment.  Every single river trip is different from the last.  Our guides make sure the trip you receive is the trip you want.

What should I bring with me to Maupin, Oregon?

What to bring on day rafting trips:

  • Swimsuit and/or shorts and t-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt & pants if you burn easily
  • Windbreaker or rain gear (if the weather forecast isn’t ideal–most of the time it is perfect!)
  • Tennis shoes or river sandals
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses with a strap
  • Towel and change of clothes for the trip home
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts (just in case…)

For overnight rafting trips and camping bring the day trip list and:

  • Long pants and long sleeve shirts
  • Tennis shoes or hiking boots
  • Insect repellent
  • Wash cloth/towel/soap
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Disposable waterproof camera
  • Flashlight or headlamp

What should I bring with me on the river?

There are two general rules of thumb:

  • Don’t take anything with you that you wouldn’t take into the shower.
  • If you take it with you and it must come back, it should be attached.

You will get soaked, so will your camera, wallet, and everything else. You shouldn’t bring a favorite hat or sunglasses along, unless they have a strap on them.  It is a good idea to bring a bottle of water and some sunscreen.  Your guide will have a dry bag on your boat.  They can stow emergency items like EpiPens and inhalers.  And don’t worry if you forget something!  We have straps, chums, sunscreen and more available for purchase.

Will I get wet on my rafting trip?

Yes you will. It’s whitewater rafting, not canoeing. You should plan on getting wet, because you will!  And you’ll love it.  (You’ll thank us later…..)

What do I do with my towel and change of clothes?

Leave them in your vehicle so they are dry when you get back.

Will I fall out of the boat?

Your chances of falling out of the boat unintentionally are very small. Most people who fall out aren’t paying attention, or they think it’s time to go for a swim.

Are there times that we can swim in the river?

There are some beautiful stretches of flat water that are perfect for hopping out of the boat to cool off from the summer sun.

What do we do if it rains?

We go rafting in it. You are going to get wet anyway, so what is the concern?

When is the best time to come rafting?

Any day!  However, most people come out in July and August. So if you want a little more solitude, we recommend June, September and during the week anytime.  The weather is always great, and you get the river all to yourself.

Can I bring my dog?

Nope. We don’t think that’s a very good idea. Please leave the pets at home.

Do you provide life jackets?

Of course!  We provide Class IV/V Coast Guard approved life jackets that we wear all of the time that we are near the water.

Do you provide drinking water?

We do not provide a water bottle for you on the boat. On our all day trip, we do provide drinking water at Sandy Beach when we are doing our portage to Buck Hollow.

Do you have multi-day/overnight rafting trips?

We are permitted to run the lower 98 miles of the Deschutes River. This allows us to run 2 and 3 day overnight rafting voyages that are spectacular.

Do we have to paddle back upriver?

Nope, a shuttle bus will bring you back. The only exception is when your paddle captain skillfully guides your boat back through an eddy so that you can hit Boxcar one more time. You’ll love it!

What if the boat sinks?

We run self bailing Maravia inflatable rafts that are totally unsinkable. The boat is made of at least four separate chambers so that if one section has a leak, the others stay fully inflated.  You have no worries here at all.

How old do you have to be to go on a rafting trip?

We recommend a child be 6 years old, and weigh at least 50 pounds.

Is my guide qualified?

All of our guides have gone through an extensive training program so that they can give you a great day on the water. They are certified in CPR and First Aid procedures. Most of our guides come back year after year because they love taking people like you out for a day of fun.

Please fill out our liability waiver before your Deschutes River rafting trip. Just  click here  to go directly to our secure site to electronically take care of the lawyer speak. Then send the link to each person in your party and make sure they fill in the same group name, (ie, Smith Party, Joe’s Trip, Bill Bachelor Party).

Fully licensed and insured, Imperial River Company operates under a Special Use Permit granted by the Bureau of Land Management and State Marine Board. All of our river guides are certified with CPR-First Aid. Imperial River Company is an equal opportunity service provider. We are members of the Oregon Guides & Packers Association, America Outdoors Association, The Dalles Chamber of Commerce, Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce, Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Prineville Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Hood Aread Chamber of Commerce, and Central Oregon Visitors Association.

Deposits are required at the time you make your reservation:

  • 1 day trips: 50% per person
  • Overnight trips: $100 per person

The balance is due one week prior to the day of the trip. For Group Rates, one person needs to collect for the group and make payment.

Cancellations

If cancellation is given more than 14 days prior to arrival, we can issue you a full refund of your deposit.  If cancellation is given less than 2 weeks prior, we will issue you a credit voucher worth 100% of your deposit that can be used on any future reservation with us. Credit vouchers do not expire, and can also be used for lodging.  We are also happy to help you reschedule your reservation for a future date that works better for you.  That’s easy! 

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian. They must be over 6 years old, and weight at least 50 lbs.

For your pet’s safety and happiness, please make arrangements to leave them at home or with someone that can provide for their welfare. We do not have the facilities to safely accommodate pets while you are on the river.  (Nor is it acceptable to leave your pet locked in your lodge room while you are out on the river all day.)

We do not allow alcohol to be consumed while on the water during any of our trips.

oregon river rafting trips

Recent News

Small town – big plans: maupin’s deschutes river athletic complex (drac), oregon’s river canyon country – an adventurer’s paradise, best winter weekend getaway from portland, or.

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(503) 563-1500

Deschutes River Rafting

Whitewater rafting on the deschutes river.

Oregon’s most popular day trip white water river and with good reason.  Your Deschutes River rafting trip is full of sun, big splashy waves and boiling rapids.  Nestled in a desert river canyon, near the town of Maupin ; the Deschutes River not only provides some thrilling rapids like Wapinitia, Boxcar, Surf City and Oak Springs.  Its also full of beautiful views of Columbia basalt flows and many Osprey which nest along its banks.  A great river when the rest of the state is usually cold and wet, a rafting trip down the Deschutes is usually hot, full of sun and always a good time.

MULTIDAY TRIPS

Something that makes this river even better is the chance for a a super easy 3 Day Multiday Deschutes River trip.  This weekend delight takes in the sweeping canyons and numerous rapids of the upper section, starting from Warm Springs.  With open campsites, warm weather and great chances for swimming, along with some world class fishing, the camp time is some of the best around.   The exciting rapids like Whitehorse and Buckskin Mary only add to this weekend getaway that is the closest multiday trip to the Portland area.

  • Sunny weather in the high desert
  • Splashy fun rapids for everyone
  • Oregon’s #1 rafted river

RIVER SEASON:

APRIL-OCTOBER

2024 MULTIDAY TRIPS:

   5/6--5/8/24- UPPER DESCHUTES RIVER 3 DAY

   6/5--6/7/24- LOWER DESCHUTES RIVER 3 DAY

HALF DAY/DAY TRIPS WILL ONLY BE OFFERED TUESDAY-THURSDAY,       UNLESS YOU HAVE A GROUP OF 8 OR MORE PEOPLE FOR A SINGLE PARTY .

Boxcar rapid on the deschutes

Season: April  - October

Three day deschutes river trip.

  • Trip meets at Warm Springs or Trout Creek
  • 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM final day
  • $875 for adults and $695 for youth (age 12 and under). Parties of 10 or more are eligible for a group discount on most trip dates. Please contact us for details concerning group rates.
  • All camping gear provided; tent, sleeping bag, pad, group gear.
  • All meals starting with lunch on day 1 through lunch on final day.
  • Minimum total trip size is 5 people. If your group (combined with other groups who have requested the same trip) together total less than 5 then your reservation will be on hold until minimum trip size is met. Your credit card will not be charged until trip is confirmed.
  • Before you book you may want to review our deposit, cancellation, and refund policies.

Full Day Deschutes River Trip

  • 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM*
  • We will be mixing parties in boats.  If you do not wish to share a boat, you will required to purchase a full boat (6 people).
  • Includes freshly prepared riverside lunch during the day
  • River water levels and trip capacity may limit availability.
  • Minimum total trip size is 6 people. If your group (combined with other groups who have requested the same trip) together total less than 6 then your reservation will be on hold until minimum trip size is met. Your credit card will not be charged until trip is confirmed.

Half Day Deschutes River Trip

  • Morning Trip: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM*
  • Afternoon Trip: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM*
  • Minimum age is 7.
  • Prices include: Federal Government, Oregon State Parks, Warm Springs Tribal fees.
  • ∗Prices also include additional $6 Federal fee on summer weekends.

Trip Highlights

  • Often sunny & warm even when western Oregon is cloudy.
  • Good swimming (though water is cool).
  • High volume river, which means large waves even in summer.
  • Desert scenery.
  • Two hours east of Portland.
  • Crowded on summer weekends.

Trip Summary

  • Near: Maupin
  • Trip Length: Half & full day; 3 day Upper Section
  • Meeting Times: 9:30 & 10 AM, 1 PM; 7:30 AM
  • Season: April - October
  • Trip type: paddle rafting (oar raft by request)
  • Whitewater Rating: III (intermediate)
  • Suggested minimum age: 7

Half & Full Day (pdf)

Deschutes River 3 day (pdf)

Deschutes 3 day kayak support

Guest Information Form

Please tell is a bit about you and your group. The answers to these questions will help to ensure that we run a great river trip for you. This form is designed so that one person can provide information for themselves or for a group. This form is particularly helpful and needed if you will be joining us for a trip that is 2 days or longer.

  • Name * First Last
  • Group Name/Reservation Under *
  • River & Trip Type
  • Trip Date MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Total number in your party
  • Number in party 12 & under For proper life jacket sizing, and also to ensure proper raft capacity
  • Number in party 100 lbs or less For proper life jacket sizing, and also to ensure proper raft capacity
  • Number in party over 225 lbs For proper life jacket sizing, and also to ensure proper raft capacity
  • Medical Concerns or Physical Limitations:
  • Food allergies/dietary preferences
  • Height, weight and shoe size of party members ONLY NEEDED FOR WETSUIT RENTALS
  • Guided oar raft
  • Paddle raft
  • Inflatable kayak
  • Inflatable kayak, full-time (rental fee applies)
  • Row-it-yourself cataraft (rental fee applies)
  • Questions of Comments
  • Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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oregon river rafting trips

Book Today! 541-822-8288

Or, 1-888-461-raft.

oregon river rafting trips

Rafting Trips

Announcements, 2023 upper klamath class 4 whitewater (the last season), above average snow pack.

oregon river rafting trips

Oregon Whitewater Rafting Trips

Welcome to our 25th anniversary year of rafting. a new, updated website will be live soon. we have added some new river trips for the 2024 season including the deschutes river, the owyhee river and some others. we are taking 2024 reservations for our 1/2 day, full day and multi day trips now. including for our boating, rowing, guide and rescue schools. .

At High Country Expeditions we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to share some of Oregon's most majestic rivers with our guests. Our rivers are not just unique due to their beauty, pristine scenery but also their constancy with great whitewater all year long.

The Upper McKenzie River is a one of a kind, in the Cascades. The upper river is primarily supplied with water from springs and aquifers . Most of the water in the McKenzie has been underground for up to 13 years, thus offering us water year round regardless of snow pack and rain. We will have water here all summer long!

This is also the perfect time to schedule a whitewater rafting adventure for your school outings, corporate trips or sports teams! We offer unique family rafting adventures that are sure to be the highlight of a wonderful summer vacation or family reunion. We are taking reservations for this season now, so don't wait! This will ensure you get the trip and date that you want.

We invite you to come join us on some of Oregon's legendary spectacular rivers. The McKenzie River offers some of the most pristine and exciting river rafting trips in Oregon that is perfect for all members of the family.  Come join us for 2 hours, 1 day or 2 days on some of the most memorable and astounding river adventures in the country.

AZ Animals

The Best Whitewater Rafting Spots in America

Posted: November 13, 2023 | Last updated: November 13, 2023

oregon river rafting trips

Almost every state has rivers that offer rafting, and some even have man-made parks. Usually, states like Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Tennessee, and California are brought up to be the best states to visit for rafting.

But what about individual locations? The list below offers the best rivers, and places in the river, worth trying out. Some have family-friendly challenges and amazing scenery you won’t get anywhere else, while others have rapids to keep your attention on the water the entire time.

While Arizona is The Grand Canyon State, it’s common to access the canyon from Nevada, too! <a>©Amanda Mohler/Shutterstock.com</a>

1. Colorado River, Arizona

If you’re looking for thrills, you may want to skip over the Colorado River in Arizona. It does have some pretty impressive rapids, going all the way up to a Class VI. However, most of the tours are pretty tame, making it an adventure everyone can partake in.

What really makes this whitewater rafting ride stand out is the location, more than the challenge. The river takes you right through The Grand Canyon . It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s also often highly in demand, so it’s a good idea to plan this adventure well in advance.

<p>The whitewater rafting trips in Snake River in Wyoming are classified as a mix of Class II and Class III. There are times of the year when the water can get up to a IV, though. It’s always a good idea to check before you go on your adventure to make sure it’s not too difficult for you.</p><p>The eight-mile trip will take you through <a href="https://a-z-animals.com/blog/discover-amazing-facts-about-grand-teton/?utm_campaign=msn&utm_source=msn_slideshow&utm_content=1222276&utm_medium=in_content">Grand Teton National Park</a>. There’s usually a lot of wildlife to see in the area as well, such as <a href="https://a-z-animals.com/animals/bald-eagle/?utm_campaign=msn&utm_source=msn_slideshow&utm_content=1222276&utm_medium=in_content">bald eagles</a>, <a href="https://a-z-animals.com/animals/deer/?utm_campaign=msn&utm_source=msn_slideshow&utm_content=1222276&utm_medium=in_content">deer</a>, and <a href="https://a-z-animals.com/animals/fish/?utm_campaign=msn&utm_source=msn_slideshow&utm_content=1222276&utm_medium=in_content">fish</a>. If you want to spend more time on the water, there’s a 16-mile option as well, which takes 8 to 10 hours to complete.</p>

2. Snake River, Wyoming

The whitewater rafting trips in Snake River in Wyoming are classified as a mix of Class II and Class III. There are times of the year when the water can get up to a IV, though. It’s always a good idea to check before you go on your adventure to make sure it’s not too difficult for you.

The eight-mile trip will take you through Grand Teton National Park . There’s usually a lot of wildlife to see in the area as well, such as bald eagles , deer , and fish . If you want to spend more time on the water, there’s a 16-mile option as well, which takes 8 to 10 hours to complete.

The Ocoee River has great rapids for adrenaline junkies! <a>©Sandra Burm/Shutterstock.com</a>

3. Ocoee River, Tennessee

Interestingly, if you take the time to look up other lists of the best whitewater rafting spots in the US, you won’t see many that have the Ocoee on there. The reason this is interesting is because it’s the second most visited white water destination in the United States.

It falls a little behind the Arkansas River, according to There are Class III and IV rapids to contend with, but a good guide can get you through them without a problem.

<p>The best part of the Arkansas River to ride down when whitewater rafting is in Colorado. There are several states that the river goes through that offer rafting guides, but the area in Colorado is widely considered the best.</p><p>In Colorado, you have the option to go through the Royal Gorge. It’s got some technical areas where you’ll really need to focus, but for a good portion, you’re able to enjoy the scenery, including the <a href="https://a-z-animals.com/blog/the-highest-bridge-in-colorado-will-make-your-head-spin/?utm_campaign=msn&utm_source=msn_slideshow&utm_content=1222276&utm_medium=in_content">Royal Gorge Bridge</a> as you go under.</p>

4. Arkansas River, Colorado

The best part of the Arkansas River to ride down when whitewater rafting is in Colorado. There are several states that the river goes through that offer rafting guides, but the area in Colorado is widely considered the best.

In Colorado, you have the option to go through the Royal Gorge. It’s got some technical areas where you’ll really need to focus, but for a good portion, you’re able to enjoy the scenery, including the Royal Gorge Bridge as you go under.

Rogue River runs about 215 miles. <a>©LHBLLC/Shutterstock.com</a>

5. Rogue River, Oregon

Part of the popularity of this river could be due to its limited availability. The Lower Rogue only allows 120 people a day. The other rafting options aren’t as limited, however, and there are several rafting companies that also offer multi-day trips if you want to spend three or four days out on the water.

Of course, if you want to bring your kid, or just dip your toes into the realm of whitewater rafting, then you can take some of the shorter day trips. There are some easier options, and some trips featuring several Class IV rapids.

Pigeon River is a popular fishing destination as well. <a>©Kelly vanDellen/Shutterstock.com</a>

6. Pigeon River, Tennessee

Pigeon River is another popular river in Tennessee hardly ever mentioned when it comes to whitewater rafting lists. It’s an incredibly fun one that won’t bore you with long stretches of calm water.

In the six and a half miles that make up the run, there are over 70 rapids, many of them ranging closer to Class III and Class IV. Despite that, it’s still easy enough that inexperienced paddlers will have a lot of fun.

Many outfitters will have weight and age requirements. <a>©Rich Flubacker/Shutterstock.com</a>

7. Cossatot River, Arkansas

Located inside a state park, the Cossatot River in Arkansas is not a adventure for beginners. Whether you are rafting or kayaking on your own, the park suggests that only experienced come and visit.

They don’t even offer rental equipment for water activities. If you want to come and visit and try out the rapids, you’ll have to come prepared. If you come when the water is high, you can even try out the Class IV rapid that makes up Cossatot Falls.

Tucked into the New River Gorge, you’ll find the remnants of the once thriving Prince, West Virginia. <a>©Different_Brian/ via Getty Images</a>

8. New River Gorge, West Virginia

New River Gorge offers a couple of whitewater rafting options, including the lower and upper sections, overnights, and multi-day trips. The upper section is more calm than the lower section.

In fact, it’s so calm that you can rent an inflatable kayak to ride down the river instead of getting into a boat with a big group. Each raft holds one child and one adult.

Waterfalls are in Nantahala National Forest. <a>©iStock.com/Jon Bilous</a>

9. Nantahala River, North Carolina

Nantahala is a river packed with adventure for whitewater rafters. It offers over 20 named rapids, amongst several dozen more unnamed rapids. Though there are plenty of moments that will keep your heart racing, the course isn’t dangerous. It’s the perfect trip to get your children involved in your favorite sport.

The river is so calm and easily navigable that you can get self-guided tours. There are still plenty of options, however, if you do still want a guide to help you through the tougher rapids. Either way, you’ll have the time of your life and a fun day on the water.

Rafting along the Flathead River in Montana will leave you breathless from the whitewater and the views. <a>©Mihai N/Shutterstock.com</a>

10. Flathead River, Montana

If you want to experience the great wilderness of Montana without having to hike for miles through forests, then whitewater rafting offers a way to do just that. By rafting through Flathead River on the edge of Glacier National Park, you get a chance to see some of the local wildlife around you.

If you want to focus more on the scenery than the rafting, Some companies offer scenic, calm-water floats. Your guide will take you through the water, maybe give you some information about the area, and point out any wildlife they see, including wolverines , bighorn sheep , mule deer , and even the occasional wolf.

<p>The Black Canyon Water Trail is a part of the Lower Colorado River. The water flows out of the Hoover Dam. It’s not one widely talked about because the Grand Canyon trip on the Colorado River is often much more talked about. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting.</p><p>For one, it’s easier to visit. Sometimes, the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting can take years to get into as you have to get the right permits and transports. That’s not the case with this trip. There are also places worth exploring in the area, including canyons, hot springs, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery.</p>

11. Black Canyon National Water Trail, Nevada

The Black Canyon Water Trail is a part of the Lower Colorado River. The water flows out of the Hoover Dam. It’s not one widely talked about because the Grand Canyon trip on the Colorado River is often much more talked about. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting.

For one, it’s easier to visit. Sometimes, the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting can take years to get into as you have to get the right permits and transports. That’s not the case with this trip. There are also places worth exploring in the area, including canyons, hot springs, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery.

Maine has three of the best rivers for whitewater rafting in the Northeast. They include the Kennebec River, Dead River, and Penobscot River. <a>©joshschutz/iStock via Getty Images</a>

12. Clear Creek, Colorado

Clear Creek has a lot of variety. Depending on your experience level, you can choose a beginner course, intermediate trip, or advanced trip. Depending on your choice, you can find anywhere between Class II and Class V rapids. There are also evening trips that cater to both beginner and intermediate groups that allow you to see the sunset from your raft.

The advanced course doesn’t mess around either. If you’re looking for a challenge, the back-to-back class IV or higher rapids followed by a 1,300-foot drop, this 16-mile trip will wear out even the most experienced of rafters.

The Rio Grande provides rafters with some of the most stunning scenery and thrilling rafting in the country. <a>©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com</a>

13. Rio Grande, New Mexico

There are two areas to choose from when it comes to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Try your hand at the Lower Taos Box, which offers Class IV rapids as you’re going into the heart of the canyon. Or, you can go with the Racecourse section that’s a little more downstream and offers Class III rapids.

There are a total of 24 miles you can choose from. You can do all of it, for a rather long trip that would probably take a full day, or more likely two. Or you can go with guides down one section or the other. Whichever option you go with, keep your eyes out for waterfalls and petroglyphs that show off the history of the area.

The Nolichucky River has many curvy banks. <a>©Merma1d/iStock via Getty Images</a>

14. Nolichucky River, Tennessee

The Nolichucky starts in North Carolina, in the Roan Mountain, and Mt. Mitchell in Mississippi. Then, it comes together and meets in the Nolichucky River Gorge and becomes the Nolichucky River. This is one of the deepest gorges in the Appalachian Mountains.

When you go whitewater rafting in the gorge, you get to travel across eight and a half miles of the water. Most of the rapids are Class III and IV. It’s said to be one of the biggest and most technical whitewater runs in the South of the United States.

<p>If you want a raging river that will push your rafting skills to the test, you need to try out Moose River in New York. It’s a Class IV to Class V river. The trip is 13 miles and will take four hours or so.</p><p>Locals call rafting at Moose River “slam-dancing with Mother Nature” due to the challenges. The season is short as there’s only a small window when the water is high enough to let you take some of the drops safely.</p>

15. Moose River, New York

If you want a raging river that will push your rafting skills to the test, you need to try out Moose River in New York. It’s a Class IV to Class V river. The trip is 13 miles and will take four hours or so.

Locals call rafting at Moose River “slam-dancing with Mother Nature” due to the challenges. The season is short as there’s only a small window when the water is high enough to let you take some of the drops safely.

People paddle the Lehigh River in the fall to see the incredible foliage. <a>©PT Hamilton/Shutterstock.com</a>

16. Lehigh River, Pennsylvania

For the most part, Leigh River is a Class II or Class III river. However, they do offer trips on dam release days for those who want a little more excitement. While it’s not the most challenging river, it does act as a training course for more difficult areas.

Lower rapids allow for a safe family adventure. The local rafting companies offer standard trips, which last between three and four hours. Some also offer longer trips dubbed “marathons” that can go up to seven or eight hours.

Tuolumne River is famous for its classic whitewater runs. <a>©Robert Bohrer/Shutterstock.com</a>

17. Tuolumne River, California

Tuolumne River in California is another one not for the faint of heart. There are some pretty standard areas for the beginner. However, unless you’re experienced in whitewater rafting and comfortable in the water, you’ll want to avoid the Cherry Creek Section.

This area of Tuolumne River is known as one of the most difficult whitewater rafting adventures in the US. Depending on the time of year, there are somewhere between 12 and 15 Class V rapids. There are also several dozen Class IV rapids to contend with between these bigger ones. It’s only a 9-mile run, but it will leave you exhausted at the end as you combat challenge after challenge.

<p>With its proximity to Sacramento, <a href="https://www.california.com/discover-the-best-of-rancho-cordova-california-a-hidden-gem-in-sacramento-county/" rel="noopener">Rancho Cordova</a> offers easy access to a larger city while also providing amenities like parks, restaurants, and businesses. The <a href="https://www.california.com/discover-the-best-of-rancho-cordova-california-a-hidden-gem-in-sacramento-county/" rel="noopener">American River</a> runs through Rancho Cordova, although it is notoriously dangerous for swimmers and rafters. However, there are plenty of walking paths, bike trails, and parks to enjoy the river views.</p><p>Rancho Cordova also houses the Sacramento Children’s Museum and the Aerospace Museum of California, providing options for all ages. The city’s average home value is around <a href="https://www.zillow.com/home-values/26679/rancho-cordova-ca/" rel="noopener">$514,299</a> and has dropped over seven percent in the past year. </p>

18. South Fork American, California

South Fork provides options for any group, skill level, or length. The water and local rafting companies offer rafting rides anywhere between 6 and 21 miles long. There are some options so calm that children as young as age six can join.

Most of the rapids are Class III, but they are easy enough to almost be classified as Class II rapids. It’s a challenge, but a fun challenge that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed or outside of your depth. Bring your family, coworkers, or friends on a trip they’ll never forget.

<p>The Delaware River is a simple rafting experience. The rapids are all Class II at most. Because of this, most of the rafting is unguided. You can go with your friends without needing to hire a rafting company to help you out.</p><p>Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment though, there are rafting companies in the area that provide you with all the equipment you need and enough information to allow you to raft without having to worry about anything. Most of the time, the water’s even pretty shallow, so you don’t have to worry about swimming if you fall out of the boat.</p>

19. Delaware River, New Jersey

The Delaware River is a simple rafting experience. The rapids are all Class II at most. Because of this, most of the rafting is unguided. You can go with your friends without needing to hire a rafting company to help you out.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment though, there are rafting companies in the area that provide you with all the equipment you need and enough information to allow you to raft without having to worry about anything. Most of the time, the water’s even pretty shallow, so you don’t have to worry about swimming if you fall out of the boat.

<p>Like rafting and celebrations? Gauley River is the place to visit. There’s an annual celebration of whitewater rafting known as Gauleyfest in the area. People in West Virginia tend to be very passionate about the Gauley River and are quick to argue that the river is the best commercially-run rafting adventure in the state, if not further.</p><p>There is a lot to love about the river. It’s dam-controlled, which means that there aren’t ever days when the water runs too low or high to raft. It’s also got five Class V rapid in the upper portion and two in the lower portion. In total, there are 23 miles of whitewater rafting along the river.</p>

20. Gauley River, West Virginia

Like rafting and celebrations? Gauley River is the place to visit. There’s an annual celebration of whitewater rafting known as Gauleyfest in the area. People in West Virginia tend to be very passionate about the Gauley River and are quick to argue that the river is the best commercially-run rafting adventure in the state, if not further.

There is a lot to love about the river. It’s dam-controlled, which means that there aren’t ever days when the water runs too low or high to raft. It’s also got five Class V rapid in the upper portion and two in the lower portion. In total, there are 23 miles of whitewater rafting along the river.

The different classes of rapids make this one of the best whitewater rafting excursions for a variety of ability levels. <a>©Richard N Horne/ CC BY-SA 4.0 – License</a>

21. Nenana River, Alaska

Have you considered whitewater rafting in Alaska? If not, you should definitely give it a try. Nenana River runs right through Denali National Park.

Rafting is considered one way to tour the park. Most of the rafting tours in the area are family-owned and have been operating for decades. They have intimate knowledge of the area that they’re more than willing to share with their passengers. You can even choose whether you sit back and relax as you’re guided through the park, or to partake in the work.

The Youghiogheny River has nearly 40 miles of shoreline. <a>©Nancy Bauer/Shutterstock.com</a>

22. Youghiogheny River, Pennsylvania

Don’t let the name stop you. Rafting this river isn’t something you want to miss if you’re in the area. There are options for rapids ranging anywhere between Class II and Class V, depending on your skill level and whether you want to enjoy the local wildlife, or test your skills against the rapids.

Many locations offer guided escorts for the easier portions of the river. This allows you to practice your own skills and guide your boat while providing you with confidence as experienced guides are running near you at every moment. They’re more than happy to step in if you need a hand or get nervous.

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COMMENTS

  1. Oregon River Rafting

    O.R.E. offers a full array of multiday rafting trips throughout the Pacific Northwest from 1 night "car camping" to 9 day wilderness down river trips. Overnight trips like the North Umpqua or McKenzie River is a great mix of rafting and camping at a developed campground.

  2. Best Oregon River Rafting & Whitewater Trips

    ROW Adventures has been sharing guided rafting trips in Oregon since 1979 and you can count on our experienced guides for exceptional service and intimate knowledge of the area's natural history. There is a great variety of rapids on the rivers of Oregon.

  3. Ouzel Outfitters

    Oregon White Water Rafting Trips - With a Splash of Class Since 1979 - Ouzel Outfitters Will show you the Best Rafting Oregon Has. Book your trip Today!

  4. White Water Rafting in Oregon & Washington

    Paddleboarding Explore Rafting on Oregon and Washington's Best Whitewater Rivers! DESCHUTES RIVER DESCHUTES RIVER The Deschutes River is one of the most popular rivers in Oregon. There are many attractive features to this section of the river that has made it such a popular destination.

  5. Momentum River Expeditions

    Award-Winning Adventure Travel & Rafting in Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, Alaska & beyond | Handcrafted trips with some of the world's finest guides. 541-488-2525. ... MOMENTUM RIVER EXPEDITIONS. World-class rafting trips in Oregon, California, Idaho, Alaska, Arizona, and beyond 3195 East Main St. #2

  6. Oregon Rafting Adventures with Oregon Whitewater Adventures

    Oregon Rafting Adventures with Oregon Whitewater Adventures "Breathe in deeply - feel your soul refreshed. It's river time!" Ronna Hicklin BOOK NOW CURRENT NEWS #1, thats what the Salem Statesman Journal said about the North Umpqua rafting adventure. THE BEST single day whitewater rafting trip in Oregon!!!

  7. Oregon Rafting Trips

    MOMENTUM RIVER EXPEDITIONS. World-class rafting trips in Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, Alaska & Beyond 3195 East Main St. #2 Ashland OR, 97520 [email protected] | 541-488-2525 | CONTACT

  8. Rogue River Rafting Trips

    Book Now Call toll-free 1 (800) 346-6277 The Rogue River might just be the perfect rafting trip. This beloved OARS adventure features exciting whitewater that's fun for all levels, beach camping, magical side hikes, and abundant wildlife viewing.

  9. 10 Top Unforgettable Whitewater Rafting Adventures in Oregon

    8. Snake River in Hells Canyon. Hells canyon and the Snake River nearly bested the Lewis and Clark expedition back in 1805, but it's now one of the best whitewater rafting trips in the state. The Snake River flows for over 1,000 miles through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, ultimately draining into the Columbia.

  10. Rogue River Rafting Trips

    Rafting on the Rogue River means floating one of the first rivers to be preserved as a wild & scenic river by congress and it only takes one visit to understand why. A Rogue trip is about more than just rapids though. The forested canyon walls and river banks hold an enormous amount of wildlife like otters, deer, bald eagles.

  11. The Best Whitewater Rafting Trip in Oregon

    World renowned for its stunning beauty, Oregon offers white water rafting trips on the McKenzie River, North Umpqua, Deschutes, Owyhee, Grand Ronde, John Day, and Rogue River. Each of these rivers is definitely worthy of a rafting trip, but our personal favorite is the Rogue River.

  12. Rogue River Rafting Whitewater Trips in Oregon

    Rogue Wild and Scenic - 3 or 4 day. Spend 3 or 4 days paddling the Rogue River on OTT's original and one of the countries most popular, whitewater rafting trips. Nestled away in southern Oregon, this rafting vacation has everything you need for the ideal family adventure: warm water, great weather, fun rapids, swimming, history, NO CELL ...

  13. MULTIDAY RIVER TRIPS

    We have options like the classic 4 day overnight Wild & Scenic Rogue River, or the SE Oregon's desert secret, Owyhee River, there also some great trips for those just beginning to venture into white water rafting multiday river trips.

  14. Rogue River Rafting Trips, Oregon

    REVIEWS HAPPY CUSTOMER Morrisons Rogue Wilderness Adventures has been leading world-class river rafting trips in Oregon for over 50 years. We offer an exciting line up of our favorite rafting adventures, ranging from family-friendly half-day floats to our award-winning multi-day camp and lodge wilderness trips.

  15. Rogue River Rafting

    Oregon's Iconic Wilderness River Trip | Rogue River Rafting - small trips - some of the world's finest guides - award winning quality & attention to detail. 541-488-2525. Rivers & Trips; About Momentum; Reserve & Plan; Contact (541-488-2525) - Stair Creek Falls on the Rogue River - Photo: Pete Wallstrom ...

  16. Rogue River

    Whitewater rafting trips on Oregon's Wild & Scenic Rogue River, including 3-, 4- and 5-day itineraries and specialty adventures. Destinations. Destinations United States. U.S. Destinations. ... Rogue River trips run throughout the spring and summer, starting in May and ending in mid- to late-September. Spring trips are more likely to offer ...

  17. Deschutes River Rafting, Maupin, Oregon

    The Deschutes River is one of the most popular rivers in Oregon, perfect for families, first-timers and experienced whitewater enthusiasts. We are the only outfitter that offers guided rafting, lodging, private river frontage, on-site restaurant & bar, group catering and a sand volleyball court! Call or click to reserve your trip! 541.395.2404.

  18. Grande Ronde River Rafting

    A Grande Ronde River Rafting trip is a hidden gem for Oregon white water, tucked in the NE corner of the state. The wooded river hillsides cut its way through a deep canyon creating stunning scenery, full of pines, wildlife and majestical classic riverside campsites. A Grande Ronde rafting trip is considered to be on the "mild" side.

  19. Deschutes River Rafting Trips

    Season: April - October Three Day Deschutes River Trip Trip meets at Warm Springs or Trout Creek 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM final day $875 for adults and $695 for youth (age 12 and under). Parties of 10 or more are eligible for a group discount on most trip dates. Please contact us for details concerning group rates.

  20. Oregon Whitewater Rafting Trips

    Oregon Whitewater Rafting TripsWelcome to our 25th anniversary year of rafting. A new, updated website will be live soon. We have added some new river trips for the 2024 season including the Deschutes river, the Owyhee river and some others. We are taking 2024 reservations for our 1/2 day, full day and multi day trips now. Including for our boating, rowing, guide and rescue schools.

  21. OARS Rogue River Rafting

    Grants Pass, Oregon 97526. 541-595-3150. Email. OARS Rogue River RaftingWebsite. facebook. instagram. This listing is provided by Travel Southern Oregon. OARS is one of the most established outfitters in Oregon—they've been guiding rafting trips on the Rogue River since 1969 and their guests often comment that their Rogue River experience ...

  22. The Best Whitewater Rafting Spots in America

    New River Gorge offers a couple of whitewater rafting options, including the lower and upper sections, overnights, and multi-day trips. The upper section is more calm than the lower section.

  23. Oregon River Experiences on Instagram: "Thinking about your trips for

    19 likes, 0 comments - oregonriverexperiences on December 12, 2023: "Thinking about your trips for 2024? Well we are too and its time to get your rafting adventures ..." Oregon River Experiences on Instagram: "Thinking about your trips for 2024?