White Water Raft Down the Deschutes River

Added by Ted S

Located just a couple hours outside Portland and Bend, Oregon, the Lower Deschutes River is a one-day white water rafting run that features class III-IV rapids with big drops, huge splashes and is a ton of fun for beginners and returning rafters alike.

For first time rafters and those just looking to get back into some fun white water, the Deschutes is a great run and an easily accessible one at that. 

Guiding companies operate trips spring through late summer starting out of the quiet town of Maupin, Oregon with both half day (just river rafting) and full day (rafting plus lunch, hikes and swimming) options for anywhere from $50 - $120. If you go the guided route -- and most do -- your adventure really just requires driving down to the town, slipping into river clothing and putting on the company provided lift jacket. Instruction on paddling basics, how to handle rapids and what to do if you fall out of the boat are all included with the tours.

More experienced rafters can of course bring their own boat or kayak down to the Warm Springs Boat Launch for an independent run with numerous places to shuttle back and forth between river sections. Permits and river hazards are explained on the forest service website for those taking that approach.

Either way, the lower Deschutes is an absolute blast as you paddle 13+ miles through a constant barrage of class III rapids such as Boxcar, Sneaker, the Elevator, and ACDC all leading up to (and following) Oak Springs, the river's big drop, class IV rapid. Expect to get absolutely drenched on the day and consider throwing in a camping trip at one of the nearby spots to make a weekend out of it all.

Read More


Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Cliff Jumping


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Right by Gma’s!

My grandparents live in Bend and we’ve done this every year when we go down there and it’s always a blast. Rent a raft and have a great time! Don’t forget your life jacket.

Warm Springs to Maupin

You might mention the section you mean - below Shears Falls you even have to row to go downstream - winds coming up the river are strong and there are no rapids. The section you talk about I have done many, many times and it is fun though not really anything a white water person wold get excited about.


almost 4 years ago

One of my best days

We had a great guide for our raft trip out of Maupin.I totally recommend this for families!It was a great experience and I'd love to do it every year.During the slower parts of the river you are able to spray the other rafts going by with water weapons or jump in for a swim.The rapids are the best,really gets the blood pumping.

Some Of The Best

Absolutely incredible adventure. When I went we were one of the only boats out which made the experience so much more immersive. I would recommend the trip to anyone, it's not too far away from Portland and there's lots of places nearby that you can stay and eat at. Dechutes is a wonderful area, not just for rafting and fishing! Beautiful hikes around the Are, highlighting the wonders of oregons high rocks.

Stay Nearby

Madras, Oregon

Mecca Flat Campground

Situated on the banks of the Deschutes Wild and Scenic River, Mecca Flat Campground is located just a mile and a half from Oregon State HIghway 26 near Warm Springs. The site features 13 family cam...

Madras, Oregon

Trout Creek Campground

Featuring a boat launch, a seasonal ranger station and trailhead, Trout Creek campground offers 21 campsites and three group-use campsites along the Lower Deschutes Wild and Scenic River. Some pull...

Culver, Oregon

South Shore Group Sites

OverviewHaystack South Shore Group Campground is the only group campground on Haystack Reservoir. Each of the two campsites holds up to 50 people. This is a year-round facility ideal for large even...

Culver, Oregon

South Shore Group Campground

Overview South Shore Group Campground reservations are no longer accepted through Recreation.gov as of March 2019. Please contact the new managing agency, Crook County Parks and Recreation District...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Steelhead Falls

    Following along the Dechutes river for half a mile you will see where the river progressively gets more aggressive. On both sides of the trail you will see beautiful mountain inclines and jagged cliffs. If your lucky you might just see a bald eagl...

    1 miles 120 ft gain

  • Hike the West Metolius River Trail

    The West Metolius River trail is one of the finest river trails in Central Oregon due to its easy terrain, beautiful blue water, volcanic spring fed waterfalls, and forest views.  The hike starts just downstream from the Lower Canyon Creek Campgro...

    8 miles 280 ft gain

  • Climb Smith Rock's Zebra-Zion

    This is THE multipitch line at Smith...you have to do it! Pitch 1: The first pitch has many variations from 5.7 to 5.11. These lines share the first pitch anchor: Zebra Direct(5.11a), Zebra Seam (5.11d), and Gumby (5.10b). Take any of these lines ...

  • Sport Climb 5 Gallon Buckets at Smith Rock

    The huge huecos of 5 Gallon Buckets are often the first piece of rock that a climber touches on his or her first trip to the park. The fun and consistent 5.8 climbing is straightforward and enjoyable as a warmup or a top-rope. This is the left-mos...