Deschutes River Rafting

"Our guide was upbeat, good humored and very knowledgeable about the river. This was the most fun we had ever had rafting in 5 years!"

− Austin - Deschutes day trip

"Thank you and all your staff for a wonderful Trip. The Scouts had a Blast.... We're bragging to everyone we know about River Drifters and our experience!"

− Konrad - 5-Day Deschutes trip

"Just wanted to say thank you for accommodating the group. The kids really enjoyed rafting and all your guides were amazing!"

− Yu- Deschutes River trip

"been rafting for around 7 years ... Truly the best guide we have ever had and we will be coming back again next year...Truly above and beyond!"

− Dan - Deschutes River trip

"We had such a great time on the river with you all. You guys run a great operation and we appreciate it!"

− Lauren - Deschutes River trip
The Deschutes River originates high in the Cascade mountains from Little Lava Lake. The river carves its path through 250 miles of eastern Oregon before flowing into the Columbia. The ‘Lower Deschutes’ refers to the hundred mile section from the mouth of the Deschutes to Pelton Dam (near Lake Billy Chinook). The lower river offers a beautiful desert canyon filled with sage brush, osprey, incredible basalt rock formations and plenty of exciting rapids.

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 become so popular. From the warm sunshine, reliable summer water flows, easy access to the numerous fun and exciting rapids that it has to offer, its no wonder that many people travel to this destination.

River Drifters offers a number of trips on the Lower Deschutes, from 1/2-day to a five-day vacation, there is a trip for you! One of the more popular trips on the Deschutes is the full-day trip. This trip covers over fourteen river miles and takes between five to six hours to complete. There are numerous class III+ rapids on this section of river. Some of the exciting rapids that we will run are Wapinita, Boxcar, Surf City, Oak Springs, White River and elevator rapids. River Drifters also offers a half-day trip for those who can only set aside a few hours. The Deschutes River is perfect for families and first-timers and even those who have been rafting several times. Whether you are six or sixty-five, the Deschutes River is perfect for you!

One drawback to the Deschutes River being so popular is that there is a limited number of spaces that we can fill on weekends from June through August. So if you are thinking about going rafting this summer its time to start planning ahead to reserve those seats!

The Deschutes River Half-Day Rafting Trip

The half-day adventure begins with a short drive to the launch site. From there, our professional guides will introduce the Deschutes River to you with a safety talk and orientation. The first excitement of the day begins right away with over a mile of great pool and drop style rapids. The middle portion of the trip is fairly calm and is a great chance to unwind, relax or go for a swim. The last four miles of the trip are filled with the most challenging and fun rapids of the day. After the trip, we transport you back to your vehicle

If you do not wish to spend all day on the river then a half-day trip may be just for you. On a half-day journey, one will encounter most of the famous rapids on the Lower Deschutes, including Wapinita, Box Car, Surf City, Oak Springs and the Elevators. The half-day trips usually last about three hours and are available at two different times a day. One of the greatest complements that we receive for offering a half-day trip on the Deschutes River is the ease and convenience of being capable to do other activities in the same day. Whether you are traveling to Central Oregon or back to the valley, there is not a better way to cool off on a hot summer day than a quick trip down the river. Our Deschutes River Half-Day trips meet daily at either 9:30am or 1:30pm!

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Half-Day Trip



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The Deschutes River Full Day Rafting Trip

The full-day trip meets at 9:45am in the morning and we finish the trip around 3:30-4:00pm. This very full day takes you over many exhilarating rapids, gives you a great opportunity to relax and soak up some sun and plenty chances to jump in the river for a refreshing swim! In the morning we travel through some very exciting rapids and drift through some placid pools. There is plenty of time for swimming, splashing the other boats or just sitting back and taking it all in! We raft for a few hours in the morning and then we stop for a riverside barbecue lunch! After feasting on fresh fruits, vegetables, cookies, salads and some tasty BBQ, we sit back and soak in the days events for a while. At the lunch’s end, we then continue on with our adventure.

The afternoon portion of the trip presents us with the most whitewater of the day! With big and famous rapids like Surf City, Oak Springs, White River, Roller Coaster, The Elevators, Sandy’s Hole and several others, you will be sure to get your fix. We stop several times to surf the waves and we even stop to swim through a rapid (if you are up for it)! At the end of the trip, we transport you back to the meeting site. From there our guides will escort you up to the photo shop to check out some of the days action (if you desire). Pictures from your trip are available there (not included in the trip price) if you would like some memorabilia to show off when you get home!

 pdficon2Download Itinerary for Full Day Deschutes River Trip




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*Children are 14 and under

Group discounts are given for 12 or more people!

Learn More about Group and Team Building Trips

Who Can Go?

Almost everyone is invited on the Deschutes River. This river is perfect for first timers, groups, family and organizations of all kind! Children as young as four are welcome on the Deschutes.
What We Provide

River Drifters provides paddle jackets (if ever needed), professional guides, life vests and a delicious riverside cuisine! For a trip list of personal items to bring please follow the link. For cooler weather please consult with our Spring and Fall Trip List!

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Deschutes River Multi-day Rafting Trips

The Lower Deschutes was designated an Oregon Wild and Scenic Waterway in 1970 and a Federal Wild and Scenic River in 1988. The river is characterized by a deep and rugged rim rock-lined canyon that has canyon walls rising from 900 feet to 2,600 feet. This canyon carves its way through the eastern Oregon desert leaving behind one of the most impressive gorges in the west. From the placid calm floats to the raging whitewater, the lower Deschutes has something for everyone to enjoy. Within this canyon you will be encountered with a vast geological and cultural history as well as a large variety of wildlife.

On the river one may see osprey, deer, bighorn sheep, salmon, steelhead and variety of other species. The basalt rock formations are breathtaking. On the upper portion of the lower Deschutes (from Warm Springs to Locked Gate) the river carves a deep canyon through the Mutton Mountains. As it winds through this gorge many impressive rapids are left behind in the rivers path. Such rapids like Trout Creek, Whitehorse, Buckskin Mary and Four Chutes are just a few that will be conquered. The river then charges through a small town called Maupin, which is where River Drifters and other companies operate their day trips. This stretch has the highest concentration of rapids per mile than any other section of the lower Deschutes. Rapids like Wapinita, Boxcar, Powerline, Surf City, Oak Springs, White River and the elevators, have all made this a popular stretch. From Sherars Falls to the mouth the river once again, travels through some very impressive landscape. Miles of canyons will greet the adventurer. The last eight miles of the Deschutes River are back-to-back rapids. Famous rapids on this section include Train Hole, Trestle, Wreck, Washout, Colorado, Gordon Ridge, Moody and many others.

River Drifters offers a large variety of multi-day trips on the lower Deschutes, from just one night to four nights, there is a trip that is just perfect for your family or group. A typical two-day trip will cover more than 40 miles of water. A three-day trip will cover that same 40 miles, but at a much more relaxed pace. This will allow one to relax more at camp, with more time to fish, read, swim, explore a side canyon, or simply soak in their time with nature. A four or five day trip will cover anywhere from 80 to 100 miles of river. These trips are ideal for those who want to make a true vacation of their experience.

An overnight journey is a magical experience that brings together a true wilderness setting with friendly, professional guides that make each and every trip very special. River Drifters takes you down the Deschutes River in style. We serve some of the best possible meals on the river. A typical full day on the river will include waking up to the coffee brewing at 7:30-8:00am (or later if you desire, remember you are on vacation!) as the guides are busy making your breakfast. Breakfasts often include flapjacks, sausage, eggs, fresh fruit, bagels, juice and coffee. You need lots of energy for a full-day on the river!

After breakfast there will be a little time to relax in the warm desert sun, then you will pack your personal items into your drybag (each guest is provided with one) and the guides will pack up the gear boats and assist you in packing up your tents and other gear. Then its back to more whitewater rafting! Lunch is usually served at or near 1:00pm, this depends on the pace and timing of the trip. Lunches will consist of deli or barbeque style with fresh fruits, veggies, cookies and lemonade. The afternoon will consist of three hours or more of time on the water. You will arrive at camp around 4:30 to 5:30pm. Hors d’ oeuvres and beverages will be provided at or shortly after arrival to camp. At this time you will generally have an hour or more to indulge with some fishing, relaxation or a hike. Dinner will be excellent river cuisine, consisting of healthy & filling meals and of course accompanied with a scrumptious dessert!

Please note that these meals vary daily and we do cater towards vegetarians and special dietary requests (we must know this at the time of the reservation). Our goal is to serve you with healthy, generously proportioned meals that will keep you fueled for your adventure. After dinner there is plenty of time for story telling and reliving the days events.


Who Can Go?

A Deschutes River multi-day trip is perfect for the whole family. We actually run special kids camps all summer long on the Deschutes. A child’s maturity level would be a greater factor than their age. We allow kids as young as four to join in on this adventure of a lifetime!

What We Provide

River Drifters will provide all the necessary gear to make your trip enjoyable, relaxing and most importantly, hassle free! A comprehensive personal gear list will be sent out to you upon reservation or you may see a list by seeing our Multi Day Trip List. Basically the only things you need to bring is a tent, sleeping bag and pad, clothes, personal items and we take care of the rest! Rentals of tents and sleeping bags/pads are available to assist those who don’t have any.

2 Day Trip

$ 235-305

Per Person
  • Adult (mon-fri) – $275
  • Adult (sat-sun) – $305
  • Child (mon-fri) – $235
  • Child (sat-sun) – $275
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3-Day TripMost Popular

$ 335-405

Per Person
  • Adult (mon-thurs) – $375
  • Adult (fri-sun) – $405
  • Child (mon-thurs) – $335
  • Child (fri-sun) – $375
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4-Day Trip

$ 475-495

Per Person
  • Adult Weekdays – $495
  • Child Weekdays – $475
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5-Day Trip

$ 575-595

Per Person
  • Adult Weekdays – $595
  • Child Weekdays – $575
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*Four & Five Day trips are available during weekdays ony during July & August.

**Group Discounts apply to more than 8+ people, resulting in a $25/person savings.

***Shuttles: Vehicle shuttles on 3, 4 & 5-day trips are $75/vehicle (not included in trip price).

Deschutes River Directions

Meeting Place: Maupin, Oregon
GPS WayPoint: 45.17510, -121.08140

Address: 405 Deschutes Ave, Maupin, OR 97037


From Portland/Vancouver Area

Via Mt Hood/Highway 26

This route is best for those traveling from the Southern areas of Portland and the Northern Willamette areas. Travel East on HWY 26 towards Mt. Hood. Pass through Government Camp and continue on HWY 26 towards Warm Springs/Bend. Just after you enter the Warm Springs Indian Reservation turn left onHWY 216: Maupin & Bear Springs (on your Left, heading East). Once on HWY 216 proceed roughly 30 miles toHWY 197Turn right onto HWY 197 and travel the 2 miles to Maupin. Once you enter the small main strip of Maupin, proceed 2.5 blocks and turn Right onto the driveway ofRiver Drifters (between the Rainbow Tavern and Maupin Hardware) at 405 Deschutes (also HWY 197). Look for a River Drifters sign indicating the office. Plan roughly 2 hours traveling time!

Deschutes Directions Map

I-84/the Gorge Route:

This route is best for those who are traveling from either Northeast Northwest Portland or Vancouver areas. Travel East on I 84 roughly 84 miles from Downtown Portland to The Dalles. At I-84 Exit 87, turn Right (South) on HWY 197: Bend, Maupin. Proceed 39 miles South on HWY 197 until you reach Maupin. Once you enter the small main strip of Maupin, proceed 2.5 blocks and turn Right onto the driveway of River Drifters (between the Rainbow Tavern and Maupin Hardware) at 405 Deschutes (also HWY 197). Look for a River Drifters sign indicating the office. Plan roughly 2 hours traveling time!

Deschutes Map

From Central Oregon Area

From Eagle Crest Resort, Sunriver, Bend or any other Central Oregon location. Proceed NORTH on HWY 97 (towards Portland) until you reach Madras; travel through Madras and stay on HWY 97 North (veer right at the HWY 97 & HWY 26 Y, immediately BEFORE the McDonalds in Madras). Travel roughly 25 miles North (on HWY 97) and veer LEFT onto HWY 197 (towards Maupin) and travel 22 miles into Maupin. Travel down the canyon into Maupin and continue over the bridge (only bridge that crosses over the Deschutes River). Travel through the first block through town (past the school and post office) and turn Left onto the driveway of River Drifters (between the Maupin Hardware and the Rainbow Tavern) at 405 Deschutes (also HWY 197). Look for a River Drifters sign indicating the office. Plan roughly 2 hours traveling time!

Deschutes Map from Bend

From Kennewick & Tri Cities Area

Travel SOUTH on I-82 to for 30.7 miles to exit # 179 onto I-84 West. Travel west on I-84 roughly 93 miles to The Dalles. At I-84 Exit 87, turnRight (South) on HWY 197: Bend, Maupin. Proceed 39 miles South on HWY 197 until you reach Maupin. Once you enter the small main strip of Maupin, proceed 2.5 blocks and turn Right onto the driveway of River Drifters (between the Rainbow Tavern and Maupin Hardware) at 405 Deschutes (also HWY 197). Look for a River Drifters sign indicating the office. Plan roughly 3 hours traveling time!

Kennewick to Maupin Map

From Skamania Lodge Area

Travel WEST on HWY 14 to the Bridge of the Gods. Cross over the Columbia River and head East on I-84 and travel roughly 43 miles from Cascade Locks to The Dalles. At I-84 Exit 87, turn Right (South) on HWY 197: Bend, Maupin. Proceed 39 miles South on HWY 197 until you reach Maupin. Once you enter the small main strip of Maupin, proceed 2.5 blocks and turn Right onto the driveway of River Drifters (between the Rainbow Tavern and Maupin Hardware) at 405 Deschutes (also HWY 197). Look for a River Drifters sign indicating the office. Plan roughly 90 minutes traveling time!

Skamania Lodge to Maupin Map


Getting to the Deschutes River

Starting Point Estimated Driving Time
Mount Hood / HWY 26 Route under 2 hours
I 84 / the Gorge Route under 2 hours
Bend and Central Oregon Areas 2 hours
Kennewick / Tri-Cities Area 2+ hours
Eugene 3.5 hours
Seattle 3.5 hours
Resort of the Mountain / Gov’t Camp 1.5 hours
Skamania Lodge 1 hour


Public camping is available (with BLM fees) at a number of riverside campgrounds. These campgrounds are on a first come, first serve basis and are BLM public camps. Most of these campgrounds have restroom facilities but no running water (other than the Deschutes River).

If you are more of a planner and would like to make reservations for a campground or lodging they may be done through the Maupin City Park (camping) at (541)395-2252 or through the Oasis Cafe (camping and cabins) at (541) 395-2611. The Maupin City Park has full RV hook-ups, restrooms, running water and grass campsites! The Oasis Cafe has small cabins and a large grass campground!

If these options are full or you would like to stay in a nearby, larger city please visit our Gorge Lodging Guide or our Central Oregon Lodging Guide. All of the options listed in this link are within an hour drive of Maupin! Or if you would like to camp the night before or after your trip near the Cascade Mountains, please see our Gorge Camping Guide!