Top 10 Reasons The Lower Deschutes River Provides The Best Family Rafting In Oregon

(1) The Lower Deschutes River features thrilling but not terrifying class I-III+ rapids providing fun for the whole family rafting (ages 4 and up) experience. Your river adventure will be interspersed with calm stretches to swim, cliff jump, and take in the unique river canyon.

Family Rafting Deschutes River

(2) During the summertime, the weather in Eastern Oregon is very warm and mostly dry. Desert sunshine provides significantly warmer weather and river temperatures than the surrounding area. This translates to more comfort for your family with less gear to wear although wetsuits, helmets, splash tops, and booties are available for your comfort. Of course, life jackets are required on all river trips. Be prepared for rain and wind every season and check out our half-day trip itinerary, full-day trip itinerary, or multi-day trip itinerary with a chart of average temperatures and rainfall in Eastern Oregon during the rafting season. Prior to packing for your trip, we recommend that you check the forecast.

(3) The Lower Deschutes has consistent water flows established through a set dam release which means sufficient water levels for rapids all summer long. 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 100-mile section from the mouth of the Deschutes to Pelton Dam (near Lake Billy Chinook). The Lower Deschutes River offers a beautiful desert canyon filled with sagebrush, osprey, incredible basalt rock formations, and plenty of exciting rapids.

(4) The Lower Deschutes canyon is part of the National Wild And Scenic River System with rare wildlife, world-class fishing, and small-town history that attracts first-timers and those who have been rafting for years. There are energy and vibrancy about this place that is magical, rejuvenating, and can be exciting yet restful all at the same time.

Family Rafting The Lower Deschutes River

(5) Our high-quality rafts hold 6-8 people plus your professionally trained guide. Many of our guests prefer private rafts which are available upon request and guide availability. Quite often, guests come back year after year making an adventure with our team an annual tradition. We love to see familiar faces and hear stories year after year! If you let us know at the time of booking, we do our best to accommodate guide requests and private rafts requests.

(6) The Columbia River Gorge and surrounding areas are outdoor enthusiasts’ dream! From world-class windsurfing, kiting, kayaking, and fishing, to hiking or skiing volcanoes, to touring breweries and wineries, or driving the fruit loop–you’ve got access to all the goodness that is the great outdoors! We’ve compiled Columbia River Gorge camping and lodging resources that provide recommendations for your weekend get-a-way or week-long vacations. If you are looking to ‘get away from it all’  by yourself or with your family and friends, we’ve got your accommodation research covered.

Columbia River Gorge

(7) Our Lower Deschutes River outpost is located in the small town of Maupin, Oregon. Forgotten camping items or fresh groceries can be bought locally at the Maupin Market or you can kick back with a delightful meal at the Riverside Restaurant. Make a note to stop by The Oasis for our favorite specialty milkshakes and burgers!

(8) Our Lower Deschutes River half-day trip (3 or 3.5 hours) can be combined with a variety of excursions on your drive to/from the river. For those seeking an immersive river experience, our popular full-day trip (6 hours) with BBQ lunch at the half-way point would be your best bet. You’ll cover more than 14 river miles in about five to six hours. There are numerous class III+ rapids on this section of the river. Some of the exciting rapids include Wapinitia, Boxcar, Surf City, Oak Springs, White River, and Elevator rapids.

(9) Our newly built Maupin, Oregon outpost has plentiful parking, picnic areas, restrooms, and changing rooms. For groups, family reunions, and corporate teams, we’ve got space where you can change clothes, throw a frisbee, and kick back to take in the views. Extra bonus: You won’t have to worry about limited small-town parking challenges.

Maupin, Oregon River Drifters Outpost

(10) Our retail store is stocked with guest-requested photos, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sun protection, unique gifts, and souvenirs. You can get your family rafting photos capturing the thrill of your experience and holiday shopping done all at the same time.

River Drifter Maupin Outpost: Lower Deschutes River

Book your family rafting trip for an active vacation that’s sure to be memorable! And if there is something standing in your way, consider what more can we provide to make your family’s dream vacation come true? Seriously, we’d love to know how we can improve your experience so please contact us with your questions, requests, and comments.