CLACKAMAS RIVER RAFTING

Lots of rapids & incredible scenery

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Continuous paddling

BEST TIME TO GO

April-August (1/2 day)
April-June (Full day)

TRIPS AVAILABLE

River Trip List

Half-Day or Full-Day
[ VIEW TRIPS ]

MEETING POINT

Estacada, OR
[ MAP ]

DRIVE TIME

Portland = 1 hr
Bend = 3 hr 10 mins
Seattle = 3 hr 30 mins

Clackamas River Rafting

The Clackamas River is famous for its numerous big rapids and easy access with close proximity to the Portland/Vancouver area! It’s perfect for those who are on a time budget. Since the Clackamas River drainage only has a peak of 3500’, the optimal time to run the Clackamas River is in the spring and early summer months for larger rapids (from March through June). As the water levels begin to drop, the Clackamas River begins to change character and in the Summer months (July and August), the river becomes a tighter, more technical and very fun run! During the Summer months we run half-day trips on the Clackamas River, which is essentially an excerpt of the rivers’ best rapids!

The Clackamas River originates from Olallie Lake and flows north westerly through the Cascade Mountains before flowing into the Willamette River. The river carves a very impressive gorge through basalt rock and the river dances beneath old growth Douglas-fir. This river was added to the Federal Wild and Scenic River System in 1988. The Clackamas River received its name from the Clackamas Indian tribe that once lived on the river.

The Clackamas River provides numerous rapids, incredible scenery, Rocky Mountain Elk, pine martens, osprey, bald eagles or even the northern spotted owl! The thick and lush riverside riparian vegetation, make this river a forested gem! The section of the Clackamas River that we run commercially, is known as the ‘Upper Clackamas’. This portion of the river is filled with class III+ and class IV rapids like; Powerhouse, Carter’s Bridge Falls, Hole in the Wall, Toilet Bowl and Bob’s Hole.

*Keep in mind that every trip is different, as the weather, water flow and group dynamics all influence the trip pace.

Half-day trips are 3.5 hours, April through August

Morning Half Day Trip 9:30am to 1:00pm

    • 9:00am Arrive at Moore Creek, OR. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit and PDF (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc.
    • 9:30am Shuttle departs for the river put-in at Hole In The Wall.
    • 9:45am Your guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
    • 1:00pm Arrive at take-out Moore Creek, OR.

Afternoon Half Day Trip 2:30pm to 6:00pm

    • 2:00pm Arrive at Moore Creek, OR. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit and PDF (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc.
    • 2:30pm Shuttle departs for the river put-in at Hole In The Wall.
    • 2:45pm Your guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
    • 6:00pm Arrive at take-out Moore Creek, OR.

Full-Day Trips are 5 hours, April through June

  • 10:00am– Arrive at Moore Creek, OR. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit and PDF (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc.
  • 10:30am– Shuttle departs for the river put-in at Indian Henry Campground.
  • 10:45am– Unload gear. Guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a safe and fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
  • 1:00pm– Stop for a hardy riverside lunch.
  • 3:30pm– Arrive at take-out Moore Creek, OR.
The age minimum for this trip is 8 years old. The physical and mental criteria for eligibility to participate on any River Drifters river trip can be found on our Eligibility Criteria page.
Our full-day adventure begins with a beautiful drive along the Clackamas River, where most people are wide-eyed at what the day will include. The trip begins with a thorough paddling, safety and historical briefing of the river and then it’s time to hit the rapids! There is a small warm-up before our first major rapid called Powerhouse (class III+). From there, we will paddle through countless rapids and witness breath-taking scenery. A little over halfway we will stop for a much-needed break and have a great lunch. After lunch awaits some of the best and most famous rapids of the day. The trip concludes at Moore Creek, OR where your vehicles are conveniently located.

One of the great advantages of the full-day trip (besides the higher water and larger waves), is the beautiful six-mile uppermost section of the run. This section includes remote water, more chances for seeing wildlife and many big and challenging rapids!

If your time is in a pinch and you would love to have a great river trip without spending the whole day on the river, then our half-day trips are perfect. We travel 8 miles through some of the rivers’ more famous rapids. The rivers’ lower water levels turns the river into an exciting and technical class III+ run. For almost the entire half-day portion of the trip, the river is filled with back-to-back rapids and beautiful calm pools.

Our guides are accomplished in outdoor skills, trained in first aid, CPR and river rescue, and knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of the area. They are fun, interesting folks who have a passion for rivers and people. If you have questions about rafting, camping, cooking in the outdoors or anything else, ask and they will likely be happy to help.

The weather in Oregon in the Spring can be extreme and change quickly. Be prepared for sun, rain, wind and even snow.

Prior to packing for your trip, we recommend that you check the forecast.

View the trip itinerary for a chart of average temperatures and rainfall in the Estacada, OR area during the rafting season.

River Drifters provides all the necessary gear so that you stay warm and comfortable during your adventure (wetsuits, paddle jackets and helmets).
  • A pair of quick-drying shorts and t-shirt (wool or synthetic are best. Do NOT wear cotton), or a bathing suit to wear under a wetsuit.
  • Long-sleeved synthetic shirt or fleece (NO cotton) for extra warmth when outdoor temperatures are colder than 80°F.
  • Waterproof sunscreen and chapstick
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Old pair of tennis shoes, neoprene booties with soles or sandals (closed-toed, such as Keen, are recommended).
  • Sunglasses and/or prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Sunglass strap for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses (we sell these in our shop).
  • Change of clothes for drive home.
  • OPTIONAL Items
    • Bike gloves to protect hands while paddling.
    • Waterproof camera
    • Small daypack
    • Personal snacks
    • Personal medications
    • Personal water bottle

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our guides work very hard throughout the season to ensure that guests have a safe and enjoyable trip. As such, tips are very much appreciated by our guides, drivers and office staff. Tips normally range from 10% of the trip cost. How much you tip should depend on your satisfaction with your trip and your financial means. Most people tip the lead guide, who will split the money equally among the crew.

The Clackamas River trips are appropriate for kids age 8 and older. A child’s maturity level and weight would be a greater factor than their age. Please call us to discuss your situation.

Lodging:

Camping:

As you drive along the Clackamas River along HWY 224 you will pass a number of great camping areas: Memaloose, Lazy Bend, Carter Bridge, Armstrong, Fish Creek, Roaring River, Sunstrip, Indian Henry & many more. Most of these campsites are within 15 minutes of our meeting site and most camp areas have drinking water, fire pits & restrooms available.

Learn more about camping in the Mt. Hood National Forest

We recommend the following lunch and dinner spots in Estacada:

Please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-972-0430. Once on the river, our experienced and knowledgeable guides will be happy to answer any questions you have. We welcome suggestions about how we can make your next experience on the river an even better one!

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Big water class III-IV paddling in the Spring and family-friendly river flows in the Summer.

Proximity to the ‘Great Outdoors’, camping, and outdoorsy activities to add to your half-day or full-day adventure.

Short, beautiful, scenic drive only 45 to 60 minutes from Portland, Oregon.

Clackamas River Rafting Trips ….

Clackamas River Half-Day

Season: April - August
Duration: Half Day
Length: 6 miles
Price: $45-65
Rapids: III-IV
Skill Level: Continuous paddling
Age Minimum: 8

Clackamas River Rafting

Clackamas River Full-Day

Season: April - June
Duration: One Day
Length: 16 miles
Price: $76-89
Rapids: III-IV
Skill Level: Continuous paddling
Age Minimum: 8
Download Trip Itinerary

Call 800.972.0430 to book now!

Are you ready for your rafting adventure with River Drifters?

BOOK NOW!