Best Day Trip Near Bend For Families
If you and your family are staying in the Bend area and want to enjoy one of Oregon’s best outdoor activities, we recommend you head to Maupin, Oregon for whitewater rafting on the Lower Deschutes River. Day trip near Bend rafting on the Deschutes River is perfect for the whole family (ages 4 and up) and by far the best single day rafting trips on the Deschutes River are out of Maupin! The drive from Bend to Maupin is under 2 hours and takes you north through Central Oregon with stunning views of the snowy Cascade Mountains, high desert expanses, and Smith Rocks State Park which one of Oregon’s 7 natural wonders. River Drifters offers morning and afternoon half day trips on the Deschutes River, which leaves plenty of time to explore Central Oregon before or after your family rafting trip.
Photo: Smith Rock State Park | Gorge Guide
Maupin gets on average 300 days of sunshine each year, meaning more times than not our summer rafting trips on the Lower Deschutes are warm and sunny. The half day trip is three and a half hours, and offers 12 miles of exciting and splashy class II-III whitewater. Additionally, the River Drifters Outpost in Maupin is located a mere 10 minutes from the river put-in and only 15 minutes from the take-out, which allows for less time driving to and from the river and more time on the river. Given its sunny and warm climate, classification of whitewater (class II-III = just plain fun and enjoyable), and short shuttle drives, the Deschutes River is a perfect family-friendly whitewater rafting adventure.
Photo: Deschutes River | River Drifters
Load up the family, snacks, and sunscreen, head north on highway 97 from Bend, and check out some of these great family-friendly activities on your way to Maupin. In Terrebonne, stop by the Crescent Moon Ranch. The ranch is home to a very likable herd of alpacas, and offers visitors a chance to hand feed them, walk the grounds, and come home with a souvenir or two from their Alpaca Boutique.
Photo: Crescent Moon Ranch Alpaca | Bailey & Makaimoku Photography
Just north of Madras, is Richardson’s Rock Ranch, where you can marvel at an incredible collection of rocks and gems, including Oregon’s state rock, the thunder egg. Thunder eggs are seemingly ordinary rocks on the outside, but crack them open and you will find their center is filled with agate, jasper, opal, or quartz crystals.
Photo: Richardson’s Rock Ranch by Jamie Hale | The Oregonian
After a morning of exploration and smiles, check in for your rafting day trip near Bend at the River Drifters Outpost in Maupin. There is no better way to spend a hot summer afternoon than rafting, and the Deschutes River hosts the perfect balance of fun rapids and calm stretches of river to jump out of the raft and swim. After rafting, enjoy a delicious meal at one of Maupin’s family-friendly restaurants, such as Riverside Restaurant or Bakeoven Bar and Grill. Or, if by chance the kids still have some energy to burn, grab some food from the Maupin Market or take-out and enjoy a picnic along the banks of the Deschutes at one of the many day use areas on the Deschutes River Access Road before heading back to Bend.
Ready to book your whitewater rafting trip portion of your day trip near Bend? Click here to learn more!