DESCHUTES RIVER MULTI-DAY SUP TRIPS

Paddle boarding offers the thrill of surf kayaking and rafting in one!

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the U.S. Whitewater SUPing combines the thrill of surf kayaking and rafting into one activity. It’s no surprise that we think whitewater SUPing is by far the most exciting way to enjoy Pacific Northwest rivers.

Traveling down a river on a SUP is a challenging and enriching experience. Book a 3-day SUPing trip with River Drifters and learn SUP paddling techniques, whitewater safety, eddy turns, and wave surfing. You’ll receive professional instruction while exploring 50 miles of class II-III + rapids on the scenic Lower Deschutes River in Oregon. Your guides will set up camp, cook all meals, and pamper you along the way.

A Deschutes River multi-day SUP trip is perfect for the more adventurous person who is looking for both challenge and reward. Stand-up paddle boarding is an accessible sport and can be easy to learn; but when combined with whitewater, it becomes a whole new challenge. We ask that you are relatively physically fit and at least the age of 16 to participate. Essential Eligibility Criteria for participation.

River Drifters provides all SUPs, paddles, helmets, PFDs, wetsuits, camping gear, dry bags for your gear, food, shuttles, and permits. If you would like to purchase any additional gear needed for your trip or would like further tips please visit NRS.

Additional items you might consider bringing include: Knee and elbow pads, waterproof cameras, rash guard, and water shoes. View our Equipment List on this page for a comprehensive personal gear list.

Please visit our cancellation policy page for full details on cancellations, trip/date changes, and refunds.

“We had such a great time! Highly recommend this company and can’t say enough good things about our guides!”

– Jen Hertzler

SUP TRIP DETAILS AND ITINERARY

Meeting Location:

600 Timber Lane, Maupin, OR 97037
(Immediately next to 1399 N HWY 197)

Meeting Time:

9:00 am the first day of your trip

Return Time:

Around 4:00 pm

Getting Here:

Maupin is about 100 miles by car from the Portland/Vancouver Area and about 90 miles from Bend.

On the first day, we will meet at 9am at our office in Maupin, Oregon. This is also the ending location for the trip, so plan to park your car here for the duration of the trip. While at the office, we’ll provide a brief trip orientation and you’ll pack your personal gear into dry bags. Then we will load up the van and ride to the launch site.

Driving Directions from the Portland/Vancouver Area

Access I-84 East toward The Dalles. Drive about 80 miles & take exit 87 to US-197 South toward Dufur/Bend. Drive about 40 miles until you reach Maupin. The River Drifters office is located at 600 Timber Lane, next to the Deschutes Motel.

Alternative Route: If you’re coming from south of Portland, drive on US-26 East. Travel through Government Camp. After you enter the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, turn left onto OR-216 East toward Maupin. Drive about 26 miles before turning right onto US-197 South. Just before you enter town, the River Drifters office is located on the RIGHT-hand side of the road next to the Deschutes Motel.

Driving Directions from the Tri-Cities Area

Drive on I-82 East and take exit 179 on to I-84 West. Once you reach The Dalles, take exit 87 going South on Highway 197 S toward Dufur / Bend. Drive about 40 miles until you reach Maupin. The River Drifters office is located at 600 Timber Lane, next to the Deschutes Motel.

Driving Directions from Central Oregon

Take US-97 North. Travel through Madras and veer right (immediately before McDonalds), staying on US-97. Drive about 25 miles until you reach US-197 North. Veer left and travel about 21 miles to Maupin.
Follow the highway across the bridge and up the hill, through downtown and up the hill again.
Just after you exit town, the River Drifters Office is located on the LEFT-hand side of the road next to the Deschutes Motel.

Pre-trip Checklist
  • Complete online registration
  • Complete online waiver
  • Plan for the unexpected (travel insurance)
  • Gather and pack your gear
What we provide
  • SUP gear – SUPs, paddles, & first aid kits
  • Personal rafting gear – PFD (personal flotation device), splash jacket & wetsuit (cooler weather trips), & helmet
  • Transportation to & from the river
  • All on-river meals, snacks, & beverages
  • Waterproof dry bag for personal gear (16” x 33”)
  • All camp cooking & kitchen supplies, including camp chairs
What you are responsible for
  • Meals and lodging before and after your trip
  • Personal clothing and other miscellaneous items (see equipment list)
  • Sleeping bags and tents (these items can be rented from River Drifters – see equipment list)
  • Guides gratuities (see below)
Professional Tips

Wetsuits and splash jackets are often recommended for spring and fall trips, and for guests spending time in inflatable kayaks. The wetsuits are 2-3ml “Farmer John” style, which is combined with a splash jacket to provide full-body coverage. Wetsuits and splash jackets are suggested when the air temperature is 75°F or cooler, however children and individuals who get cold easily may want these additional layers when the air temperature is forecasted to be between 75°F to 80°F. Wetsuits and splash jackets are provided by River Drifters and our guides will issue out this gear on cooler weather trips or upon request.

Fleece is a generic term for a spun, polyester fabric developed for outdoor use. It is thick and fluffy and does not absorb water, making it ideal insulation on a river trip. It is commonly called Polartec or Polar Fleece. Polypropylene is a thinner, stretchier, woven variation used predominantly for long underwear. Any polypropylene long underwear will work; heavyweight is the most versatile.

Layering your clothing is an effective way to adjust to the daily weather changes that you may encounter. A light polypropylene layer under a heavy fleece top under a rain shell will get you going on the chilliest of mornings and allow you to shed layers as the day warms up.

One of the handiest things to bring on a trip is a sarong. Versatile, comfortable and colorful, sarongs get used for quick clothing changes, beach throws, sun screens and dinner celebrations.

Dry-bags are great for keeping things dry but are somewhat awkward for packing and living out of, (they are tall and narrow with a small opening at the top). Compact sleeping bags are much more convenient, and small stuff sacks, pillow cases or zip-lock bags are helpful for dividing up your stuff inside the bag. Trying to put your entire duffel bag or luggage into the dry-bag never seems to work.

Lodging
  • Riverrun Lodge: 541-980-7713
  • Imperial Lodge: 541-395-2404
  • The Oasis Resort: 541-395-2611
  • Deschutes Motel: 541-395-2626
  • Balch Hotel: 541-467-2277 (Dufur, OR.)
  • Various lodging options in The Dalles, Hood River, & Government Camp area.
Camping
  • Maupin City Park: 541-395-2252
  • Riverview Campground: 541-395-2611
  • Primitive camping along the Deschutes River Access Road; first come, first serve basis.
  • Campgrounds in Mt. Hood National Forest

On the first day, we will meet at 9am at our office in Maupin, Oregon. This is also the ending location for the trip, so plan to park your car here for the duration of the trip. While at the office, we’ll provide a brief trip orientation and you’ll pack your personal gear into dry bags. Then we will load up the van and ride to the launch site.

At the launch site, we will cover river safety and paddling techniques. Our transition to the water will allow adequate time to practice eddy turns, paddling, and even try surfing river waves. After lunch, we will navigate a variety of fun whitewater, where you can practice your new SUP skills. Once at our evening campsite, you can relax, eat healthy food and enjoy your favorite beverage while taking in the amazing river scenery.

On Day 2, after coffee and a scrumptious breakfast, we will head out onto the river for nearly 20 miles of endless opportunities to practice your SUP skills. As we travel into roadless areas of the river canyon, we will likely have the company of big-horned sheep, jumping trout and soaring ospreys.

We’ll enjoy a riverside lunch and review the morning highlights before spending the afternoon paddling fun and adventurous rapids. Once we reach camp, you can rest at camp, eat a healthy meal, and enjoy a final, quiet night sleeping along the river. There will be plenty of time to relax or even try your luck fishing.

The third and final day will start out with a delicious breakfast and more rapids that will allow you to put your whitewater SUP skills to the test! The grand finale of this trip is the final eight miles of this action-packed river run, which features many consecutive rapids.

Lunch will be served en route to the take out where a shuttle will be waiting for you as we wrap up our trip by 4 pm. This will truly be an experience that you will be sharing with others for some time to come!

Please keep in mind that every trip is different, as weather, water flow, campsites, and group dynamics all influence trip pace

In the summertime, the weather in Eastern Oregon is typically very warm and mostly dry. However, you must be prepared for rain and wind in every season, and changes in the weather throughout the day. Air temperatures can fluctuate significantly between daytime and nighttime as well. When planning and packing for your rafting trip, please check the weather forecast, including daytime and nighttime temperatures. If air temperatures are on the cooler side, River Drifters has additional gear to outfit our guests.

May June July August September
Avg Day 70°F 77°F 86°F 87°F 82°F
Avg Night 46°F 53°F 59°F 55°F 50°F
Rainfall 1″ 0.75″ 0.5″ 0.15″ 0.25″
Wetsuits and splash jackets are often recommended for spring and fall trips, and for guests spending time in inflatable kayaks. The wetsuits are 2-3ml “Farmer John” style, which is combined with a splash jacket to provide full-body coverage. Wetsuits and splash jackets are suggested when the air temperature is 75°F or cooler, however children and individuals who get cold easily may want these additional layers when the air temperature is forecasted to be between 75°F to 80°F. Wetsuits and splash jackets are provided by River Drifters and our guides will issue out this gear on cooler weather trips or upon request.
All meals, including kid-friendly options, are supplied by River Drifters, and prepared by your guides during the trip. Meals include a wide variety of fresh meats, cheeses, grains, fruits, and vegetables. We also provide plenty of snacks and water throughout the trip. Our online registration gives guests an opportunity to share dietary needs or allergies with us prior to your trip. We ask that registration is completed at least one week before your trip so we can do our best to accommodate any needs or restrictions. Please give us a call with any specific questions about meals.
A typical day on the water includes five to eight hours of SUPing, a lunch break, swimming breaks, and wildlife viewing. Evenings at camp are a great time to go hiking, toss the frisbee, fish, read a book, take a nap, or relax by the water in a camp chair. Keep in mind that every trip is different, as the weather, water flow, campsites, and group dynamics all influence the trip pace and itinerary. Campsites along the overnight section of the Deschutes River are first come first served, which is why our guides aim to hit the water at a standard time each day.

There are many campsites along the Deschutes with developed toilet facilities. All rafts are required to carry an approved portable toilet, which serves as a back-up when developed toilets are not available. If the portable toilet is needed during a trip, our guides will ensure it is set up in a private location and discuss its use and the “key” system with guests. River Drifters practices Leave No Trace ethics, meaning we pack out all trash (including food scraps) and use only biodegradable soap for washing dishes. We expect our guests to help us adhere to Leave No Trace practices by ensuring no trash or food scraps are discarded into or along the river or left behind at camp. If you have any questions about personal sanitation, please don’t hesitate to ask your guide.

If you truly enjoy your trip, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation. Tipping is optional and personal, but since a lot of people ask, a customary amount is between 10 and 15 percent of the trip cost. Tips can be given to the Lead Guide who will share them with the entire crew. And the entire crew will appreciate them and put them to good use. (And thank you.)

If you still have questions, please feel free to call us (800-972-0430) or e-mail us (office@riverdrifters.net). We love to talk about our trips!

EQUIPMENT LIST

Your comfort is our top priority. River Drifters handles all the trip logistics, provides all the necessary camping provisions and rafting gear, and makes sure that you have professional, experienced, and well-trained guides. Please read through and adhere to our packing recommendations as it improves your comfort while on the river and at camp. If you have any questions about the gear or packing list, please call our office at 800-972-0430.

Come prepared for challenging weather conditions. Do not skimp on this list.

CAMP ITEMS

These will be packed in your dry bag and will generally not be available during the day.

  • Compact sleeping bag, (down or synthetic, rated to 30 degrees).
  • Provided by River Drifters if you do not want to bring your own.
  • Closed-cell foam or self-inflating sleeping pad, (Thermarest, or Paco Pad).
  • Provided by River Drifters if you do not want to bring your own.
  • Sleeping bag liner* (will add warmth on cold nights)
  • Compact, lightweight tent*, (free-standing preferred, no wall tents please) or small tarp or ground cloth.
  • Provided by River Drifters if you do not want to bring your own.
  • Your favorite pillow (an extra pillow-case is handy for organizing stuff in your bag).
  • Changes of clothing (versatile pants and shirts, cotton is fine – something exciting for dinner is welcome!)
  • Camp shoes. Our guides wear flip-flops or lightweight trail-running shoes.
  • Small towel, soap and shampoo (Campsuds and Dr. Bronner’s seem to be the most environmentally friendly; Ivory is fine).
  • Personal hygiene items, including medicine, insect repellent, dry-skin lotion, etc. Please bring double the amount needed of any essential medicine.
  • Warm jacket, (thick fleece is great – will work on-river as well – or compact/down coat).
  • Rain gear, jacket for sure, rain pants recommended (depending on the time of year and forecast)
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries, (headlamps are great).
  • Book, sketch pad, journal, etc.
RIVER ITEMS

These will be worn, or packed in your personal dry-pack and will be accessible during the day

  • Base layer (comfort): swimsuit and polypro pants/tights and long-sleeved polypropylene shirt.
  • Insulation layer (warmth): thick fleece top, (pullovers work best)
  • Outer layer (waterproof): wetsuit or drysuit. River Drifters will provide wetsuits; if you have your own wetsuit or drysuit, you should bring it. No one has ever regretted renting a drysuit, (see below for more information)
  • Outer layer (waterproof): splash jacket or dry-top. River Drifters will provide splash jackets; if you have your own dry-top, you should bring it.
  • Outer layer (fashion): shorts to wear over your wetsuit
  • On your feet (protection): shoes or sandals that will stay on while swimming and are comfortable to hike in. No flip-flops, slip-ons or aqua shoes for on the river.
  • On your feet (warmth): wetsuit booties, neoprene, fleece or wool socks under your shoes
  • On your head (warmth): a fleece or wool beanie (you will be wearing a helmet)
  • On your hands (warmth): neoprene gloves or dishwashing gloves over fleece gloves, (surprisingly effective)
  • Lightweight cotton or synthetic clothing for sun protection
  • Waterproof sunscreen/block (SPF 30), lip balm
  • Sunglasses with strap, (maybe not your best pair)
  • Small water bottle, 1 quart, (essential – even if it’s just an empty plastic Gatorade bottle)
OPTIONAL ITEMS

Not absolutely necessary but you are welcome to bring them.

  • Waterproof camera
  • Sarong (very versatile)
  • Locking carabiner, handy for securing your day-pack.
  • 1 or 2 plastic garbage bags and some gallon size zip-locks for organizing gear.

We will provide: a wetsuit and splash jacket plus a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, chair, cup, plate, and eating utensils for each guest.

Please do not bring: Valuable jewelry, bluetooth speakers, guns or irreplaceable items.

DRYSUITS

Drysuits are waterproof coveralls (and wonderful.) They have tight-fitting latex wrist and neck gaskets and integrated neoprene or latex socks; combined with an insulation layer, they are the warmest, driest, coziest way to stay warm on the river on a cold day. They are also expensive, specialized, and fragile; even if you can find a friend who has one, they may not want to loan it to you. Oregon River Gear rents drysuits for about $199/week. You will need your own insulation layer (polypro, fleece, etc.) but if you are worried about being cold on the trip (who isn’t?) consider a drysuit.

ON THE RIVER:

ON HOT DAYS you will want clothing that dries quickly (nylon shorts and bathing suits) and something to shield you from the sun, (a high-tech SPF long-sleeved shirt or an old lightweight cotton dress shirt and maybe even lightweight long pants or capris). Also, a brimmed hat and a bandana are helpful for staying cool.

ON COOL DAYS you will want a thick, synthetic fleece top, (pullovers are best) and a sturdy, fully waterproof rain shell. You may also want fleece pants or polypropylene long underwear bottoms and rain pants, particularly before mid-June. Don’t bring a cotton sweatshirt and a windbreaker; cotton is worthless when wet and won’t work for on-river insulation and you need something waterproof over your fleece.

ON YOUR FEET you will want shoes that stay on if you go for a swim and are comfortable for hiking. Sport sandals with heel straps (Tevas, Chacos, Keen, etc.) work well, (buckles are better than velcro). Old running shoes work well and are easy to find. Neoprene, wool or fleece socks will add a bit of insulation under shoes or sandals. Wetsuit booties work but can be a bit clammy after a full day.

Think layers. The key to being comfortable on the Deschutes is being dry and adaptable; a thin synthetic layer (polypro) next to your skin with a thick synthetic layer (fleece) over it with a waterproof layer (wetsuit and splash jacket or drysuit) over that seems to work the best. Feet and hands get cold easily and we suggest wetsuit booties or neoprene socks under sturdy shoes and neoprene gloves or fleece and dishwashing gloves. Cotton is worthless when wet and should not be used for on-river insulation.

IN CAMP

In camp you will want comfortable walking/hiking shoes, (flip flops, lightweight boots or tennis shoes), and versatile clothing, (T-shirts, warm shirts, cotton shorts, jeans or sweats, extra fleece, etc). Cotton is fine for camp stuff, but because it is worthless for keeping you warm on the river, many people bring two sets of fleece – one for the river, one for camp – and have a backup in case one gets drenched.

Professional Dressing Tips

‘Fleece’ is a generic term for a spun, polyester fabric developed for outdoor use. It is thick and fluffy and does not absorb water, making it ideal insulation on a river trip. It is commonly called Polartec or Polar Fleece. Polypropylene is a thinner, stretchier, woven variation used predominantly for long underwear. Any polypropylene long underwear will work; heavyweight is the most versatile.

Layering your clothing is an effective way to adjust to the daily weather changes that you may encounter. A light polypropylene layer under a heavy fleece top under a rain shell will get you going on the chilliest of mornings and allow you to shed layers as the day warms up.

Our guides say that one of the handiest things to bring on a trip is a sarong. Versatile, comfortable and colorful, sarongs get used for quick clothing changes, beach throws, sun screens and dinner celebrations.

Where to find it:

Local outdoor or sporting goods stores should have everything you need and fleece garments are now available at most department and closeout stores. Great selections of river trip gear are also available on-line through:

  • Pacific River Supply (drysuit rentals)
  • Northwest River Supplies
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • REI
  • Patagonia
Professional Shopping Tip
  • Thrift Store

CAMP ITEMS go in a watertight dry bag provided by River Drifters (one per person). These are not accessible during the day. Each bag is roughly 16 inches in diameter and about 33 inches tall (the size of a garbage bag). ALL your personal items, including sleeping bag and pad, must fit inside this one bag (tents can be separate). Although we will show you how to close the dry bag so that it stays watertight even if temporarily submerged, packing your sleeping bag in a garbage bag provides extra protection. Zip-lock bags and small stuff sacks are good for keeping track of small and/or wet things inside your bag.

RIVER ITEMS will go in a watertight dry-pack provided by River Drifters (one per person). These small packs are 9 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall, perfect for rain gear, fleece, sunblock, and other things you want to keep handy during the day. For expensive cameras we recommend a Pelican Box, which can be found at most surplus and outdoor stores.

Professional Packing Tip

Our dry-bags are great for keeping things dry but are somewhat awkward for packing and living out of, (they are tall and narrow with a small opening at the top). Compact sleeping bags are much more convenient, and small stuff sacks, pillow cases or zip-lock bags are helpful for dividing up your stuff inside the bag. Trying to put your entire duffel bag or luggage into the dry-bag never seems to work.

Deschutes River SUP Trips Available
Stand-up paddle boarding on the Deschutes

Deschutes River Full-Day SUP

Season: May - October
Duration: One Day
Length: 6 hours (mileage varies depending on skill)
Price: $250 (not including boater passes and BLM land use fee)
Rapids: I-III
Skill Level: Physically fit, swimming proficient
Age Minimum: 16

Customized trips: call for booking info. 6 person minimum.

Deschutes River 3-Day SUP

Season: May - October
Duration: Three Days
Length: 50+ miles
Price: $750 (not including boater passes and BLM land use fee)
Rapids: I-III
Skill Level: Physically fit, swimming proficient
Age Minimum: 16

Customized trips: call for booking info. 8 person minimum.

Are you ready for your rafting adventure on the Deschutes River?