DESCHUTES RIVER FULL-DAY RAFTING TRIPS

12+ miles of exciting class II-III + rapids with a riverside lunch!

The 12+ miles of the full day trip on the Deschutes River is packed with exciting class II-III + whitewater. Soon after launching onto the river, you’re sure to get wet paddling through Wapinitia & Boxcar rapids (Class III). You’ll float a mild section of the river before arriving at lunch at Maupin City Park. Following lunch, rafters will paddle through several fast and fun rapids including ACDC, Surf City, and Oaks Springs before taking a side hike up White River canyon to a swimming hole and natural water slides. The trip ends with thrilling back-to-back rapids, White River and the Elevators, as well as the chance to swim through a class II+ rapid before reaching the take-out.

The Deschutes Full Day trip is perfect for the whole family. We allow kids as young as four to join in on this adventure!  Essential Eligibility Criteria for participation

River Drifters will provide all the necessary gear to make your trip enjoyable, relaxing and most importantly, hassle free! 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 a blast. The food was SO good. Everything was perfect.”

– Colette Labonte

FULL-DAY TRIP DETAILS AND ITINERARY

Meeting Location:

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

Meeting Time:

9:45 am the 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.

Please do not arrive more than 30 minutes before the trip starts. Once you have arrived, park in the guest parking lot in front of the River Drifters office and check in with one of our guides out front. We ask that guests fill out the online registration and waivers prior to your trip to expedite the check-in process. Valuables and a change of clothes will be locked in your vehicle, and car keys are kept secured in our office during your trip. We have a retail shop to purchase any last-minute items, such as sunscreen, sunglasses straps, water shoes, hats, small dry bags, water bottles, etc. Once your group is ready to go rafting, our guides will issue out a personal flotation device (PFD) to each guest and we will load up into one of the transportation vehicles to head to the river put-in (15 minutes).

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)
What we provide
  • Group rafting gear – rafts, paddles, & first aid kits
  • Riverside Lunch
  • Personal rafting gear – PFD (personal flotation device), splash jacket & wetsuit (cooler weather trips), & helmet (optional)
  • Transportation to & from the river
What you are responsible for
  • Meals and lodging before and after your trip
  • Personal clothing and other miscellaneous items (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.

Lodging
  • River Run 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 areas.
Camping
  • Maupin City Park: 541-395-2252
  • Riverview Campground: 541-395-2611
  • Primitive camping along the Deschutes River Access Road on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Campgrounds in Mt. Hood National Forest
Camping & Lodging near Maupin (some GREAT gems to stay at)!

Check-In: Arrive at River Drifters Outpost in Maupin, Or. and check in with one of our guides in front of the office. Change into river clothes, use the restroom, etc. You will be outfitted with a PFD and splash jacket (if needed).

Shuttle & arrive at river put-in: Shuttle departs for river put-in. Once at the put-in, guides will unload equipment, give a safety talk, & provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a fun trip. Then, the group will go rafting!

Lunch: Stop at Maupin City Park for BBQ lunch.

After Lunch: Side excursion and hike up White River to natural water slides and swimming holes. (On our early & late season full day trips, we raft an additional 5 miles after Sherars Falls in lieu of stopping at White River.)

Take-out & Shuttle: Take out at Sandy Beach & board shuttle back to Maupin. Arrive back to River Drifters Outpost (30 minutes) and return PFD and any other borrowed gear, collect car keys from the office, change into dry clothes, and check out trip photos before heading home.

Please keep in mind that every trip is different, as weather, water flow, 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.

We primarily use paddle rafts but sometimes we also use oar-paddle combination rafts. Everyone should come expecting to be active participants in the trip regardless of which type of raft you end up in. If there are any physical limitations, please reach out to us so that we can make sure to accommodate any adjustments you will need.

Paddle Rafts

Paddle rafts are 13 to 15 feet long and carry between 4 and 8 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear.

Oar-Paddle Combo

Oar-paddle combination rafts are 13 to 15 feet long and are configured so that four or six paddlers can assist a guide who rows the raft using oars.

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 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. If you have any questions about the packing list, please call our office at 800-972-0430.

EQUIPMENT PACKING LIST

These will be worn or packed in a dry-pack that will be one the raft and be accessible during the day.

  • A pair of quick-drying shorts/bathing suit and a non- cotton shirt (synthetic or polyester are best). On warm days this is perfect clothing for rafting and on cooler days when we issue wetsuits and splash jackets these layers can be worn underneath.
  • Long-sleeved synthetic shirt or fleece (NO cotton) for extra warmth when outdoor temperatures are colder than 80°F or sun protection.
  • Hat for sun protection.
  • Old pair of tennis shoes, neoprene booties with soles, or sandals (closed-toed, such as Keen, are recommended). We recommend shoes that stay on your feet and do not fall off easily. Shoes are required.
  • Sunglasses and/or prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Sunglass strap for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses. (We have straps available at the outpost.)
  • Change of clothes for after the trip.
OPTIONAL ITEMS

Not absolutely necessary but you are welcome to bring them.

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Personal snacks
  • Waterproof camera or GoPro
  • Small drybag

We will provide: a wetsuit and splash jacket for each guest weather dependent.

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

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.

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.

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
Deschutes River Full-Day Rafting Trips
Deschutes River Rafting

Deschutes River Full-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: One Day
Length: 15 miles
Price: $74-96 (not including boater passes and BLM land use fee)
Rapids: I-III
Skill Level: Family and beginner friendly
Age Minimum: 4
Trip Itinerary

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