About Deschutes River Rafting

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 sage brush, osprey, incredible basalt rock formations and plenty of exciting rapids.

The Deschutes River is one of the most popular rivers in Oregon. There are many attractive features to this section of the river that has made it such a popular destination. From the warm sunshine, reliable summer water flows, and easy access to numerous fun and exciting rapids, it’s not surprising that many people return to the Deschutes year after year.

River Drifters offers a number of trips on the Lower Deschutes, from half-day to five-day vacations. One of the more popular Deschutes trips is the full-day trip. You’ll cover more than 14 river miles in about five to six hours. There are numerous class III+ rapids on this section of river. Some of the exciting rapids that we will run are Wapinita, Boxcar, Surf City, Oak Springs, White River and elevator rapids.

River Drifters also offers a half-day trip for those who can set aside just a few hours. The Lower Deschutes River is perfect for families and first-timers, and even those who have been rafting for several years.

One drawback to the Deschutes River being so popular is the limited number of seats available on our trips during summer weekends. So, if you are considering rafting with us this summer, plan ahead!

Wapinita Rapid on the Deschutes River

Half-Day Deschutes River Rafting Trip

The half-day adventure begins with a short drive to the launch site. From there, our professional guides will introduce the Deschutes River to you with a safety talk and orientation. The first excitement of the day begins right away with over a mile of great pool and drop style rapids. The middle portion of the trip is fairly calm and is a great chance to unwind, relax or go for a swim. The last four miles of the trip are filled with the most challenging and fun rapids of the day. After the trip, we transport you back to your vehicle

If you do not wish to spend all day on the river then a half-day trip may be just for you. On a half-day journey, one will encounter most of the famous rapids on the Lower Deschutes, including Wapinita, Box Car, Surf City, Oak Springs and the Elevators. The half-day trips usually last about three hours and are available at two different times a day. One of the greatest complements that we receive for offering a half-day trip on the Deschutes River is the ease and convenience of being capable to do other activities in the same day. Whether you are traveling to Central Oregon or back to the valley, there is not a better way to cool off on a hot summer day than a quick trip down the river. Our Deschutes River Half-Day trips meet daily at either 9:30am or 1:30pm!

Download Half-Day Trip Itinerary

Essential Eligibility Criteria for participation



$55per Adult
  • $45 per Child


$60per Adult
  • $50 per Child

Peak Saturdays (July-Aug)

$65per Adult
  • $55 per Child

(Child pricing is 14 years old and younger)

Full Day Deschutes River Rafting Trip

The full-day trip meets at 9:45am in the morning and we finish the trip around 3:30-4:00pm. This very full day takes you over many exhilarating rapids, gives you a great opportunity to relax and soak up some sun and plenty chances to jump in the river for a refreshing swim! In the morning we travel through some very exciting rapids and drift through some placid pools. There is plenty of time for swimming, splashing the other boats or just sitting back and taking it all in! We raft for a few hours in the morning and then we stop for a riverside barbecue lunch! After feasting on fresh fruits, vegetables, cookies, salads and some tasty BBQ, we sit back and soak in the days events for a while. At the lunch’s end, we then continue on with our adventure.

The afternoon portion of the trip presents us with the most whitewater of the day! With big and famous rapids like Surf City, Oak Springs, White River, Roller Coaster, The Elevators, Sandy’s Hole and several others, you will be sure to get your fix. We stop several times to surf the waves and we even stop to swim through a rapid (if you are up for it)! At the end of the trip, we transport you back to the meeting site. From there our guides will escort you up to the photo shop to check out some of the day’s action (if you desire). Pictures from your trip are available there (not included in the trip price) if you would like some memorabilia to show off when you get home!

Download Full-Day Trip Itinerary

Essential Eligibility Criteria for participation



$79per Adult
  • $69 per Child


$84per Adult
  • $74 per Child

Peak Saturdays (July-Aug)

$90per Adult
  • $77 per Child

(Child pricing is 14 years old and younger)

Current Deschutes River Flow


Meeting Place: Maupin, Oregon
GPS WayPoint: 45.17510, -121.08140
Address: 600 Timber Lane, Maupin, OR 97037

If embedded map does not work use the link below.

Deschutes Directions


Public camping is available (with BLM fees) at a number of riverside campgrounds. These campgrounds are on a first come, first serve basis and are BLM public camps. Most of these campgrounds have restroom facilities but no running water (other than the Deschutes River).

If you are more of a planner and would like to make reservations for a campground or lodging they may be done through the Maupin City Park (camping) at (541)395-2252 or through the Oasis Cafe (camping and cabins) at (541) 395-2611. The Maupin City Park has full RV hook-ups, restrooms, running water and grass campsites! The Oasis Cafe has small cabins and a large grass campground!

If these options are full or you would like to stay in a nearby, larger city please visit our Gorge Lodging Guide or our Central Oregon Lodging Guide. All of the options listed in this link are within an hour drive of Maupin! Or if you would like to camp the night before or after your trip near the Cascade Mountains, please see our Gorge Camping Guide!