Frequently Asked Questions2021-02-16T21:34:18+00:00
Do you have camping recommendations?2021-02-03T17:15:56+00:00

Yes! Here’s an invaluable resource with camping locations in Oregon and Washington with a comparison chart so that you can decide which option is optimal for your trip.

Do you have lodging recommendations?2021-02-03T17:12:56+00:00

Yes! Here’s an invaluable resource with lodging locations (by state and city), websites, and phone numbers so that you can decide which option is optimal for your trip.

Do you make donations?2021-01-28T00:34:02+00:00

We are thankful that since 1979 River Drifters has been a successful business serving guests from around the country.

We believe strongly that as a responsible community member, giving back to people who share our mission, values, and philosophy, is simply the right thing to do.

To this end, every year we donate both cash and trip certificates to a number of worthy causes. Here are a few examples:

  • American Whitewater (AW)
  • American Rivers (AR)
  • America Outdoors (AO)
  • Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA)

Our main office is located in Maupin, Oregon, and we support dozens of groups and organizations in our local area which we consider to be communities within about a 100-mile radius.

We have operations in other parts of Oregon and Washington state and also donate to other groups that work for positive change in those areas where we operate.

Our primary focus is supporting causes that align with our value system and mission.

Broadly speaking this includes causes that support: conservation, environmental education, underprivileged youth, and recreational sustainability.

We get far more requests than we could possibly support and for this reason, we generally are not able to donate to the following types of organizations:

  • Religious, political, and health organizations.
  • Any groups that are farther than 100 miles from our home base in Maupin, Oregon.
  • Sporting clubs, teams, school events like class parties, graduation, etc. that are not directly related to education.

There are several requirements that must be fulfilled in order to be considered for a donation:

  1. You must complete a donation request form a minimum of 30 days prior to the donation procurement deadline date
  2. There must be recognition for River Drifters including a specific link from the hosting organization’s website to our website.
  3. You must fill out the request form in its entirety. We do not accept requests via phone, mail, fax, or email.

Please do not contact us to ask for a status update. We review each request and will contact you if your request is granted.

We look forward to reading your request learning about the many great causes and events that you are working for.


The River Drifters Team

Assumption of Risk & Liability Form2021-01-31T16:27:34+00:00
What is your Privacy Policy?2021-01-31T16:28:16+00:00
Can I buy Gift Certificates?2021-01-31T16:30:44+00:00

Yes, you can purchase a gift certificate for someone or yourself! Simply give us a call at 800-972-0430 and we would be happy to assist!

Should I tip my guide?2015-04-08T03:36:26+00:00

We are frequently asked whether it is appropriate to tip your guide.  While our guides are well compensated for their skills and our high level of service is not exercised in order to receive a tip, if you feel that your trip was exceptional, or that your guide(s) went out of their way to make the quality of your experience a notch above the norm, tipping is a nice way of saying thank you!

Can I request a guide?2015-04-08T03:36:10+00:00

Our guides are professionals in their field, and requests for a specific guide is fairly common.  If you have had a guide you especially liked and would like to have them guide your next trip, we will do our best to place them on that trip, whenever possible.  You should simply request your guide when you make your reservation.

What should I wear to the river?2015-04-08T03:35:48+00:00

The amount of extra clothing that you should bring depend on time of year, weather, water temperature and length of trip.  A complete list of what to bring for both on an off the river will be sent out with a trip itinerary for each trip we run.  If you are selecting a spring or fall trip, or if you get cold easily, please pay special attention for the items that we list for proper layering of non-cotton clothing.

Can I reserve my own boat?2015-04-08T03:35:25+00:00

Special requests need to be done with our office in advance.  Reservations are based on space availability in each boat.  Chartered trips or special reserved boat options can be made available in special circumstances.  Our staff and guides will keep parties together whenever possible, we do reserve the right to make any final crew assignments.

What is the cancellation policy?2021-06-10T16:27:06+00:00

Please understand that when a reservation is made with River Drifters, it is a commitment for us to hold space for you and we can (and do) turn away others from that particular date.  If you decide to cancel, it can be difficult for us to book someone else on that trip, especially if cancellations are made close to the departure date.  With this in mind, we must be firm to the following policy.

Day Trips:  For Day tips, a $15/person cancellation fee will be assessed on any cancellation. Cancellations made within 72 hours prior to trip departure will forfeit 50% of the total trip price. No-shows or cancellations made within 24 hours prior to the trip are subject to the entire trip price. However, you may substitute another person, with no penalty. OR you may transfer the trip to another date within the same rafting season.  Any date transfers must be made within 72 hours prior to trip departure. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions to these policies. Normally all of our trips are a go, rain or shine. Once in a while, due to unsafe circumstances, River Drifters must cancel, reschedule or transfer a trip. River Drifters reserves the right to make itinerary changes, if necessary, due to water fluctuations, weather conditions, insufficient reservations, or other factors beyond or out of our control.

Multi-day trips: A $50/person cancellation fee will be assessed on any Deschutes or Owyhee multi-day trip cancellation. If the cancellation is made during that Two Week period, a 50% per person fee will be charged. However, you may substitute another person, with no penalty. OR you may transfer the trip to another date within the same rafting season.  Any date transfers must be made within 7 days prior to trip departure.

Rogue River Multi-Day trips:

Please check into Travel Insurance & protect your investment!  We highly recommend that everyone purchase Travel Insurance.

The Rogue River has a fixed and finite number of launches and amount of people allowed to visit this Wild & Scenic Gem! Once a reservation is made we are committed to your space and in some cases we may have to make special and non cancelable swaps with other outfitters to accommodate your group. This commitment also prevents others from booking these spaces as well. With this in mind, we must be firm to the following policy.  A reservation will be complete with a $200/person non-refundable deposit.  Final payments are due 45 days before the trip departure.  Cancellations made up to 60 days prior to the trip will receive a refund of money collected above the non-refundable portion. Cancellations made within 60 days prior to trip launch will not receive a refund.

Normally all of our trips are a go, rain, smoke or shine. Once in a while, due to unsafe circumstances, River Drifters must cancel, reschedule or transfer a trip.

There are no exceptions to these cancellation policies.

Are there any discounts available?2021-01-27T20:22:37+00:00

Yes! There are discounts for groups of 12+, 24+, and special chartered trips on the Deschutes River ONLY. We offer kids 14 and under discounts for many of our trips depending on the day of the week, river, and trip type.

When should I make a reservation?2020-11-02T19:01:12+00:00

Certain days of the season sell out very quickly, so we encourage you to call us as soon as you know where and when you want to go (1.800.972.0430)!  For instance, many Saturdays in July and August for the White Salmon and Deschutes Rivers’ are being booked as early as a year in advance!  Since we are limited to a certain number of people that we take down the Deschutes River on the weekends and we have limited start dates available on the Clackamas River or the Owyhee River, proper planning is essential to reserve your space!

If its raining, do we still go rafting?2021-01-31T16:39:52+00:00

Our river trips are conducted in Oregon and Washington.  As most Oregonians & Washingtonians know, it rains.  All trips go, rain or shine.  River Drifters does provide all the necessary gear to stay warm: paddle jackets, wetsuits and helmets, and all for free!  Occasionally, due to circumstances out of our control, such as high water or low water, etc, we may cancel, postpone or transfer a trip.

How much does a trip cost?2020-11-02T19:01:12+00:00

Prices range from a $50/person on a half-day trip on the Deschutes River to $1100/person on a ten-day Owyhee vacation.  River Drifters focuses it’s prices to be at or in many cases below the competition.  Considering the current costs of meals, campgrounds and lodging, whitewater rafting with River Drifters is an exceptional vacation value!

Is rafting dangerous?2015-04-08T03:33:29+00:00

Rafting is exhilarating, fun, exciting and wet.  However, as in all sports, rafting does pose an inherent risk.  The risk contributes to the excitement and enjoyment of the people who participate in rafting.  Our guides are all trained to minimize those risks and if you are a believer in statistics, you are safer on a whitewater rafting trip than driving in your car!  Injuries and accidents as a whole are very rare in this industry, often times when they do occur they are a result of a lack of knowledge and experience.  Isn’t that why you are seeking information about a guided rafting trip?  Most of the injuries that do occur are from sunburns or on land.  But still, there is a risk, and you must sign an assumption of risk form, acknowledging the types of risk before you go on a river trip.

What is the best time of year to go?2021-01-31T16:39:20+00:00

River Drifters operates 7 days a week from late March through October.  If you are seeking a more action-packed and thrilling time of year to go, then the spring months are the best.  The spring is when the snowmelt is at its peak and the rivers have the most water in them.  However, in the spring the minimum age is raised and those who want to raft this time of year must be a bit adventurous!  The summertime is the best for families and those who are seeking a great way to cool off from the summer heat.  Although the water flows may not be at their peak, trips like the White Salmon River will keep your adrenaline pumping all summer long!

Which trip is best for us?2021-01-31T16:38:50+00:00

Every river that we raft has its own distinct qualities and uniqueness.  Beginners and adventurers may find what they are looking for on the North Santiam River, Deschutes River, or Lower Owyhee River.  While more adventurous and experienced people would like the Klickitat River, Clackamas River, White Salmon River, or the Upper Owyhee.  Truly experienced adrenaline seekers get their fix on the Wind River and the  Middle Owyhee River.  If you have more questions call our office at 1.800.972.0430!  Our office staff are experts at matching people and groups to the appropriate river.

If I can’t swim, can I still go rafting?2021-01-31T16:33:49+00:00

Everyone on all of our trips wears a coast guard approved personal flotation device (PFD).  This life vest will keep you afloat if you find yourself in the water.  Many of our guests either cannot swim or have fear of swimming and they have a great time.  If you are not a swimmer or are afraid of swimming, then you should choose a trip to either the North Santiam River or the Deschutes River.

I have a family with younger children, where can we go?2021-01-31T16:37:15+00:00

We have special family trips available on the Deschutes and North Santiam River.  We can take children as young as four, depending on the time of year.  The Deschutes River is one of our more favorable rivers for families because the summertime air and water temperatures are more favorable for them.

I am a senior citizen, what trips are good for me?2021-01-31T16:36:27+00:00

For relatively fit and active seniors, the Deschutes River and North Santiam River trips are just fine.  You may be placed in an oar raft upon request or a paddle raft if you feel up to it!  Healthy people of all ages, including brave folks in their 70’s and 80’s enjoy rafting with River Drifters every year!

Who can go rafting?2021-01-31T16:34:47+00:00

From a relaxing trip on the North Santiam River to an all-out adrenaline rush of the Wind River, River Drifters offers a river trip that perfect for all ability levels.  We invite anyone, young or old, in reasonable physical condition.  Each river does have a minimum age requirement.  For instance, spring trips on the White Salmon River have an age minimum of 10 years old, while a summer Deschutes River trip has a minimum age of 4 years old.  If a member of your group is pregnant, they will not be allowed, we don’t want that kind of liability and they should not take that kind of chance!

Why should I choose River Drifters?2015-04-08T03:30:35+00:00

With river experience since 1979, professional and caring guides, great riverside cuisine, several trip options and incredible discounts all make River Drifters the premier rafting outfitter of the Northwest!