Beautiful Autumn Color!


Family and beginner friendly




River Trip List


Mill City, OR
[ MAP ]


Portland = 1 hr 15 mins
Bend = 2 hrs
Seattle = 3 hr 50 mins

Santiam River Rafting

North Santiam River Rafting

Rafting the North Santiam River trip is a leaf peeper’s delight with bright colorful leaves and playful river rapids for an ideal fall trip.

This trip is ideal for groups of all sizes since beginner-friendly rapids make it a fun and comfortable trip for the entire family.

Some of the most challenging class II-III rapids that you’ll paddle include the Swirlies, Carnivore, Spencer’s Hole, and Mill City Falls.

This river is lined with forests providing a plethora of wildlife viewing in a natural and relaxing environment. As an extra bonus, The North Santiam River is located just 30 miles from Salem, Oregon, making it a convenient and popular destination for people from the Willamette Valley.

River Drifters offers full-day trips on the North Santiam River in September and October, and additional dates are available upon request. We typically meet at 10:00 am at Fisherman’s Bend Park near Mill City, OR, and are off the river by 4:00 pm.

The North Santiam River is ideal for large groups of any size, including families. The minimum age for the North Santiam is 8 years old. The physical and mental criteria for eligibility to participate on any River Drifters river trip can be found on our Eligibility Criteria page.

We provide all of the necessary gear to ensure a safe and comfortable trip (including wetsuits and paddle jackets if needed). We provide a riverside meal at the end of full-day trips customized for your group.

Our guides are accomplished in outdoor skills, trained in first aid, CPR and river rescue, and knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of the area. They are fun, interesting people who have a passion for rivers and guiding. If you have questions about rafting or the unique features of the North Santiam, ask and they will be happy to share what they know.

The weather in Oregon in the Fall can be extreme and change quickly. Be prepared for sun, rain, wind and even snow.

Prior to packing for your trip, we recommend that you check the forecast.

River Drifters provides all the necessary gear so that you stay warm and comfortable during your adventure (wetsuits, paddle jackets and helmets).
  • A pair of quick-drying shorts and t-shirt (wool or synthetic are best. Do NOT wear cotton), or a bathing suit to wear under a wetsuit.
  • Long-sleeved synthetic shirt or fleece (NO cotton) for extra warmth when outdoor temperatures are colder than 80°F.
  • Waterproof sunscreen and chapstick
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Old pair of tennis shoes, neoprene booties with soles or sandals (closed-toed, such as Keen, are recommended).
  • Sunglasses and/or prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Sunglass strap for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses (we sell these in our shop).
  • Change of clothes for drive home.
  • OPTIONAL Items
    • Bike gloves to protect hands while paddling.
    • Waterproof camera
    • Small daypack
    • Personal snacks
    • Personal medications
    • Personal water bottle


Our guides work very hard throughout the season to ensure that guests have an enjoyable trip. As such, tips are very much appreciated by our guides. Tips normally range from 10% of the trip cost. How much you tip should depend on your satisfaction with your trip and your financial means. Most people tip the lead guide, who will split the money equally among the crew.
The North Santiam River trips are appropriate for kids age 8 and older. A child’s maturity level and weight would be a greater factor than their age. Please call us to discuss your situation.

Please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-972-0430. Once on the river, our experienced and knowledgeable guides will be happy to answer any questions you have. We welcome suggestions about how we can make your next experience on the river an even better one!


Rafting on Oregon's Deschutes River

Family-friendly whitewater rafting trip ideal for beginners and large groups who want an up close experience of the Pacific Northwest’s Fall foliage.

Full-day river trip close to Salem, OR with access to a variety of restaurants, wineries and breweries.

Experience osprey and eagles soaring overhead while salmon and steelhead migrate upstream.

North Santiam River Rafting Trips ….

North Santiam River 3/4 Day

Season: Sept - Oct
Duration: 3/4 Day
Length: 10 miles
Price: Custom
Rapids: II-III
Skill Level: Family and beginner friendly
Age Minimum: 8

Customized trips: call for booking info. 12 person minimum.

Are you ready for your rafting adventure on the North Santiam?

CALL TODAY! 800.972.0430