Navigating Adventure With Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Welcome, adventure-seeking families looking for rafting near the Columbia River Gorge! As temperatures rise and the allure of outdoor escapades beckons, concerns about Pacific Northwest weather, how to dress, and what to pack can often dampen excitement. But fear not! We’re here to quell those worries and ensure your family’s rafting experience is positive.

Understanding Temperatures

Yes, the Pacific Northwest has its fair share of rain and chill, but nestled within its embrace lies the Deschutes River, a desert river promising more sun-kissed adventures than any other river trip we offer. Rest assured that Deschutes offers a climate as inviting as its rapids. Yet, regardless of the season, direction from which you journey, or the river you choose, we’ve got you covered with wetsuits, lifejackets, splash tops, fleece, and optional helmets. All you have to do is pack layers and a dry change of clothes and check the weather forecast before your trip. For your convenience, we show you how to dress and what to wear rafting here.

Temperatures For Rafting The Deschutes River Near The Columbia River Gorge

Welcoming the Whole Family

Are you bringing the whole gang? Kids with friends or grandparents with grandkids? Absolutely! With a parent’s approval and an online waiver (MUST be signed by the parent online before the trip), the river awaits your merry band. Just note that while Husum Falls on the White Salmon River calls to the daring, its challenge is reserved for the 16-and-older crowd with a parent by their side. When considering rafting near the Columbia River Gorge, the Deschutes River is best for non-swimmers, first-time rafters, and seasoned river enthusiasts because the ‘class-fun’ rapids enable us to take guests as young as 4-year-olds to fit 100-year-olds whitewater rafting.

Family Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Safety First

Safety is our top priority, and highly trained guides lead the charge. Whether bracing in the raft or ensuring proper paddling strokes alongside your guide, rest assured that your family’s safety is in capable hands. While helmets are optional on the Deschutes River, they’re non-negotiable on the White Salmon and Clackamas Rivers, ensuring peace of mind as you navigate the rapids. Additionally, on the White Salmon River and Clackamas Rivers, nothing but personal water bottles are allowed in the raft since both require constant, steady paddling. Our Deschutes River trips are the way to go if you want a more leisurely floating experience. There are stretches of the river where you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Remember, there is always a risk of falling out of the raft, no matter the water level or rapid class. Yes, folks can fall out of the raft in flat water!

Parent's Guide: Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Lunch Is Included On Full-day Trips & Multi-Day Trips

With boundless energy and enthusiasm, our young adventurers tackle each bend and rapid with gusto. Although no snacks or food are provided on half-day trips, a full day may be a tad ambitious for some, but fear not—Deschutes River and White Salmon River offer a BBQ lunch to fuel spirits and sustain energy levels. Multi-day trips, of course, have hearty meals, snacks, and camp kitchen provisions provided and prepared for you. Our team will take care of all the meal planning, shopping, prepping, packing, cooking, and clean-up while you kick back and relax.

Multi-Day Trip: Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Paddling, Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) & Swimming

Every member of your group should be ready to navigate the river with the PFD and paddles we provide. Depending on age, some kids wouldn’t need a paddle because they can’t hold them well, and paddling may be more of a novelty than a necessity for our youngest rafters. Gloves for small hands are welcome as long as they are neoprene or something similar. Regarding PFDs, we’ve got options for every size and shape, ensuring a snug fit for everyone. A typical youth vest is for kids 40-90 pounds. We have smaller ones, too (30 pounds and under). Guests can bring their own PFD, but it has to be rated by the Coast Guard class III. Last, swimming is ONLY encouraged on the Deschutes River, particularly during our full-day trip.

Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Off the Water Essentials

Once on your vacation and rafting near the Columbia River Gorge, essentials become paramount. We’ve got you covered in everything from snacks to satiate young adventurers to photographers to capture unforgettable moments. And don’t forget that change of clothes tucked away in the car—a lifesaver after a day of splashing through the rapids. Remember that only water bottles are allowed on the raft, so snacks and proper fueling are encouraged before and after your rafting trip. Our retail stores on the Deschutes River and White Salmon River have popular guest-requested photos, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sun protection, unique gifts, light snacks, drinks, and souvenirs.

Rafting Near The Columbia River Gorge

Embrace the Adventure

So, as you gear up for your next family adventure of rafting near the Columbia River Gorge, remember – the Pacific Northwest beckons with its rugged beauty and untamed rivers. With safety and excitement at the forefront, we hope you will embark on a journey filled with laughter, memories, and the promise of new horizons. See you on the water! Book your whitewater rafting adventure NOW.