Closest rafting to Portland!


Experience required




River Trip List



Sandy, OR
[ MAP ]


Portland = 50 mins
Bend = 2 hr 30 mins
Seattle = 3 hr 20 mins

Sandy River Gorge Rafting

Rafting on the Sandy River Gorge is probably one of the best kept secrets on Portland’s doorstep. This run is truly the ‘closest rafting to Portland’ since it is nestled just off of HWY 26 near Sandy and features one of Oregon’s most challenging Class IV+ whitewater runs.

The Sandy River is great for the adventurous rafter with a few trips under their belt especially since the rafting season is mainly in the Spring months when water levels are pumping.

One of the most unique features of the Sandy River Gorge is that it is literally 30 minutes from Portland’s Eastside communities. For the adventurous type seeking a whitewater weekend getaway, we recommend combining the Sandy River trip with a Clackamas River trip both an easy drive from the city.

River Drifters provides trips on the Sandy River Gorge at two different times during the year. Late April through mid-June is the primary season and we occasionally will offer trips during rainy periods of October and November.

Once in the canyon, you’ll be immersed with rainforest-like vegetation, uncountable waterfalls, and the amazing transformation of open valleys to deep volcanic gorges. The river rapids will jump start any lagging thrill factor with rapids like The ’64, Boulder Rapids, Alder Creek, Rasp Rock, Drain Hole and Revenue Bridge Rapids. The run is chock full of unnamed class III and IV rapids so we’ll serve a hearty meal at the end of the trip.

River Drifters offers full-day trips on the Sandy River Gorge from late April through mid-June. We typically meet at 10:00 am at Marmot Bridge near Sandy, OR, and are off the river by 4:00 pm. Additional dates are available upon request.

The minimum age for the Sandy River is 16 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 Sandy Gorge, ask and they will be happy to share what they know.

The weather in Oregon in the Spring 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 Sandy River trips are appropriate for kids age 16 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

Spring whitewater rafting on the Sandy River Gorge is ideal for our returning guests who want to climb the ‘river ladder’ with progressively tougher IV+ rapids.

This full-day river run is truly the closest rafting to Portland, Oregon; only 30 minutes from Portland’s Eastside communities.

Proximity to Mount Hood for camping, hiking, skiing, etc.

Sandy River Gorge Rafting Trips ….

Sandy River Gorge Full Day

Season: April - May *depending on water levels*
Duration: One Day
Length: 17 miles
Price: Custom
Rapids: IV+
Skill Level: Experience required
Age Minimum: 16

Customized trips: call for booking info. 8 person minimum.

Are you ready for your Pacific Northwest rafting adventure?