MEETING TIME: Super Day 9:00 AM / Classic Day 10:00 AM / 2 to 5-Day Trips: 9:00 AM
RIVER RATING: Class II-III+ (read more on understanding white water classifications)
TRIP MILES: 12-16 miles depending on itinerary
TRIP LENGTH: 1 day. If you are looking for longer trips on the deschutes river, check out our Multiday Deschutes Rafting tours
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 7
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayaks
TRIP INCLUDES: Services of our talented adventure consultants and professional guides, all meals/beverages as indicated in the itinerary, all rafting/camping gear, transportation to/from river.
DOES NOT INCLUDE: Airfare/transportation beginning and ending points, gratuities, travel protection plan, pre-& post-trip hotel, items of a personal nature
CLASSIC 1-DAY RAFTING TRIP
- Length: 1-day
- Meeting Location: Maupin, Oregon
- Meeting Time: 10:00 am
- Ending Time: 4:00pm
- Total Rafting Miles: 12
This trip is shorter in both miles and time than our Super Day, meeting at 10:00 am and ending in Maupin about 4:00 pm. It’s the perfect choice if you want to get to and from the greater Portland area or Bend, in a day, or want to keep traveling somewhere at the end of your day of rafting.
With your fun-loving, guest-focused ROW Adventures’ guide, you paddle through plenty of raft-bouncing rapids such as Boxcar, Oak Springs, Wapinita, Roller Coaster, Surf City, Elevator and more! At the end of the rapids, we cheer ourselves on with a paddle high-five! The rapids make hearts beat louder, smiles get bigger and screams of delight are sure to echo off the canyon walls.
The morning starts off with some calm water that gives you a chance to get used to paddling and building the team coordination you need further downstream. Before long we come to our first fun rapid, Wapinita! Next up is Boxcar and then a bit more floating until we pull over in Maupin for ROW’s legendary riverside lunch – a bountiful spread of veggies, meats, cheeses and local fare that will provide you plenty of energy for the afternoon ahead.
We board the rafts again in anticipation of the fun ahead. There are more rapids in the afternoon than in the morning and guests love Roller Coaster, Surf City and Oak Springs in particular! But there’s more to a great river trip than rapids. On hot sunny days the river invites you to jump in the river and cool off. As we float along in gentle current between the rapids, there’s time to discover some of the canyon’s many wonders and explore the formation of the geometric shapes of basalt. We talk about the plants and animals in and around the water and marvel at how they survive in this desert environment. We think about how railroads shaped today’s America as a train rolls by. We reflect on the native peoples and their values and traditions. A river trip, well done, is an encyclopedic experience. Each mile you paddle opens up new pages of discovery.
Near the end of the day we run Upper and Lower Elevator rapids, fun rapids with moderate waves. We take out at Sandy Beach and return by vehicle to the place we started in Maupin around 4:00 pm. Our hope is to send you home with more questions than answers and a strong wish to return to the Deschutes for another rafting adventure.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: NA
- MEALS INCLUDED: Lunch
SUPER 1-DAY RAFTING TRIP
- Length: 1-day
- Meeting Location: Maupin, Oregon
- Meeting Time: 9:00 am
- Ending Time: 5:00pm
- Total Rafting Miles: 16
This trip covers more miles and takes more time than our Classic Day. We meet at 9:00 am and return to Maupin about 5:00 pm. If you’re planning to spend time in the Deschutes River area to explore before or after your rafting trip, this is a superb choice. We raft about 16 miles of river in total including the same 12 miles as on our Classic Day tour. Then we have a 2-mile vehicle portage around Sherars Falls and a chance to look at this foaming maelstrom which is a sacred fishing site for local tribes. We re-launch just below the falls to raft another four miles through the awesomely dramatic “narrows” section of the river.
Like our Classic Day rafting trip, the morning starts out with a short drive to the put-in, a safety orientation and some gentle water to warm up before we arrive at the first rapid, Wapinita. Smiles spread from ear to ear as we paddle through the exhilarating waves and shout with joy. Then we settle back down to enjoy the scenery and discover the rich lessons that the Deschutes River offers. It’s not too long before we arrive at Boxcar rapids, named after a train wreck in 1954 that resulted in a boxcar falling into the river near this rapid.
With appetites whetted, and bodies soaked, we paddle into Maupin and stop for a riverside lunch. It’s time to reflect on the morning and share laughter together. We feast on a multitude of savory and sweet delicacies, including the legendary ROW mustard bar.
Soon we’re back on the water, our personal flotation devices feeling a little tighter, paddling downstream towards Surf City rapids, where a boisterous ride awaits. Our guides explain the dynamics of rapids and if you’re interested, can tell you about how rapids are rated as well. Not too much farther is Oak Springs, one of the most challenging rapids on the river with a couple of different routes to choose from.
We stop at the mouth of the White River where cool water enters the Deschutes, born from glacial slopes of Mt. Hood. Just upstream a few miles is White River Falls, a beautiful place to visit before or after your ROW Adventures Deschutes Rafting trip.
We proceed on until we reach Sandy Beach, a BLM access point where we pull the rafts from the river, put them on a trailer and drive around Sherars Falls. We stop to take a look at the impressive falls and to learn about the traditional fishing that has been happening here for hundreds of years. Then we put back in the water at Buckhollow which is the start of a section of river called “the narrows” where the canyon walls close in and steep cliffs of basalt rise up. It’s one of the most scenically dramatic sections on the river and one reason guests and guides alike love our Super Day rafting trip on the Deschutes. Trestle Hole rapids provides our next high point of adventure, followed by Wreck Rapids, named from a head-on collision of two locomotives in 1949.
There are too many highlights of the day to describe them all, but rest assured that by the time we reach our take out at Pine Tree, you will be both tired and filled with the satisfaction of having rafting one of the West’s premier river trips. After loading the rafts and climbing into our vehicles, we return to Maupin, about 20 minutes away.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: NA
- MEALS INCLUDED: Lunch
- Classic 1-Day 10:00 AM
- Super 1-Day 9:00 AM
On the morning of your trip, we meet you for a short orientation meeting. Please have breakfast on your own before we leave.
See our Accommodation Guide for ideas on where to stay near Maupin if you want to arrive the evening before.
DRIVING TO MAUPIN, OREGON:
Maupin is located on Highway 197 just two hours from Portland and one and half hours from Bend. Both cities have airports and car rental agencies.
FLYING TO MAUPIN, OREGON:
The Portland airport is served by many airlines. The Redmond/Bend, Oregon airport is served by five airlines including Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Air, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. From either airport you can rent a car and drive to the town of Maupin.
DESCHUTES RIVER ACCOMMODATIONS AND CAMPING
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages more public lands than any other agency in the United States. BLM lands surround the Lower Deschutes River corridor and there are quite a few riverside campgrounds not far from Maupin. It’s important to note that these public campgrounds are available only on a first-come, first-serve basis, so on busy weekends space can sometimes be hard to come by. Facilities include a pit toilet, but no running water other than the river itself. campfires are prohibited so you need to bring a cookstove of some sort. A list of nearby camps can be found through the BLM.
If you want to reserve something ahead of time, there are a couple of camping options.
One is the Maupin City Park located on the banks of the Deschutes on the edge of Maupin. There are grassy areas for tents as well as full RV sites. Restrooms and running water are also part of the facilities. For reservations, call (541)395-2252 or visit the City of Maupin Website.
Another private campground is operated by the Oasis Café. Located on a grassy slope on the north side of the river, it offers lovely views and nice facilities. They also offer simple cabin accommodations. The ten cabins were once used by railroad workers and offer a glimpse into that time in history.
Lodging options are very limited in Maupin and include:
- The 6-room Deschutes Motel
- The River Run Lodge which is a particularly good choice for families or groups of up to 13.
- 20 minutes to the north is the small town of Dufur and the 20-room historic Balch Hotel.
- 45 minutes north of Maupin is the city of The Dalles with a number of accommodation options.
- About 45 minutes to the south is the city of Madras with several motels.
Located in the high desert of central Oregon, the lower Deschutes River has hot summer days and cool nights with very comfortable camping conditions. It rarely rains, there are no mosquitoes and air temperatures are typically between 80-90 degrees during the day and 55-60 at night. Water temperatures on the Deschutes range from around 60-70 degrees from mid-June to late August, with the higher end of this range happening from mid-July to mid-August.
WHEN TO GO: We focus on the hot summer days that start in latter June and go to late August, as well as the beautiful late summer days of September. There is practically no rain during this time and the days are hot and sunny.
Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our multi-day rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Packing properly for a river trip is CRITICAL to your enjoyment while on the river. We recommend that you prepare yourself for three basic scenarios:
- A cool day on the river.
- A warm day on the river.
- Time spent lounging in camp.
Take care of these, and you are free to let the river and the canyon work their magic.
Weather in the northwest is unpredictable. You must come prepared for the cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes even on the same day! The following information will help you be prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected events of your trip. You may not use all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all!
1-DAY DESCHUTES RAFTING PACKING LIST
- A small daypack (9” in diameter x 20” tall) for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
- One light long-sleeved shirt for sun protection and cool mornings or evenings. Popular options are a rash guard or sunscreen shirts.
- Shorts (nylon quick drying always better than cotton).
- Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
- Swimsuit – two-piece suits are easier for women - tankinis with river shorts are a great option.
- One pair of river sandals (must have an ankle strap, no flipflops!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen, or Merrells. Tennis shoes with wool or polypropylene socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold.
- One Cap, Sun Hat or Visor (ROW hats are available when you arrive.)
- One rain suit, jacket & pants (windbreaker without cotton liner works well, but no cheap ponchos)
- One synthetic or wool mid-weight sweaters for layering on the river on cool days.
- Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
- Bee Sting kit for those allergic to bees
- Sun Screen
- Water bottle with carabiner
- Extra Sun Hat, Cap or Visor
- Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case and a flotation device is highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
- Paddling Gloves
- Sarong – many uses for both ladies and men - a good item to help you cool off if you do not want to swim.
- Sundress for camp – ladies
- 2-3 Carabiners for clipping items to the boat
- Binoculars if you’re a bird watcher
- Fishing gear and Oregon fishing license if you plan to fish. The rod should be in a protective case & disassembled.
LAYERING FOR OUTDOOR COMFORT
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester or natural fabrics like merino wool or silk. A cotton T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
- LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and synthetic or merino wool shirt as a base layer. You do not want to wear cotton on the river. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic and wool fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
- LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber or wool, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
- LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
If you plan to fish, please bring your own fishing gear (with a protective case), as we do not have any to loan. An OREGON fishing license is required if you plan on fishing. Fishing from watercraft is not allowed on the Lower Deschutes, so you have to be on shore to fish. You can pre-purchase a license by going to the following website.
LIQUOR AND PREFERED BEVERAGES
ROW packs moderate quantity of soft drinks as well as wine and beer for legal age guests. If you bring liquor, please give it to your guide in a labeled plastic container. Beer should be in cans - No glass beer bottles please. Bottled wine is fine.
Like anyone in the service business, raft guides appreciate gratuities. Our guides are some of the best and most highly trained in the business. They not only guide your raft down the river, but set up camp, cook and serve gourmet meals, provide interpretation on the natural and cultural history of the area and strive to provide the highest level of hospitality. Tipping is ultimately a personal decision, however if you appreciate the service your guides provided, then as a guideline we suggest a gratuity of 10-20% of the trip price.
Tips can be given to the “ROW Team Leader” at the end of the trip in the form of cash or personal check. The Team Leader distributes them equally among the guides and gives a portion to ROW’s behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes like our drivers and food shoppers.
DESCHUTES RIVER READING LIST - Some of our favorite books on the Deschutes River
DESCHUTES RIVER BLM MAP
VISIT OREGON SITE:
Terms and Conditons
Our hope is that your first trip with ROW Adventures is just one of many. Thus our goal is to provide thorough and complete communications and be clear with the details of our agreement with you. Because the fine print sometimes changes, you will receive the most current Terms & Conditions along with your travel documents at the time of booking.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We do our best to provide you with all kinds of great resources to prepare for your trip. These include packing lists, reading lists, detailed itineraries and more. All of our multiday river camping trips include tents, sleeping bags, and pads. The reservation packet that we send you will include a detailed gear list of what you should bring.
Most of our trips are suitable for beginners; however, some are more active than others. A spirit of flexibility and adventure is a good thing to bring along. It’s important that you understand the physical requirements for whatever trip you choose. If you’re not sure about this, or you’re not sure which trip or date will best meet your needs, please call for advice from our talented and knowledgeable Adventure Consultants. Be sure to read the “Trip Member’s Responsibility” below and if you have any medical concerns, we encourage you to speak with your doctor before reserving space on a trip.
If you are planning a special event during the trip such as a birthday or anniversary, please let us know as always have a few surprises up our sleeves. On our trip application form, you can indicate any food need you might have and we’re happy to accommodate those.
HOW TO SIGN UP
To make a reservation, please contact us by one of the following methods:
1) Call us at 800-451-6034 – Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
2) Send us an email at info@ROWadventures.com
3) Use the “Book Now” tab found on some trip pages on our website.
We accept all major credit cards for the initial deposit. When we receive your reservation request we will hold your space and send you a confirmation packet including, invoice, trip application, waiver, and a suggested packing list. However, confirmation is not final until we also receive a copy of your completed trip application and deposit. Credit cards are accepted for deposits – balance is preferred by check. Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee. While it is often possible to join one of our trips on short notice, space is limited and we recommend you sign up well in advance.
- The following deposit amounts are required to confirm your space(s) within 10 days of your reservation:
- Trips lasting 6 or more days: $600 per person.
- Trips lasting 5 days: $500 per person.
- Trips lasting 4 days: $400 per person.
- Trips lasting 3 days: $300 per person.
- Trips lasting 2 days: $100 per person
- Trips lasting 1 day: $50 per person
USA-based trips: Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure.
Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee. ** DAY TOURS ARE DIFFERENT
Reservations made after the balance due date must be paid in full at the time of booking. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if full payment is not received by the due date.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately. If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit. Deposits are not refundable. If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded. If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself. Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason, we strongly recommend you consider purchasing the Travel Protection Plan ROW offers.
If you transfer from one trip to another, there is a $75 per person charge for USA-based trips (within the same season) up until 60 days prior to departure. Transfers made after these times are treated as cancellations.
GROUP AND CHARTER RATES
On our Deschutes River trips, we offer a Group Rate for groups of 10 or more. We are also happy to arrange private charter trips. Contact us for details.
TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan which can include a full trip refund should you cancel at any time for medical or health reasons. Coverage also includes medical evacuation, trip delay, and other elements. Because so many of our guests purchase this plan, on trips lasting 3 or more days, we add the cost to your invoice as a convenience and it becomes effective on the day your premium is received in our office. Should you not wish to purchase this travel plan, simply deduct its cost from your invoice. **Do we want to do this on Deschutes??
TRIP MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITY
Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. We are happy to discuss the trip with you if you have any questions or concerns. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the trip. Members are also responsible for studying all pre-departure information; for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as detailed therein and, for acting in a manner considerate of fellow group members.
Any person who is diabetic, epileptic, or asthmatic or has a history of heart trouble, is allergic to bee/scorpion stings or takes daily prescription drugs should include this information on the reservation form or inform our office. Trip members will also alert their guide (s) of any medical history that could become a problem on the trip. People with a history of heart trouble, pregnant women or any other potentially serious medical condition should consult their doctor before coming on a trip.
RESPONSIBILITY ~ AN IMPORTANT NOTICE
Payment of your deposit represents your acceptance of the following conditions: ROW Inc., ROW Oregon LLC and Remote Odysseys Worldwide, Inc. (dba ROW Adventures), its subsidiaries and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agents for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever for injury, loss or damage to person or property, however caused, in connection with any service, including, but not limited to, that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, irregularity, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from strikes, theft, quarantine, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, government restrictions or regulations, civil disturbances, and discrepancies or changes in transit over which we have no control.
ROW Adventures reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good-faith discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or re-price any tour, trip, or expedition. This includes the possibility of moving to a different river or river segment due to extreme water conditions, forest fires, road closures and/or acts of God. If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to ROW Adventures.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to cancel trips that are below the trip minimum (usually 4-5 persons). All trip members will be notified a minimum of 30 days before the trip departs and will receive a full refund.
In the event of trip cancellation, ROW Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by trip members, such as penalties incurred through the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, and passport and visa fees.
ROW Oregon LLC, doing business as ROW Adventures, is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider under permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Prineville District. This permit allow us to provide services and access to some of America’s most astounding resources that might otherwise be inaccessible to most members of the public.
All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
ROW Oregon LLC is bonded and fully licensed by the Oregon State Marine Board. We are members of the America Outdoors Association; the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and many other effective organizations.
If you wish to be wait-listed for a full trip, the normal deposit is required. If an opening occurs on the trip, you will be informed and automatically transferred to the trip roster if you wish to join the trip, subject to the normal cancellation policy should you accept the slot. Otherwise, your deposit will be refunded in full.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to take photographic or film records of any of our trips and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to decline to accept- or restrain from further participation- any person whose actions or deportment impede trip operations or rights, welfare or enjoyment of other trip members. A refund based on the cost of unused land services is the limit of ROW Adventures’ responsibility.