Guided Family Rafting trips on Oregon and California rivers including: the McKenzie River, Umpqua River, Rogue River, Upper Klamath River, California Salmon River, Scott River, Lower Klamath River.
High Country Expeditions offers whitewater river rafting and adventure trips on these wild & scenic rivers: Oregon’s McKenzie River, North Umpqua River, Upper Klamath River, Rogue River and others. Also in California on the Cal-Salmon River, Scott River, Klamath River and many other amazing Whitewater rafting rivers throughout Oregon, California and beyond.
Our Signature trip, located near Eugene, Sisters & Bend, is the perfect family whitewater experience for all ages. Come experience the splendor if this Oregon gem!
When to Go
April – October
Class 2 to 3
1/2 day, 1 day & 2 day (custom)
1/2 day trips: $50 - $70
Full day trips: $80 - $110
**Rates do not include USFS / BLM federal land use fees and carbon tax (these equate to roughly $5)
Currently not being offered due to damn removal projects on the klamath river
When to Go
May – September
1 day & 2 day
Full day trips: $185
Two day trips: $475
Meetings times generally 8:00am in Ashland and return around 4:30PM
- River sections of class I-III+ rapids
Umpqua River Rafting Overview
The Umpqua River is a classic Oregon white water rafting trip. Long regarded as a premier steelhead fishing and superlative rafting region, the North Umpqua area is filled with outdoor recreation opportunities. Flowing from it's headwaters near Crater Lake, the Umpqua River stairsteps its way west through a canyon blanketed in Douglas fir and peppered with jagged spires. The Umpqua River eventually drains in the Pacific Ocean some 250 miles from its origin.
Along the way, the Umpqua River serves up some of the best whitewater rafting, scenery and fishing found anywhere in the world. In fact, the Umpqua River is considered such a valuable asset to the wilderness that it was added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1988. Whether its the scenery, pool and drop rapids, Cascade Mountain solitude or world class fishing that brings you to the Umpqua River, we are confident that a rafting adventure trip will leave you marveling at this incredible river.
The North Umpqua rafting trip is one of Oregon's most exciting and memorable river trips. A full day rafting adventure on the Umpqua river is filled with an abundance of class 2 and 3 rapids as well as the famous class 4 Pinball. This trip is exciting but not overwhelming, making it an ideal family adventure for all!
- Location: Oregon River Rafting Near Crater Lake
The Umpqua River is located in the Southern Cascades between Crater Lake and the town of Roseburg, Oregon. The Umpqua River is accessible from I-5 by traveling east on Hwy 138.
Season: April through Late August
The volcanic under footing of the nearby mountains allows for summer-long flows on the Umpqua River. When Crater Lake was created 7000 years ago, vast deposits of pumice and ash were laid down in the upper reaches of the watershed. When it rains and snows... water filters through the porous rock replenishing springs below whose steady flow feeds into the Umpqua and helps maintain its levels through the summer and fall. Mineral deposits in the groundwater are what creates the surreal aquamarine color of the water. This same volcanic foundation and processes in the Umpqua River also helped create nearby Tokatee Falls, one of Oregon's most dramatic waterfalls.
- River Difficulty: Class III - IV
The Umpqua River is rated Class III+/IV and is perfect for both adventurous first-timers and experienced rafters seeking a fulfilling Oregon whitewater river rafting trip . The upper Umpqua River has fun and relatively continuous class III and III+ rapids and one class IV, Pinball, which we run near the end of the day. The minimum age required for an Umpqua River rafting trip is eight.
- Gourmet Meals:
All Full-Day Umpqua River rafting trips include a filling, gourmet deli-style lunch and celebration snacks and beverages at the end of the trip. Two-Day & Three-Day trips include great lunches, happy-hour hors d'oeuvres and beverages, gourmet, multi-course dinner(s), and steaming hot breakfast(s).
Why Choose High Country Expeditions For Your Umpqua River Rafting Trip?
- Your Choice:
It's Your Trip, Not Ours. We have been running Umpqua River rafting trips for years and believe that the best trip is the trip you desire. We provide a foundation of safety and seamless logistics, and have a wealth of knowledge about the Umpqua River. From there we create the trip you want, adjusting our style to your wants and needs rather than asking you to fit into our agenda.
Appropriate Size Rafts and Number of Guests Per Raft. This is an important aspect to any rafting trip. High Country Expeditions does not use rafts that are too big, which can reduce the amount of fun on the river. Our fleet of 12-foot to 14-foot long rafts allows us to adjust the raft size to the water level in order to make sure we are maximizing your fun and safety. We also offer both paddle and oar powered rafts upon request.
Various Trip Lengths. We offer incredibly fun Full-Day, 2- and 3-Day trips. The Full-Day trip is peppered with great rapids. The 2- and 3-day trips also feature exhilarating whitewater and allow you the opportunity to spend more time enjoying and exploring the Umpqua River canyon. On our multi-day trips we camp in a quiet riverside Forest Service campground that has car access. As a result you can bring as much gear as you would like since you will have access to your car at night. On our 3-Day trips, we run the best section of whitewater twice.
- Your Safety:
At Least Two Boats and Two Guides Per Trip. On all of our Oregon white water rafting trips we always have at least two licensed guides on the water. We believe that the safest possible trip starts with appropriate staffing and that just one guide on the water is not as effective as two or more. Therefore, we always have at least two boats and two guides on each trip.
Full Safety Orientation and Gear. Before each Oregon white water rafting trip we provide a thorough safety and instructional presentation. As part of our full safety gear ensemble, guests are provided with specially designed rafting helmets, and when needed, wetsuits and paddle jackets. We also have four different sizes of lifejackets, from children's to extra extra large.
Experienced Crew. Each and every year High Country Expeditions is among the leaders in terms of the number of guests rafting the Umpqua River. We run trips virtually every day in the summer. In the summer our primary Umpqua River guides virtually live in the Umpqua River valley, resulting in a crew that knows well the characteristics of the Umpqua River, providing you with a great trip.
- Your Convenience:
Trips Virtually Every Day of the Week in the Summer. Since we are based near the river we have the ability to run trips virtually every day of the week from April through late August. This allows you to run the Umpqua River at a time that is convenient for you.
Shuttle Options from Diamond Lake and Roseburg. We are happy to provide transportation for groups from nearby resorts and communities. There is a small fee for this service. Please contact our office for details.
- Your Satisfaction:
We are confident you will find your experience with High Country Expeditions to be exceptionally rewarding!
- Class IV - IV+
The Wild and Scenic "Hell's Corner" of the Upper Klamath Rafting trip offers non-stop, fun and exciting Oregon's best whitewater rafting, for most of the year. This upper most, 20 mile portion of the Klamath River is Oregon's only consistent, and without a doubt the best Class 4+ whitewater rafting experience throughout the summer. The section is located between 2 power generating dams, providing consistent water releases throughout the year. This means great Oregon whitewater rafting on the Upper Klamath River. Located in the southern most region of Oregon and nestled between Klamath Falls & Ashland, the UK (as it is known) is close but very remote. Being one of the newest members to federally designated "wild & scenic" rivers in North America makes this adventure one to be experienced.
Upper Klamath River Rafting Trip Highlights
Upper Klamath River History
For many years before the first settlers, the Klamath River was home to the Karok, Modoc, and Yurok Indian tribes. The Klamath was the life blood of the Native Americans who relied on it for its abundance of salmon and trout. The name "Klamath" was derived from an Indian word "Tlamatl" which means "swiftness" in Chinook.
The Gold Rush of 1850-51 brought many miners and left a rich history. The miners caused a terrible disruption in the lives of the Native Americans of the area by damming and diverting water for mining purposes, which made it difficult for spawning salmon and other fish populations. There are remnants of old mining sites, old hotels, brothels and hot spring resorts along the lower portion of the Upper Klamath river.
Only a few years ago the Upper Klamath was known only to a private river runner from Oregon, Jack Leroy. Dean Monroe, head of Wilderness Adventures of Redding, floated the river in 1979 and passed the word that the "Hell's Corner Run" was comparable to the Tuolumne (Monroe invented the name Hell's Corner, wrote a song about the river,and christened most of the rapids as well).
Excerpted from California White Water by Jim Cassady and Fryar Calhoun
In the early 1980s, the town of Klamath Falls proposed to build the Salt Caves Dam. This dam would wipe out the Hell's Corner section of the river. Years of heated debates began. In 1986, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was directed to study the Klamath River for possible induction into "The National Wild and Scenic River System." Finally in 1994, the 11 miles of canyon from the J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to the Oregon-California state line were designated a federal Wild and Scenic River. This designation provides federal and state protection to the outstanding values of the river and its canyon.
- Class III - IV / IV-V
The Northwest's Premier Class V Whitewater River
The California Salmon River is one of the Northwest’s premier class 4 / 5 spring river rafting runs. This challenging and beautiful river offers class V whitewater rafting, plunging through a narrow steep-walled gorge of glistening marble and granite. The California Salmon flows out of the Marble Mountain and Salmon-Trinity Wilderness Areas down into the Klamath National Forest, offering amazing whitewater rafting adventures.
Country Expeditions offers one, two, and three day trips on this river.
Generally, the first day of multi-day trips is on the lower run flowing
through a magnificent gorge with waterfalls gracing the marbled granite
cliffs. This run starts with class III and IV rapids preparing us for
the highlight, class IV+ Gaping Maw. This lower section is filled with
plenty of exciting whitewater, but is only just a prelude of what’s to
come on the infamous Nordheimer Gorge upriver.
The upper run through the Nordheimer Gorge (the second day of multi-day trips) is a continuum of raftable waterfalls with long turbulent rapids, somersaulting waves, enormous sucking holes, and plenty of boulders to maneuver around. The run begins immediately with class IV+ rapids such as Bloomer’s Falls, Lewis Creek Falls, and Airplane Turn. Along the way you’ll also be challenged with the rapids Achilles Heel and Whirling Dervish. The thrills continue with the class IV+ Cascade Falls, Last Chance, and the grand finale of class V Freight Train.
High Country Expeditions does recommend previous paddling experience. Although this river may seem extremely challenging, it is very family friendly. With the various choices of river sections to raft, the California Salmon River does have something for everyone! We do have a 14 yr age requirement on the California Salmon, but you are offered a choice when it comes to which section to raft, from a class 2-3 section, to a class 3-4 section or the class 5 section. The class 5 section over the years has been downgraded by our guides due to the number of trips they have guided there. Your guides may also decide on which river section to raft depending on a variety of factors such as; the water levels, weather, client group make up and such. As always safety and your enjoyment are our number one concern on every excursion! Our trips are conducted on paddle rafts, as well as stern assist paddle raft configurations.
- Class I - IV
Often dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Oregon,” the Owyhee River presents a captivating scenery with towering cliffs and a 3,000-foot relief. Encompassing a vast two million acres, the Owyhee Canyonlands offer an extensive and pristine wilderness for exploration. The river rafting expedition unveils remarkable views of red-rock spires in Honeycombs, Chalk Basin, and Leslie Gulch, complemented by historic petroglyphs providing insights into the area’s cultural history.
The arid landscape, devoid of inhabitants and vegetation, adds to the mystique. The steep cliffs and narrow canyon create a captivating experience for those exploring the region.
There are several hot springs along the river to soak in during the trip including Echo Rock Hot Springs, Snively Rock Hot Springs, Greely Hot Springs and Three Forks Hot Springs. Many of them are primitive with mud bottoms and varying in size. A few are located right on the banks of the river while most we will need to hike a bit to get to – we try to explore as many hot springs as possible during the trip depending on timing, weather, and river conditions.
All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Known as the “Grand Canyon of Oregon” with breathtaking towering cliffs and 3,00o ft relief
Option to stop and soak in multiple hot springs along the river
Experience the Owyhee Canyonlands which stretch across more than two million acres
Raft the Wild & Scenic River section
Very remote, wild and untouched
View red-rock spires Honeycombs, Chalk Basin, and Leslie Gulch
Noted as one of the least tainted by light pollution in the lower 48, this region is a hallmark for stargazing.
Explore the Birch Creek Historic Ranch post-trip at our takeout point.