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Whitewater rafting on Oregon's Wild & Scenic Rivers offers breathtaking scenery, abundant forests and waterfalls, and a full range of mild to expert trips. The area is rich in Western history with old cabins, mines, and long-deserted Indian settlements dotting many runs.
"When it comes to river rafting, there’s nothing like Southern Oregon,” says Pete Wallstrom, owner of Momentum River Expeditions. “In the spring, one of the craziest rides is on the Illinois River. In the summer, we have the Rogue River. It’s everything people imagine a wilderness trip would be.”
Then there’s the Upper Klamath River, another of Pete’s favorites. “It’s one of the best stretches of summer whitewater in the country,” he says. “It’s a little less well known and that's the reason we go there.”
No matter the river, wildlife is abundant making sightings of bald eagles, osprey and blue herons regular occurrences. With many experienced, well-trained and skilled river guides, there's a trip to suit everyone's needs. Full-day, half-day and multi-day trips that include lodging and meals are just some of the many options.
The Rogue River offers class II to IV rapids and deep canyons cut through thick forests. Rogue River rafting is easily accessible from a broad range of locations; this is the classic river experience. The rapids on the Rogue River are not difficult when supervised by professional guides, so people looking for a mellow river trip with the occasional rapid will be very happy.
Those looking for some excitement can take down an inflatable kayak or "duckie" and navigate the river with their own skill.
The Upper Klamath River offers an exciting whitewater rafting adventure, with many full-day rafting trips and other packets. In a steep wilderness canyon cutting through the Southern Oregon Cascades, this is one of the most exciting class IV trips in Oregon.
More than 30 major class III to class IV stretches, with long drops and short charges, all through a beautiful high-desert canyon.
The Lower Klamath River is a great option for less experienced rafters, since there are many mild sections situated close to easy access points. A rafting trip down the Lower Klamath makes a great trip-whether half-day or multi-day.
Class III rapids are also common for those seeking a little more adventure. Pilot an inflatable kayak, and check out the "Otter's playpen" stretch.
The Umpqua River sports more rapids per mile than many runs. Numerous class III and III+ rapids are found in the most commonly rafted stretch, with a handful of class IV rapids sprinkled throughout the run.
The North Umpqua flows through lovely, thickly forested, steep-walled canyons and its sparkling clear water is famous. This exceptional whitewater rafting waterway is located in Oregon's southern Cascade mountains, between Crater Lake and Roseburg, and is regarded by many as one of the finest white water rafting rivers in the U.S.
Photo courtesy Momentum River Expeditions