One of the most popular rivers in Oregon, the Deschutes River headwaters are at Lava Lake, a natural lake high in the Cascade mountain range. The Deschutes is one of few rivers in the United States whose waters flow north, coming out of the Cascades and weaving its way through about 250 miles of valleys and canyons in Central Oregon until it reaches is mouth at the Columbia River. For thousands of years, the river was a key route to and from the Columbia for Native Americans and then for the Oregon Trail pioneers in the 19th century.
While much of the Upper Deschutes is diverted into canals for irrigation, the Lower Deschutes refers to the section of the river most heavily used for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Offering beautiful canyon sights of wildlife, large basalt rock cliffs, and the sunny ruggedness of Central Oregon, the Lower Deschutes does not stop short of remarkable. Throw in some of the best whitewater rapids in the Northwest, and you have an incredible outdoor experience right in the heart of Oregon.
Forward Paddle Rafting operates on this section of the river, the most popular whitewater available on the Deschutes. Our half day and full trips are jam-packed with multiple Class III rapids, as well as smooth waters that invite rafters to enjoy the scenery in the warmth of the sun. The Lower Deschutes River is the perfect whitewater adventure for everyone, young and old, no matter how much experience you may have. Come enjoy the beauty of the river with Forward Paddle!