DESCHUTES RIVER, HARPHAM FLATS TO PINE TREE, 17 miles
The basalt rock canyon, sandy banks, desert junipers and exhilarating rapids of the Deschutes River corridor provide a natural setting for splashing, sunning and just plain relaxing. Our one day trip allows ample time to truly explore this vast, open country!
We transport you to the Harpham Flats Boat Launch, four miles upriver from Maupin. After a thorough on-shore training session by our knowledgeable, company-certified guides, your adventure will get underway. Following a brief on-water practice period to master the various maneuvering commands, we’ll enter the first major whitewater of the day, Wapinitia Rapids (Class III). Water fights abound on the river, so be prepared at any moment! Boxcar Rapids (Class III) is next, named after the site of a train derailment in 1954. As your boat plunges into the whitewater, smile for the camera person sitting on the rocks!
We break for lunch near Maupin, on the river’s bank. It is sure to please even the heartiest of appetites, with an offering of BBQ chicken sandwiches, various fresh salads, lemonade and iced tea, and a special treat for dessert. Once your appetites are appeased, we will head into Surf City, a kayaker’s haven, then Oak Springs (Class III) with its numerous rock shelves and turbulent hydraulics. And if you get a thrill riding the standing waves of Upper Elevator Rapids (Class III) in the boat, we’ll stop and float them again in our life jackets for an awesome ride!
We land at Sandy Beach to portage around the impressive Sherar’s Falls with it’s pounding water and recirculating hydraulics, then launch again at Buckhollow, to continue the trip down river through a more serene, remote section of the canyon. We will enter an area known as “Twin Crossings” between two railroad bridges where you experience several Class II rapids left unnamed and the new Trestle Rapid created from the flood in 1995 that has become the kayaker’s favorite. Less than ½-mile below the lower railroad bridge you enter Wreck Rapids Class III). Named for a 1949 railroad accident, this rapid sports one of the finest “holes” on the river. After this dousing, you and your guide will maneuver the boat to the Pine Tree take out located on the right bank.
With a 13-mile shuttle back to Maupin, we return to High Desrt River Outfitters (HDRO) approx. 4 pm. Here there is an opportunity to view all of the day’s whitewater shots, to purchase your own personal photos, change into dry clothes, make a potty-stop, and perhaps pick up an ice cream or cookie for your drive home. This is also a time to consider a tip for your guide since gratuities are not included in your trip fee.
This is a trip the entire family will enjoy and one you won’t want to miss. If you have any questions, please give us a call. We look forward to floating the river with you soon!