Whitewater kayak rafting on the North Umpqua - red kayak, kayaker and rushing whitewater

Whitewater rafting on the North Umpqua

June 13, 2016

From its headwaters near Crater Lake in the Cascade Mountains, the Umpqua River stair-steps west through a dramatic, spired canyon until it eventually drains into the Pacific. Along the way, the roaring, fast-flowing descent promises an exciting rafting adventure for both first-timers and experienced rafters.

Boasting more rapids per mile than any other Oregon river, it’s a whitewater dream. Expect fun and relatively continuous Class III and III+ rapids, along with one Class IV (appropriately named Pinball). In addition to its intense whitewater, this stretch of the Umpqua is one of the most beautiful rivers in the Pacific Northwest, with volcanic columns towering over the canyon.

If you’re short on time, the north Umpqua offers a perfect single-day, rafting adventure and is easily accessible if you’re already visiting or camping near Crater Lake. If you’d like to include side trips into your whitewater experience, you can book a multi-day trip which inclides visits to hot springs and scenic waterfalls.

The whitewater season generally lasts April through October, depending on the weather. Try Orange Torpedo (orangetorpedo.com) or Sun Country Tours (suncountrytours.com) for your next rafting trip.