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Deschutes River Rafting | Oregon River Rafting

The Deschutes (French for 'cascades') River winds through Bend, Oregon, and after miles of swiftwater melds with Pacific bound Columbia River near Biggs, Oregon. Between Bend and the confluence, the Deschutes River slices through mountain ranges and carves channels through ragged basalt bedrock creating dozens of fun Class III - IV white water rapids.

One of the pleasures of the Deschutes River, rarely mentioned, is it is always 'on the move'. Even during its mild stretches, the current is strong and relentlessly headed downstream.

The absolute BEST time to enjoy this unsung multi-day river rafting trip, only hours from Seattle, Portland and Boise, is during the spring months when the grasses are green, the campsites are fresh and no one but the random fisherman is on the river.

The other big positive for the Deschutes River is that it has sufficient flows throughout the year. So, whether your vacation time can be manipulated to enjoy the quiet, high water spring months or you can only make time for leisure during the popular summer months, you will find water in the Deschutes.

Orion River Rafting offers trips year-round on the Deschutes River in Oregon.

in reference to:

"Deschutes Whitewater River Rafting"
- Upper Deschutes Whitewater River Rafting Trips (view on Google Sidewiki)

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Spring River Guide Training

Time to sign up if you want to be a guide, or if you just want to feel comfortable on the river on your own.
Only a few weeks away from our annual seven day guide training odyssey on the Deschutes River in north central Oregon and - as the senior instructor - I am beginning to feel the undertow of another river season.

Orion's guide training course kicks off every whitewater season and is comprised of seasoned and salty veterans, women and men, wide-eyed whitewater neophytes, those who revel in the adversity and those who are challenging their ordinary state of being, whatever that may be.

It is a time for ditching cellphones and the comfort of our creature habits.  Sharing and laughing and looking one another in the eye.  Being physically present have to be to deal with the circumstances of being out amidst the elements.  Setting up tarps in windstorms and cooking over fires.

It will be a memorable trip.  Even for those of us participating in it for the 40th time.

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I have been rafting for a long time.

My first rafting experience was in the fall of my first year in college.  As a matter of fact, after matriculation, it was the very next thing I did.  The river rafting trip, regarded as my wilderness orientation to Prescott College, was a month long affair.

One month in the wilderness after having spent the majority of my life in well-ordered suburbs where my primary contact with the outdoors involved sports.

You can imagine it was an eye-opener in a number of ways.

My wilderness orientation, which took place over four decades ago, brought me serendipitously to this place.

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I wrote a story a few years back titled "Why I (Continue to) Raft" and the gist of that column was that I realized how much I enjoyed getting people out on the water and watching the transformation.  It ended with the brief tale of my very young nephew from Dallas who floated the Skagit and - at first - was terrified of the moving, darn-cold-if-you're-from-Texas water.  And, despite being on a trip surrounded by a large Y group of boisterous Northwesterners who could not get enough of swimming, it appeared he would endure the trip and be ecstatic to see the takeout and a warm, dry car.

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