We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Kayaking Oregon

Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 posts
56 reviews
Save Topic
Kayaking Oregon

We have a group of 11 experienced boaters (III/IV/V) who will be bringing paddle and camp gear from VA to OR for a week of whitewater rivers in June 2013. Rendezvous to start/end in Portland, with initial planning for a counterclockwise route guided by "Soggy Sneakers". Early reading and queries have us interested in the following rivers: Clackamas, North Santiam, North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette, North Umpqua, Rogue, Deschutes, Crooked and White Salmon. Any insight about this area or type of trip is appreciated! Including insight to one or all: How busy are the campgrounds/rivers this time of year? Suggested campsites where to stay/avoid? Favorite roadside restaurants (along I-5)? Recommended rivers and/or guides? Info on put-in/take-out spots? Thanks!

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11,054 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Kayaking Oregon

HI, AnnCan,

The White Salmon is cold, very cold all year round (Zollers Rafting).,

The Deschutes is in the High Desert and you could see the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area on the way then head upland to Maupin (Sage rafting).

You might look up the Snake River as it is good for multiple days without seeing a street (Zoller's as well). You camp on the riverbank.

The Rogue is wonderful and warm, being in Southern Oregon. I don't know a rafting company but take a Jet-boat ride where the boat barely needs 4" of water. They get up on those Pontoons and they inflate and it's so fun. (Hellsgate Jet-boats) It's out of Grants Pass.

I have not been on the others. I am sure others will come along and help more.

Have fun!

Mrs O

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,666 posts
1,026 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Kayaking Oregon

>>How busy are the campgrounds/rivers this time of year?<<

June is summer, but in some parts of Oregon it will still have rain. The mountains may/will have snow. Are you visiting in the earlier or latter part of the month?

Campgrounds vary a lot - some popular State Parks fill up quickly, but those tend to be the ones along the coast.

>>Suggested campsites where to stay/avoid?<<

Can you give some locations you're thinking of staying as in town names, not just rivers?

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11,054 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Kayaking Oregon

For the White Salmon, try Timberlake Campground in Stevenson. You have both RV and tent spaces and they are great. There were a bunch of kayakers on the columtia who camped there.

Also Skamania Resort. closer to the train rides and not as crowd friendly but great views.

I would call the outfitters on the rivers you choose and ask the closest, best campground. You may like to get a big cabin in some of the places.

Some of the campgrounds may still have snow.

Mrs O

Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Kayaking Oregon

Thanks all! Most helpful. Folks were wondering how cold the water there might be and needing to pack dry suits - Now you have confirmed that answer is Yes. Still co-ordinating travel plans/vacation approvals but top vote is the week of June 14 to 22. Will have to check back about nearby city names.

Edited: 15 December 2012, 00:27
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
2,144 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Kayaking Oregon

Yes- dry suits would be appropriate. June still abit early for summer in the high country- we normally say summer doesnt start till July 5th :) I'd focus on something east for maximum sun potential(Crooked, Deschutes), assuming flows are at levels you are comfortable with.

Clackamas is quite close & easy to get to from portland and a good day trip-might be a good option to get variety from east to west side rivers if you focus on the east side.

Its a long haul to the Rogue from Portland-depends on how much kayaking vs driving you want to do. I'm assuming you are doing day trips and not float trips... the farther you get from Portland the less crowded rivers/campsites are. Once you have it nailed down to what rivers you are going to, I'm sure we can help with specific questions on campgrounds, etc.

Richmond, Virginia
2 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Kayaking Oregon

Some of the local towns would be Estacada near the Clackamas, Mill City for the North Satiam, Sisters for the Mackenzie, Roseburg or Glide for the North Umpqua. Any camping info would be greatly appreciated

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
7,138 posts
175 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Kayaking Oregon

Hi, Tom w...welcome to Trip Advisor. I suggest you start a new thread with a fresh question. It appears you are asking for camping info...but don't specify what time of year (a critical consideration, particularly in the higher elevations).

Or...are you also asking for kayaking info? Even then, I might have a problem with some of your suggestions. For example, rafting and kayaking on the McKenzie usually starts lower down on the river than Sisters...especially since the McKenzie BEGINS at Clear Lake.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,666 posts
1,026 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Kayaking Oregon

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that AnnCan and tom w are part of the same group?

Great "winter" avatar, o'poppa!

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
2,144 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Kayaking Oregon

plenty of Forest Service campgrounds on the Clackamas-

Riverside is very nice, but primitive. Indian Henry is one of the more developed campgrounds with running water, etc. McIver State Park has even more ammenities... and the launching point for the lower section, but likely a bit mild for your tastes...

Richmond, Virginia
2 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Kayaking Oregon

yes we are all together. I was trying to put some town info into the mix, not just rivers.