Half-Day Deschutes River Kayak Tour

Half-Day Deschutes River Kayak Tour

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Half-Day Deschutes River Kayak Tour with Tumalo Creek!  Imagine floating on a kayak or canoe through a completely undeveloped, pristine and aqua-blue section of river in the heart of Deschutes National Forest. Paddling among lava flows stretching to Paulina Peak in Newberry Crater National Monument, Aspen groves, tranquil lagoons and side channels, the Half-Day Deschutes River Tour is the perfect mini-adventure for visitors who want to fit in another activity in the afternoon. The Half-Day Deschutes River Kayak Tour is suggested as a relaxing outing for visitors and locals of all ages and skill levels.

Note: Please call the shop directly for reservations occurring 24 hours or less from class start date, 541.317.9407.  Minimum enrollment needs can periodically result in course rescheduling.

Where: Slough Camp, Bend Oregon, meet at 805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6, Bend OR 97702

What: Kayakers, canoers or paddleboarders will see interesting lava flow formations that surged from Paulina Peak as early as 80,000 years ago during the same volcanic period that created Newberry Crater National Monument. This section of river also hosts one of the few aspen groves found within the Deschutes National Forest.

Paddling upstream to Benham falls while exploring tranquil lagoons and side channels of the Upper Deschutes, you’ll want to keep a careful eye open for wildlife. The trip ends with an easy float back to the put-in. Many participants choose to paddle a kayak but canoes and paddleboards are also available.

Cost: $75

Summer, Tuesdays and Fridays  9am-1pm

Spring/Fall, Fridays 10am – 2pm

Tumalo Creek provides:

  • kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards
  • paddles
  • PFDs
  • transportation
  • guides
  • basic instruction

Participant provides:

  • sneakers, river shoes, or wetsuit booties
  • sunglasses with retainers
  • sunscreen and lip balm
  • sun hat, rain hat or fleece hat
  • synthetic top and bottom (i.e. thermal underwear)
  • raincoat and rain pants
  • swimsuit
  • water bottle
  • towel and change of clothes
  • snacks

Gear required for this trip is available for purchase at Tumalo Creek and other local retailers.

The Deschutes River

The Deschutes River is historically one of the most stable terrestrial water systems in the nation. Because of its steady flow, the Deschutes has served as a thoroughfare and consistent resource for flora, fauna and humans a like. Chinook, Northern Piute, fur trappers, early pioneers and many other peoples first called the river flowing north at the base of the East Cascades Towornehiooks and then Rivière des Chutes, meaning ‘river of the falls’ in French.  

Flowing from Little Lava Lake in the Cascade Lakes above Crane Prairie Reservoir, The Deschutes winds its way north through several iconic stretches before outletting into The Columbia River, the topographic feature demarcating the border for much of Oregon and Washington.

Though the channel has been re-located by basaltic lava flows numerous times over the last 80,000 years, a diversity of riparian habitats from dry and arid to lush and green spatter the banks of The Deschutes. These ecosystems house a variety of species easily seen from paddlecrafts during tours. Oregon Spotted Frogs, Blue Herring, the Red Winged Blackbird, Trout, timber tigers (chip-monks), muscrats, beavers, river otters, deer and many other distinct types of bird and fish.

Tumalo Creek provides tours and self-guided rental opportunities for many of these scenic and historic sections. Wickiup Reservoir and river stretches 9 miles south can be paddled via The Upper Deschutes River Kayak Tour, and downstream, south of Benham and Dillon Falls, Slough Camp can be paddled via the Half-Day Deschutes River Kayak Tour. Farewell Bend Park and river stretches through The Old Mill District to the new Whitewater Park are paddled during Tumalo Creek’s Basics Skills (kayak or paddleboard course) or self-guided during a float tube trip. Further down river, Drake Park and Mirror Pond can also be visited via a float tube, kayak or paddleboard rental.