Lower Deschutes Whitewater Kayaking Camp

Lower Deschutes Whitewater Kayaking Camp

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Ready to become a well refined paddler but having difficulty acquiring the experience? Becoming a developed whitewater kayaker can be hard as it requires experienced partners, specialized equipment, and lots of time and practice. Well, we can offer you all of those things and more on our three day long, raft supported, Lower Deschutes Whitewater Kayaking Camp. Let our expert guides lead you down class II – III+ whitewater then host your camping experience once off. Not only will you be blown away by great whitewater but our cooking too! On this trip, you will have the opportunity to refine your skills through practical experience, camp in the Lower Deschutes River Canyon, and eat excellent Tumalo Creek signature meals. Tumalo Creek guides are American Canoe Association (ACA) certified and have been guiding on the Deschutes and Mckenzie for decades.

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: Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe and the Lower Deschutes. Meet at 805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6, Bend OR 97702.

What: The Lower Deschutes Whitewater Kayaking Camp is intended for paddlers who have already participated in our Full Immersion Course, Intermediate Whitewater Weekend, and roll sessions or can demonstrate these competencies. We created this trip for the intermediate paddler looking to gain practical experience. Basic whitewater knowledge is needed and a roll is recommended. We will paddle up to class III+/IV on this trip so it is important to have some experience coming in.

After our pre-trip meeting outlining the weekend, you will be prepared to begin this adventure. We will meet at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe bright and early then depart to the Lower Deschutes River. After launching from either the Warm Springs boat ramp or Trout Creek, the crew will spend 3 magnificent putting our whitewater paddling skills to practice. By day 3 we will have navigated close to 50 miles of class I-III+ rapids, all raft supported. Besides maturing as paddlers, participants will see wildlife, epic landscapes and meet other potential paddle partners. At the end of each day, paddlers will enjoy the relaxation of guide cooked meals and camping on the river. Personal camping equipment not provided.

Cost: $595 for the 3 day camp, including rental gear

Dates: August 23-25 and October 18-20

Tumalo Creek provides:

  • kayak
  • paddle
  • skirt
  • pfd
  • helmet
  • immersion equipment (upon request)
  • meals
  • guides

Participant provides:

  • paddling attire
  • camp cloths and shoes
  • personal camping equipment
  • water bottle
  • sun protection
  • large dry bag (big enough for personal items)
  • small day dry bag (to hold items you want kept with you)
  • Kayaking equipment (if you have your own)

* Dry or wet suits can be borrow from the shop with advanced notice. Even in warmer weather, dry tops are recommended as the temperature of the river can be forty degrees or less.

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 it’s steady flow, the Deschutes has served as a thoroughfare and consistent resource source 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.