When is the best time of the year to raft the Upper Klamath?
Price: $189/adult, $179/youth – Group Rates Available
Meet Time: 8:00 a.m. at our Rafting Center
Season: Daily, May 1st – Mid-September
Minimum Age: 12 years old
All trips include complimentary digital photographs
With huge waves, dramatic drops, and rapids that continue beyond eyesight, the Upper Klamath has earned a reputation for the best summer whitewater in Oregon. And deservedly so – the rapids are legendary in every sense of the word. As the river cuts its way west it meets the Cascade Mountain Range and suddenly the immovable object meets the unstoppable force. It’s here that the whitewater goes off the charts. Rafts careen downstream through a gauntlet of Class IV and IV+ rapids. There may be bigger rivers and you may find bigger rapids, but there’s only one Upper Klamath – a river that just keeps on going with non-stop action. If whitewater is what you are after, there’s no reason to look further: The Upper Klamath is the king of whitewater and a trip you will never forget.
Upper Klamath rafting trips offer a glimpse back to the history of western territorial exploration and settlement. Native American sites, pioneer settlements, gold rush exploration, thwarted attempts at development, and the congressional heroics that preserved the Wild & Scenic Upper Klamath make the background of your trip. Our guides are knowledgeable about the history of the Upper Klamath and are eager to share their stories with you.
Upper Klamath rafting trips offer paddlers a beautiful “Wild & Scenic” stretch of river that cuts through an incredible canyon. The stretch starts off with a handful of Class II and III rapids as a warm-up. The first large rapid of the trip, Caldera, is where the nature of the run changes dramatically and goes from a tame meandering river to an impressive stretch of continuous class IV whitewater punctuated by a few noticeable class IV+ drops. From Caldera to Stateline Falls, the whitewater is non-stop.
Due to the active nature of this run, Upper Klamath trip participants should be in good physical shape and ready for a full day of paddling. Trips meet at our Rafting Center at 8:00 a.m. and return to Ashland around 5:00 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided, as well as any paddling gear you need for the day.
How to Prepare:
All of our full-day Upper Klamath rafting trips meet at our Rafting Center, located at 130 A Street near downtown Ashland. Please arrive by 8:00 a.m. During our Upper Klamath rafting trips we do provide a delicious breakfast and lunch. Some of our guests prefer to bring their own personal water bottle – which is perfectly fine – and can be filled at our Rafting Center.
Bring shoes and clothes that you won’t mind getting wet. Sandals without heel straps tend to slip off, but Tevas, Chacos, or old sneakers work great. Sunglasses are highly recommended as well as chums to keep them on your head. During the summer months, swim trunks are fine, but please do not wear any cotton as it will keep you cold once it is wet. We do provide wetsuits, booties, and splash jackets free of charge if desired. Sunscreen, lip balm, and a hat all provide sun protection. A helmet will be required during the trip but you are welcome to wear your hat underneath a helmet.
Valuables such as your wallet, purse, or earrings should be locked in your vehicle or left at our Rafting Center. Your car keys should be left inside our Rafting Center and not taken on the river with you. Having a change of clothes either at our Rafting Center or left in your vehicle is a good idea, as well as a towel (which can be left in the van).
When is the best time of the year to raft the Upper Klamath?
We offer trips on the Upper Klamath from the middle of April through the middle of September. The Upper Klamath is dam-controlled, which means we get to enjoy good water flows throughout the year.
How old do I need to be to go on an Upper Klamath rafting trip?
The minimum age on our Upper Klamath rafting trips is 12 years old.
How do I make a reservation?
Once you have an idea of when you would like to go, give our office staff a call at 541-282-4535. They have helpful information and can assist you with your decision as well as give you up to the minute availability information. A good thing to keep in mind is the earlier you can make your reservation or inquiry, the greater the likelihood the time frame you’re looking at will be available. We are limited in the number of guests we can accommodate, and trips often fill quickly. You can also place your reservation online.
How is the weather in Southern Oregon?
In April, weather can be all over place. Snow in the mountains and foothills, 90-degree days, it is really hit or miss. In May, temperatures sometimes exceed 85 degrees but we occasionally experience fronts of colder weather. July through August are the warmest months with temperatures frequently exceeding 90 degrees.
How many people fit in a raft?
Most of the time rafts have up to six paddlers and a guide.
How many folks can we book on a trip?
Our trips have a limit of 30 people.
What kind of gear will I need to bring?
You should bring clothing and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. If it’s chilly, wetsuits, booties, and splash jackets are provided free of charge.
Should I bring valuables on the trip?
We suggest that you leave your valuables at home when rafting with us. Expensive jewelry, watches, and cameras that are not waterproof add little to your trip experience and can cause heartache if they are lost or damaged.
What kind of rafts do you use?
We pride ourselves in running only top of the line rafts and equipment. Our rafts are Vanguard Inflatables that offer durability and comfort.
What about gratuities?
Guests often inquire whether it is acceptable to leave a gratuity for their guide at the conclusion of their trip. If you felt your guide was exceptional, you should feel free to give him or her a token of your appreciation. A typical gratuity is between 15% and 20% of the trip fare, but guides are appreciative of any gesture. In the spirit of teamwork, our guides typically pool their gratuities at the conclusion of the trip.
If I arrive a day or two early, are there any good hotels or Bed and Breakfasts near by?
Absolutely. Ashland is well known for having fantastic lodging options. Check out www.VisitingAshlandOregon.com for a complete list of things to do in the area.
How long is the drive time for the Upper Klamath from Ashland, Oregon?
The Upper Klamath is a scenic hour and a half drive from Ashland over the Green Springs Highway. There is an opportunity to stop midway for a bathroom and fresh spring water at Tub Springs State Wayside. Our trips typically return to our Rafting Center around 5:30pm.
Are there airports nearby?
Yes, Medford International is only 20 minutes away from our Rafting Center.
Are there other fun things that we can do in conjunction with a rafting trip with Indigo Creek Outfitters?
Certainly. Ashland is world-famous for Shakespeare productions, fine dining, and spectacular lodging.
Upper Klamath rafting trips meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Indigo Creek Outfitters Rafting Center located at 130 A Street in Ashland, Oregon. At the Rafting Center, enjoy a light breakfast as we we being our trip orientation and safety talk.
After the trip orientation, we’ll load up into vans and begin the drive to the river. We’ll take Highway 66 – the Greensprings Highway – toward Keno, Oregon. Before reaching Keno, we’ll turn right onto an unmarked dirt road and begin the descent to Spring Island, which is our put-in location.
On the way to Spring Island we’ll pass the John C Boyle powerhouse and a section of river known as the “Bypass Stretch.” Spring Island is our standard trip put-in and does have outhouses and easy access to the river.
Once our boats are in the water we’ll push off and head downstream.
After a fun morning of Class III rapids we’ll soon reach Caldera. Caldera is the first Class IV+ rapid of the day and kicks off the section known as “Hell’s Corner Canyon.” Up until this point, the river has dropped an average of 20 feet per mile. Hell’s Corner Canyon drops an impressive 80 feet per mile and features nearly continuous Class IV and IV+ rapids.
Partway through the day we’ll stop for an excellent river side lunch and take a breather.
After lunch it’s back in the boats and more whitewater. As the river begins to slow, the canyon walls open up and this is a great stretch to spot bald eagle, otters, and other wildlife.
We’ll run a final rapid at the California-Oregon border, aptly named “Stateline Falls.” Rounding a couple more bends will put us in view of the take out where our vans are ready for the drive back to Ashland, Oregon.
Upper Klamath rafting trips typically return to Ashland by 5:00 p.m.
Groups of 6+……10% Discount
Groups of 12+……15% Discount
The Indigo Creek Experience
Experience speaks volumes – and we have lots of it. Founded in 2011, Indigo Creek stems from decades of work in the whitewater and adventure tourism industry. We are lucky to work in a fun and exciting industry, but we are most fortunate to have the best customers on Earth who make the work we do a true pleasure. Read our story, learn about our crew, and read about the Indigo difference.