Upper Klamath Rafting
SOUTHERN OREGON'S #1 SUMMER WHITEWATER RAFTING TRIP
Upper Klamath Whitewater Rafting
Price: $215/adult, $210/youth
Meet Time: 8:00 a.m. at our Rafting Center
2023 Season: Thursday – Sunday, May 15 – September 13
Minimum Age: 12 years old
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.
Your Rafting Trip on the Upper Klamath
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 117 South Main Street, Phoenix, Oregon 97535 at 8:00 a.m. and return to Phoenix around 5:00 p.m. Lunch is provided, as well as any paddling gear you need for the day.
Itinerary and Video
Upper Klamath rafting trips meet at 8:00 a.m. at the our Rafting Center in Phoenix, Oregon.
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 has 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 Phoenix, Oregon.
Upper Klamath rafting trips typically return to Phoenix by 5:00 p.m.
How to Prepare:
All of our full-day Upper Klamath rafting trips meet at our Rafting Center in Phoenix, Oregon. Please arrive by 8:00 a.m. Lunch is provided part way through the trip.
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 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 in our secure van. Your car keys should be left inside our vehicle and not taken on the river with you. Having a change of clothes either 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 May 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.
How long is the drive time for the Upper Klamath from Phoenix, Oregon?
The Upper Klamath is a scenic hour and a half drive from Phoenix 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 Phoenix around 5:00pm.
Are there airports nearby?
Yes, Medford International (MFR) is located in North Medford.
The Indigo Creek Experience
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