Deschutes River

Deschutes River Trout

The Deschutes River begins high in the Cascade Mountains at Little Lave Lake and winds its way east toward an oasis in the desert known as Maupin, Oregon. Maupin is a small town located 2 hours east of Portland, Oregon on Hwy 197. The river was given its name by fur traders of the Hudson Bay Company who once called it the "Riviere des chutes," or "river of falls."

About the River | River Rafting & Boating | Camping & Accommodations Fishing | Hiking & Wildlife

The Lower Deschutes River, where Share-A-Raft operates, is designated as both an official Oregon Scenic Waterway and a Federal Wild and Scenic River.

The Deschutes flows through a deep high-ridge canyon that can be as high as 2,600 feet in certain areas. Within this canyon you will discover an incredible high-desert wilderness experience, a diverse community of fish and wildlife, fertile desert vegetation, and several recreational opportunities. The City of Maupin's charm and beauty attract many visitors to the Lower Deschutes River, making it one of the most sought-after rivers in the United States.

Boater Passes Required

Boater passes are required on the Lower Deschutes River. SAR can purchase a pass for you when you arrive, however, you will save time and money if you purchase one in advance online at Anyone who uses any kind of watercraft or floating device on the river must purchase and carry a boater pass. Passes may be purchased for one or consecutive days. Cost: $2 per person/per day.

Click here to purchase a Boater Pass online

About the River

The river is divided into four sections with many different trips available. You can enjoy everything from a two-hour paddle to a five-hour paddle to a multi-day and overnight trip. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, drift and jetboating are all popular activities on the Lower Deschutes. The most popular section of the river with the most popular whitewater rapids is the 10.4 mile stretch between Harpham Flat and Sandy Beach. Other popular floats include the 9.4 mile stretch from Warm Springs to Trout Creek, the 36.6 mile stretch from Trout Creek to Maupin, the 18.9 mile stretch from Buckhollow to Macks Canyon, and the 23.5 mile stretch from Macks Canyon to Heritage Landing.

River Rafting & Boating

The Lower Deschutes is a very popular river due to the abundance of recreational activity to be found. World-class fishing, exciting whitewater rafting, and beautiful scenery make Maupin a prime destination for recreation. The river offers a variety of opportunities for both day and overnight rafting trips. The most popular types of recreation include: fishing/hunting, rafting an boating, mountain biking, and hiking.

Camping & Accommodations

When you visit you will have a variety of camping opportunities. There are numerous developed campgrounds and primitive campsites along the river. Get there early! Camp sites fill up quickly during busy summer weekends. There are also several lodging options in Maupin.

Campground and Day Use Information

Outdoor Ethics: Leave No Trace (Bureau of Land Management Deschutes River)


The Lower Deschutes River is Oregon's premier site for steelhead and trout fishing. Whether you fish from the bank, wade, fish on a guided trip or rent your own watercraft, you'll find an abundance of fish on this river. Fish species include Bass, Trout, Salmon, Sturgeon, Walleye and many others.

Hiking Trails & Wildlife

There are two trails along the Lower Deschutes for mountain biking and hiking. Both trails are relatively easy, but hikers should be prepared and carry plenty of water.

During your raft trip you may see wildlife that include:

Deer, eagles, osprey, hawks, heron, water fowl, mink, otter, beaver and bear, antelope, bighorn sheep, coyote, fox, groundhog (Rock Chuck), jack rabbit, mink, porcupine, rabbit, raccoon, river otter, snakes, lizards and turtles.