Rafting on an Oregon river can give you a range of experiences. Some rivers run slow, making the perfect float, while others rage fast, offering exhilarating whitewater. Before you go rafting this year, determine what kind of rafting trip you’re looking for by learning about the six different classes of rapids:
If you’re looking for a slow, relaxing ride that’s perfect for lazy floating, then you’re probably looking for a Class I river section. There’s no whitewater to be found, so you can sit back and let the mellow current gently rock you downstream.
Maybe you like to float, but not too slow. If you’re looking for a quick little current that will keep you moving but no actual whitewater, then we recommend floating a Class II. You’ll be able to pick up the pace without really increasing the risk.
Some people raft the river for a little bit of a thrill, and that means they’re looking for whitewater. With a Class III rapid, whitewater rafters could easily use their own rafts and strike out on their own, but there are guides available for rapids like these as well.
For rafters looking for big thrills and big whitewater, Class IV rapids are the place to be. It’s advisable to use an experienced river guide and to wear safety gear like lifejackets and helmets in order to navigate this kind of whitewater.
If you plan to tackle a Class V rapid, then you’d better be an expert. Class V’s are the most extreme rapids considered passable, and they take a lot of practice and preparation. Make sure you have lots of experience with lower classes before stepping up to a Class V.
The final class of rapids is a Class VI, and these are considered impassable. Normally, this is because they are gigantic waterfalls or rocky chokepoints. There have been daredevils who have taken on waterfalls like Niagara Falls, but we discourage people from trying anything like that!
If you’re ready to start paddling, you can find Class II, III, and IV rapids on the Deschutes River near Maupin, Oregon. Choose from a variety of guided rafting trips, from a quick sprint to an overnighter. The water levels are great and the rapids are fast, so book your Oregon rafting trip now.