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Kayaking the upper Deschutes

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Kayaking the upper Deschutes

Okay, I've done lots of white water rafting on the lower Deschutes prior to having kids. We are coming to Bend in a couple of weeks and we would like a relaxing half-day kayak tour where we just show up and paddle. I saw this one tumalocreek.com/kayak-canoe-lessons/kayak-ca… but can't seem to find others. We have an 11 year old and 9 yo.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

I would trust your kids with Sage White Water rafting in Maupin, but if you want to paddle a kayak, the river people you have gone with before like Sage might put you into contact with some good Kayaking, Julauf. I would drop a dime and ask the river experts on the Deschutes who they would recomend.

Remember the rivers are at an all time high this year.. That will impact your kayaking.

min

Oregon
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2. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

We want to be on the upper Deschutes, like near Bend and Sunriver. Actually, I've gone with Sage a few times for the fun stuff on the lower part of the river. Thank you Mrs. O

Bend, Oregon
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3. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

We've kayaked from Century (just south of Sunriver's airport) to Benham and it took about 4 hours, but we paddled quite a bit. For a shorter float you can rent a kayak from the Sunriver marina and float to almost Benham Falls. They provide a shuttle back up to the marina.

Usually with the kayak we go up to one of the lakes. Hosmer is my favorite. Sparks is also nice but a little more crowded. Luckily it's a big lake so there's plenty of room for everyone.

Check in with Tumalo Creek (in Bend), they offer rentals and might have other ideas. You can buy a "paddle trail" guide/map book from them as well.

Bend, Oregon
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4. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

Oops, just saw the Tumalo Creek link in your OP. The Wyeth trip would be more of a family trip since it's all downstream. They might have a half day option if you ask. The other trip looks like they start by paddling upstream, could be tough depending on your kids' ages.

Sunriver float might be your best bet.

Oregon
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5. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

I saw on the Tumalo Creek site that they rent kayaks and you can float from River Bend park to Drake park and there is either a city or private shuttle that takes you back to River Bend. I am going to look into this. Their rentals are nearly half the price of the Sunriver Marina rentals. Has the weather been cooler than normal this summer the way it's been in the valley?

Bend, Oregon
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6. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

Yes - it's been much cooler. Sort of a "bummer summer"!

The float from Riverbend to Drake Park is pretty short - maybe 45 min? Plus you have to take out before the Colorado Street Dam (BE CAREFUL!) and portage to the McKay Park beach. Awkward with a canoe or kayak. Also I don't think the "Ride the River" shuttle takes boats, just inflatables.

If you are thinking of doing that float, don't bother with the kayak rental. Get some floaties (noodles, air mattresses, inner tubes, rafts), put the kids in life jackets, and just hang out. Make sure you know where the take-out area is before the Dam (there's usually a line of floaters along the bank so IF you are paying attention it's hard to miss). Or you can just float from McKay to Drake and do laps like the locals do, stopping at Riverside Market for a snack in between floats.

It's typical that Sunriver is twice the price as anywhere else, since it's a resort. I think there's a coupon in the Entertainment Book if you have that. Another tour company you can check out is Wanderlust - but looks like they have lake tours, not river floats.

Oregon
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7. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

Okay, I'm gonna cross my fingers and hope it gets into the 90s and maybe we'll tube the river. I've seen pictures of people and watercraft getting in trouble at the spillway so we'll watch for signs telling us to get out. I was a river rat when I was a kid and went down rapids in a tube. DH is ultra safety concerned so I had to find a compromise. We'll work our way up to white water rafting with the kiddos.

Thank you : )

Oregon
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8. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

We spent a few hours scouting out the fairly placid section of river and drove the shuttle route up to Riverbend park. It was there that we ran into the driver of the Sun Country shuttle, asked a few questions and came back to rent their tubes. $10 per tube, free life jackets for kiddos. They are located at Riverbend. We didn't realize our kids' arms were kinda short for paddling, oops, so we had them hang onto our tubes to get them out above the spillway and at Drake Park. Fun, short, sweet trip. We would certainly consider bringing our own inflatables next time with life jackets for kids but Sun Country was easy and quick to deal with.

Troutdale, Oregon
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9. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

We learn everytime we do something, huh? Glad you had fun.

MrsO

Bend, Oregon
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10. Re: Kayaking the upper Deschutes

If you're looking for something where you just show up and paddle, check out Wanderlust Tours http://www.wanderlusttours.com/. They have great guided kayak/canoe trips on the high lakes, which are absolutely gorgeous to explore.

Also, if whitewater is ok, Sun Country Tours suncountrytours.com/river_rafting_adventures… has a fun short trip on the Deschutes just south of Bend.