Originally Posted by jsandefu
Hey, new to the area and looking for any beta, book recommendations, trip info etc on the Maupin run in a raft (oar rigged), or any other nearby runs on the Rogue, Deschutes, etc.
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I second the book Soggy Sneakers.
Also, the BLM has river maps, descriptions, and info from Warm Springs all the way down to Heritage Landing at the mouth. You can also purchase your permits there.
Check out www.boaterpass.com
and click on "The River". Permits are easy to get for it. The Deschutes day run through Maupin is a zoo on summer and holiday weekends. Tons of people with coolers full of beer cruising down the river in rental rafts. Best to be done on weekdays in the summer. It's a very forgiving river, and Oak Springs is an easy class 4, if you even want to call it that. The entire lower Deschutes is pretty much pool and drop class 3. You can comfortably row any of that stretch. Most of the camping sections on the lower Deschutes share the canyon with a train line that you will hear 2-3 times a night. With good weather and consistent summer flows it is the most popular run in the state.
The BLM also has a guide and maps for the Rogue. http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recr...oatGuide04.pdf
You just missed out on the permit application deadline (January) for the summer floating season of the wilderness run. But cancelation permits, especially for smaller groups are very easy to come by.
By far the best guidebook for the Rogue (& MFS) is by Matt Leidecker The Rogue River - A Comprehensive Guide from Prospect to Gold Beach
This book contains excellent descriptions of routes at differing water levels, pictures, diagrams, photo spots, hikes, geology, history, must do's, etc.
Even though we don't have a true "town run", Bend is a great home base for rafting in the state. The closest thing to that is the "Big Eddy" just out of town from Aspen to Lava Island. I've been down it countless times in a paddle raft and a handful of times rowing it. At only 2.5 miles it's so short that I really only do it anymore if I have family/friends in town that only want to invest part of the day rafting. The downside is the commercials aren't use to seeing too many private boaters on that stretch and tend to clog up the put in and takeout, even if they don't have their clients down to them yet.
For day trips everyone flocks to the Lower Deschutes and it's 1.5 hr drive. But don't forget the upper McKenzie. Put in at Olallie CG during the spring and early summer high water and it's a beautiful and pretty fun class 3 run. And only 1 hour from Bend. You also can drive 1.75 hrs to the Lower McKenzie around Vida. There is a fun class 3 section around Brown's Hole and Martin Rapid. The upper McKenzie is a more technical character but you can row any stretch of that river.
You can drive about 2 hours to some class 3 rafting on the North Santiam. Put in at Packsaddle and takeout at Fishermen's Bend. The N Santiam is better in Spring/early summer, and gets low and slow in August. But it comes back to life in the fall when they start releasing water out of Detroit Lake (res.) for the rainy season. You can easily row it.
If you're willing to drive 2.5 hours my favorite day trip in the state is the North Umpqua along Hwy 138. This is a more technical nature of river. If you're comfortable rowing those type of rivers then yes you can do it. This is also best done in the spring/early summer. But the N Umpqua is really fun rapids, amazing scenery, and much less boater traffic then other rivers. It is mostly more technical class 3 with one class 4 (pinball). There is also great camping in the area.
Bend is also a great launch point for multi day raft trips. The Deschutes, John Day, NF John Day, Rogue, Owyhee are all within a half days drive. The Grand Rhonde, Snake, Salmon and Central Id rivers are all within a Days drive. And you can row all those rivers. The only places that I can think of that offer that many multi day rafting options within a days drive are Idaho and parts of the Colorado Plateau.