There is a lot of good paddling within a few hours. Some on the Deschutes right near town. Oregon is one of the best paddling states in the country though little talked about. It has more wild and scenic rivers than any other state.
You'll need to buy Soggy Sneakers or Paddling Oregon, crappier versions of CRCII, but still good resources. Check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bendkayaker/
for beta, and boating buddies on specific runs in the area. you have to be a member or join yahoo, but it's free. also check out pdxkayaker.org for some other great buzzard style sites. Perry (coastal oregon) [email protected]
Bend is a good paddling town but it is different than the rest of Oregon because it is on the east side. There is not much but the Deschutes. The Deschutes is a really strange river. It does run all summer from dam release which is good. It is pretty much flat except for where the river pours through recent lava flows forming (sometimes gnarly rapids). Your options near bend are: first street- really crappy playspot, big eddy- one long 3+ rapid, meadow camp- great 4+ run (some of it over 200 fpm), lava island falls- 5, dillon falls-5, and benham falls- 5++. There is also more class IV downstream from town that runs in the fall after the irrigigation season is over. Basically, its a good river if you are a IV+ or better boater.
In addition, there is some illegal irrigation canal boating to be had. The best spot is Area 51 which is about thirty minutes from town in the middle of the desert. Get directions from a local.
Then of course its 2-3 hours to all the stuff on the west side of the mountains. See the Oregon Kayaking website for that info.
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