You don’t need to have previous rafting experience. We will teach you everything you need to know to travel comfortably including how to pack appropriately, load a raft, set up tarps, paddle in a raft, and navigate the river. After joining your group in your appropriate location, you will travel by van to an entry point along the river. You will get to know your group, learning wilderness skills and practicing safety procedures. Then you will begin your expedition.
You will be in the wilderness, camping, traveling, sleeping and eating outdoors for most, if not all, the days and nights you are here. Wilderness travel is demanding. It can literally take every waking moment to get from point A to point B.
Rafting includes numerous challenges, such as paddling into headwinds or through rapids, setting up camp, cooking outdoors and more. Past students and instructors agree that arriving physically fit will enhance your experience and ability to do well on the course and ultimately allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
Deschutes River, Oregon – The Deschutes River is part of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The river flows north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. The Deschutes watershed plays a very integral role in Central Oregon’s landscape, hosting a vast array of insect, fish, and bird populations throughout the spring and summer months. Common summer wildlife around the river includes osprey, bald eagles, western tanagers, bullock’s oriole’s, deer, bighorn sheep (rare), rattlesnakes, and waterfowl such as mergansers, great blue herons, and mallard. The river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually cold, constant water flow. The group camps each night along the banks of the river.
Courses generally travel a segment of the Lower Deschutes, approximately 50 miles, depending on length of course, age, and course outcomes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to Class IV, mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddle skills and teamwork.. The Lower Deschutes is a popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing, and the region has a colorful human history, with a railroad running alongside much of the length of the Lower Deschutes. The river border for 1/3 of the Lower Deschutes is the Warm Springs Reservation. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area.
Sample Itinerary – The following is an example of what your 6-day itinerary may look like. Your actual course plan will vary according to weather, student skills and abilities, and instructor preferences.
Day 1 Course Start, put on river
Days 2-5 Training and Main Expedition (river)
Days 6 Course End and transportation home
Rafting – Each section of river is a beautiful and introductory experience in rafting. Students will travel on the river in four to six-person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to IV rapids. After lessons basic river travel, students will progress to learning about “reading” water, anticipating obstacles, scouting difficult rapids, and working as an effective team to negotiate technical portions of the river. Students will also learn about river hydrology, swimming, paddle techniques, camp craft, and expeditionary travel.
Service – Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. We encourage service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than we find them and practicing Leave No Traceâ ethics throughout the course. We coordinate service projects with land managers (US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, local land trusts, etc.) as well as with select social service agencies (nursing homes, hospitals, etc.). During your course, you may have the opportunity to participate in a trail work or other service project.
To apply for this course click the enroll button next to the course dates that work for you. Or better yet call one of our expert Admission Advisers at 866-467-7651.