Oregon River Experiences
Est. 1978
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Clackamas River


Trip Itinerary & Details

Trip Highlights

Portland residents familiar with the placid lower Clackamas may be unaware that a short distance upstream an exciting series of class III and IV rapids awaits. For many the best thing about boating the upper Clackamas may be that it is so close to Portland. But the river offers much more. The scenery is outstanding, and the rapids are thrilling. Powerhouse, Roaring River, Carter Bridge, and Slingshot are a few of the many exciting rapids encountered.

Trip Itinerary

Half Day trips

Morning half day trips meet at 9:30 AM, and most afternoon half day trips meet at 1:00 PM. In either case we meet just east of Estacada, Oregon.

After a brief orientation you will park your car then board an O.R.E. van for the 10 minute ride to the launch point.

One Day trips

We meet at 9:30 AM on the day of your trip just east of Estacada, Oregon. Look for a vehicle sporting the O.R.E. logo.

After a brief orientation you will park your car then board an O.R.E. van for the 20 minute ride to the launch point.


Once we arrive at our launch site, our lead guide will conduct a safety orientation. We'll then all board rafts and be on our way downstream.

Day trips include a stop for a riverside lunch between noon and 1 PM. Both half and 1 day trips also typically opportunities to swim and jump into the river from the jumping rocks at Big Eddy.

We typically arrive at our take-out point around 12:30 PM (1/2 day morning trips), or around 4 PM (1/2 day afternoon trips and full day trips).* In most cases our trips end where your car has been parked. If water levels dictate a different ending spot for the raft trip then you will be transported to your car once the rafts are out of the water and loaded on our trailer (typically a 10 minute process).

High water full day Clackamas River trips begin at Sandstone Bridge, and medium to low water trips begin at Whitewater Bridge. Most half day trips begin at Milepost 41.

High water trips end at Memaloose. Moderate and low water trips end at Moore Creek or milepost 37.

* Many factors influence our timetable, including water levels, winds, and the needs and preferences of our guests. Please consider these times approximate.

What's Included

  • The services of our professional guides and staff.
  • Transportation to and from our meeting place.
  • A hearty lunch at riverside on full day trips. Lunch is freshly prepared by our guides from the highest quality ingredients. Special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice.
  • Digital photographs are taken of your raft in two to four rapids during your trip.
  • Durable, professional quality rafts and river running equipment, including splash jackets and U.S. Coast Guard Approved lifejackets.
  • Waterproof river bags for your personal gear.

Where and When to Meet

Half Day trips

Morning half day trips meet at 9:30 AM*, and most afternoon half day trips meet at 1:00 PM*. In either case we meet just east of Estacada, Oregon. (See below for directions.) Please have your breakfast - or lunch, in the case of afternoon trips - before we meet.

One Day trips

We meet at 9:30 AM* on the day of your trip just east of Estacada, Oregon. (Please have your breakfast before we meet.)

Morning half day trips typically end by approximately 12:30 PM. Afternoon half day trips and full day trips typically end by approximately 4 PM. (Many factors influence our timetable, including water levels, winds, and the needs and preferences of our guests. Please consider these ending times approximate.)

* Important note: Please plan your drive carefully so as to arrive at our meeting place on time. Our guides will attempt to wait for you if you are running late, but circumstances typically do not allow them to wait more than 20 minutes. If you miss your intended trip we will most likely not be able to provide a transfer to an alternate trip, and we are unable to provide a refund for missed trips.

Getting To and From the River

From Portland, Washington, and the northern Willamette Valley

We meet at the Moore Creek Boat Access Site, which is roughly a one hour drive from downtown Portland. To reach Moore Creek from Portland, take Highway 205 to exit 12. Head east to the 212-224 junction, then turn right to follow OR-224. Continue along OR-224 through the town of Estacada and then beyond Estacada for an additional 11 miles. Moore Creek will be on your right, one mile past the Lazy Bend Campground. Look for the Moore Creek Boat Access sign.

Do not type "Moore Creek" into your phone or car navigation system! You will get lost if you do so. Moore Creek boat access does not have a street address, and map databases will send you far, far upstream if you make this mistake. Instead use the nearest street address, which is Lazy Bend Campground, but then drive one mile past the campground. Lazy Bend’s address is 45200 Highway 224, Estacada OR 97023.

From Salem, Eugene and other points south of Woodburn along I-5

Follow the directions above (for Portland and etc.). Alternatively, take highway 5 north to the highway 213 exit (Woodburn), then follow 213 to Molalla. From Molalla follow highway 211 to Estacada. Turn right onto highway 224 on the outskirts of Estacada, then follow 224 for 11 miles to the Moore Creek boat access. Moore Creek will be on your right, one mile past the Lazy Bend Campground. Look for the Moore Creek Boat Access sign.

Do not type "Moore Creek" into your phone or car navigation system! You will get lost if you do so. Moore Creek boat access does not have a street address, and map databases will send you far, far upstream if you make this mistake. Instead use the nearest street address, which is Lazy Bend Campground, but then drive one mile past the campground. Lazy Bend’s address is 45200 Highway 224, Estacada OR 97023.

From Mount Hood

Follow highway 26 west to the town of Sandy. Turn left onto highway 211, follow 211 for 6 miles to highway 224, then turn left onto 224. Follow 224 through the town of Estacada and then beyond Estacada for an additional 11 miles. Moore Creek will be on your right, one mile past the Lazy Bend Campground. Look for the Moore Creek Boat Access sign.

Do not type "Moore Creek" into your phone or car navigation system! You will get lost if you do so. Moore Creek boat access does not have a street address, and map databases will send you far, far upstream if you make this mistake. Instead use the nearest street address, which is Lazy Bend Campground, but then drive one mile past the campground. Lazy Bend’s address is 45200 Highway 224, Estacada OR 97023.

Pre and Post Trip Shuttles

Shuttle specifics may vary by day and by group size, but in most cases you will park your car at our meeting place, and O.R.E. will transport you to the launch point by van.

What to Bring

In general you will simply need to bring only your own clothing, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, a change of clothes and a water bottle.

A complete list of what to bring is found here. You will receive a copy of this list when you sign up for your trip.

Weather

Today's Weather

Weather in the Clackamas River area
Click for additional details

Weather statistics

April May June July Aug. Sept.
Average daytime high temperature 58 64 71 77 78 73
Average nighttime low temperature 37 42 47 50 50 46
Average monthly rainfall 5.3" 3.9" 2.7" 0.9" 1.3" 3.0"

Natural History

The Clackamas is located just south of the Columbia River Gorge. It rises in the Olallie Lake Scenic Area and joins the Willamette River at Oregon City.

Anadromous and resident fish inhabit the river and its tributaries. Spring Chinook salmon, Coho salmon and steelhead trout use these waters for spawning, rearing, and migration. The Coho salmon run is the last significant wild late-run Coho stock remaining in the Columbia Basin. Resident fish include cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, bull trout, and mountain whitefish.

Riparian and upland habitats within the river corridor support diverse communities of birds, mammals and amphibians. Riparian area stands of old-growth Douglas-fir, western hemlock and western red cedar provide valuable and increasingly rare habitat for many species, including the northern spotted owl. Other key wildlife species that inhabit the area include Rocky Mountain elk, pileated woodpecker, pine marten, osprey, bald eagle, otter and beaver.

The canyon is composed primarily of ancient lava flows. Over 15 million years old, these lava flows are from the same source as the basalt outcroppings seen throughout the Columbia Gorge.

Fishing

Fishing on the Clackamas is good during summer months for trout. If you would like to fish you will need an Oregon fishing license, which may be purchased at Oregon sporting goods stores or online at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's web site.

Where to Stay Before or After Your Trip

If you're from out of town you can stay anywhere in the Portland area and still be reasonably close to the river. However, the following hotels are located on Portland's east side and are thus especially close and convenient: The Courtyard by Marriott (503-652-2900), and The Rivershore Hotel (503-443-7777).

Even closer to the river, the modest but economical Red Fox Motel (503-630-4243) is located in the town of Estacada, less than 15 minutes from our meeting place.

Other Portland area options include The Residence Inn (503-684-2603), The Fairfield Inn (503-670-7557), and the Crown Plaza (503-624-8400).

If you plan to combine your raft trip with an exploration of Mt. Hood, consider staying in Welches at The Resort At The Mountain (800-733-0800).

Numerous campgrounds are found along the Clackamas River. We recommend Lazy Bend, Fish Creek, and Indian Henry in particular. For reservations call 877-444-6777.

Nearby Attractions

Options abound for combining your raft trip with other activities. Consider a visit to the waterfalls and hiking trails of Columbia River Gorge, the alpine scenery of Mount Hood, or the culture and cuisine of the Portland metropolitan area. All are within an hour's drive or so of the river.

While at the river you may also want to consider a hike on the Clackamas River Trail, or a visit to Bagby Hot Springs just upstream.

Gratuities

Guests sometimes ask whether it is appropriate to tip their guide. Tipping is optional, but if your guide did a great job then feel free to thank him or her with a gratuity. The amount is up to you, but tips between 8% and 20% of trip cost are customary.

Oregon River Experiences
503-563-1500 (office)
800-827-1358 (toll-free)
888-544-4165 (fax)
info@oregonriver.com

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