Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose O.R.E.?
For over 35 years we've run whitewater rafting trips on ten of the best rivers Oregon and Idaho have to offer. Our safety record is excellent. Our guides are friendly, skilled professionals. We use only the best, professional quality rafting equipment. And we offer an unsurpassed variety of boats from which to choose: oar rafts, paddle rafts, inflatable kayaks, and our unique, custom designed Row-Your-Own catarafts.
For more about who we are please click or touch more about O.R.E.
How safe are your trips?
O.R.E.'s safety record is excellent. That's because your safety is our number one priority. Running rivers, like other outdoor activities, involves an element of risk. But we work hard to protect your safety and well being. Our guides are trained in river safety and first aid skills. Each trip begins with a thorough safety orientation. Coast Guard Approved life jackets are worn at all times while on the river, and complete first aid and emergency kits are carried on each trip.
Are your trips strenuous?
No, not unless you want them to be! On an O.R.E. river adventure you choose how active (or inactive) you'd like to be. If you're looking for a vigorous, athletic vacation you can find that on the river with O.R.E. But lounging in the sun, letting the guides do the rowing, and generally being as lazy as possible is an equally viable option!
Who can go on a rafting trip?
Almost anyone can go. No prior rafting experience is necessary, and no prior camping experience is needed for our multi-day trips. We welcome children ages 7 and up, and adults of all ages. And while we recommend that our guests know how to swim, non-swimmers are free to join us on most trips (with the exception of certain high water spring trips.)
If you are uncertain whether rafting is for you then please read the following list of needed abilities, and call or email us if you have questions.
Each participant must have the ability to:
- Wear all protective equipment recommended/required by industry standards. (Please note: if you way over 300 pounds or have a chest size of more than 56" we may be unable to provide you with a life jacket)
- Enter and exit the raft (or kayak) independently or with the assistance of a companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a raft or kayak (using adaptive equipment if necessary).
- Move about the camp independently or with the assistance of a companion on trips that include overnight camping.
- Get out from under a watercraft and remain face up in the water with the aid of a lifejacket, in the event of a capsize or if you fall out of the boat.
- Swim towards the shoreline and otherwise participate in self or assisted rescue if you find yourself in the water on a high water trip.
How much does it cost?
Prices range from $50 for a half day trip on the Clackamas river to $1195 for a 9 day trip on the John Day river. Discounts are available for children, as well as for groups (typically: parties of 10 or more), for selected early and late season trips, and occasionally for last-minute stand-by bookings. For further trip price information contact our office.
Which is the best trip for me?
We offer a wide variety of rivers and trip formats from which to choose. Do you want a long trip or a short one? Mild whitewater challenging rapids? Do you have a particular interest in fishing, or perhaps bird-watching? To help decide which trip is best for you start by reading the questions and answers on our help me choose a trip page. If you need more assistance review our at-a-glance river comparison chart, and read more about each river and trip. And you can always give our office a call. We'll help you find the trip that's best for you (even if the best trip for you is a trip we don't offer).
How many people to a boat?
We use four different types of craft on our trips. Paddle rafts (featured on one-day trips and selected multi-days) accommodate 6 or 7 guests plus an O.R.E. guide, but may be paddled by as few as 4 guests plus guide. Our inflatable kayaks are one or two person craft. Most of our guided oar rafts will accommodate 2 to 3 people, although we have several oar rafts that will accommodate as many as six. Our row-your-own catarafts are designed to accommodate 2 to 3 (one person rows while the other one or two ride).
For more about O.R.E.'s fleet visit our boat options page.
When's the best time to go rafting?
We offer river trips from April through September. There's no one best time, because each season has something to offer. Spring bursts with wildflowers, waterfalls, and the biggest waves of the year. Spring is also the only time certain rivers can be run (the Owyhee, for example). Summer offers long, sunny days, moonlit nights, and warm water. Most of our rivers offer good rapids throughout the summer. Fall is best for warm days, cool nights, changing colors, and solitude.
What does O.R.E. provide?
Your trip fare covers all expenses from the time we meet until the time we say good-bye. We provide top quality professional rafting equipment, including U.S. Coast Guard Approved lifejackets, waterproof river bags and boxes for your personal gear, and transportation to and from the river from a designated meeting place. We also provide outstanding, freshly prepared meals from lunch on the first day through lunch on the last. Juice, coffee and tea are provided, and complementary wine is provided with some dinners.
What do I need to bring?
Are references available?
We'd be happy to provide you with a list of references, upon request.
Oregon River Experiences is a member of America Outdoors, American Rivers, and the Pacific Rivers Council. We operate under special use permits in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service on the Umatilla, Willamette, Klamath, Umpqua, Mount Hood, and Siskiyou National Forests. O.R.E. is an equal opportunity service provider.
Are reservations required?
Yes. Sorry, but we are unable to accommodate walk-up business.
When should I make a reservation?
Certain trips sell out quickly. For instance, multi-day trips that launch between mid-July and mid-August may fill as much as 9 to 12 months in advance. Earlier and later multi-day trips tend not to fill as quickly.
Mid-summer weekend half and one day trips tend to fill quickly, but for the most part booking day trips a month in advance is sufficient. When space remains we also take bookings for one day trips as late as the day prior to the trip.
It is always best to make reservations as soon as you are able to do so. But even during the height of the season some space may remain on certain trips, so we encourage you to contact us about the trip of your choice.
How do I make a reservation?
Where are the rivers located?
For an overview map, river maps and regional/highway maps (including directions) for each river visit our map gallery.