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John Day River Rafting

The John Day River rafting may not be the wildest of river trips, but the scenery of towering desert canyons and basalt rock faces hiding big horn sheep staring down more than makes up the difference.  Famous for the nearby John Day fossil beds, your river trip is full of geological wonders with a looking glass into the history of time and the forces that have transformed this canyon.

With an area rich in natural history, ancient Native American inhabitation and a long history of exploration and ranching, this canyon contains more than what meets the eye.

With excellent bass fishing and wide open benches for camping the sweeping views will take away your breath daily.  This is by far one of our most relaxing trips, full of chances to go swimming, try out a inflatable kayak or stand-up paddle board, this river rafting trip has lots of time for floating.

You can choose from the options to float the upper and lower parts of the John Day river or even combine them and make an epic 9-day expedition in the frontier of Oregon.

The upper 4 day trip has a few more trees and starts near the town of Service Creek, ending at the Clarno boat ramp.  The lower 5 day trip contains many of the classic scenes of the John Day like Hoot Owl Rock, the towering Palisades and chances for big horn sheep sightings.  The trip starts at Clarno boat ramp and ends at the Cottonwood Bridge in

  • Beautiful desert scenery with an abundance of wildlife in the area
  • Great river to learn how to row-your-own craft downriver
  • Excellent fishing for bass and lots of time to relax
  • Choose between 4, 5, or even a 9 day trip

2021 SEASON: APRIL-JULY

MAY:   5/21/21- 4 DAY UPPER RIVER

JUNE: 6/7/21- 5 DAY LOWER RIVER

             6/25/21- 4 DAY UPPER RIVER

 

raft on john day river

Trip LengthAvailabilityPrice per Person 
Four DaysAvailable most days (party size restrictions may apply.)Adult: $845
Youth: $745
Five DaysAvailable most days (party size restrictions may apply.)Adult: $1150
Youth: $1025
Nine DaysFor groups of 8 or more.Adult: $1,850
Youth: $1,500


 


Four Day John Day River Trip

  • Upper Canyon (Service Creek to Clarno)
  • Trip meets at 8:00 AM on day one and ends at 3:30 PM on day four*
  • $845 for adults and $745 for youth (age 12 and under).
  • All camping gear provided; tent, sleeping bag, pad, group gear.
  • All meals starting with lunch on day 1 through lunch on final day.
  • Parties of 10 or more are eligible for a group discount on most trip dates. Please contact us for details concerning group rates.
  • River water levels and trip capacity may limit availability.
  • Before you book you may want to review our deposit, cancellation, and refund policies.
  • Minimum total trip size is 5 people. If your group (combined with other groups who have requested the same trip) together total less than 5 then your reservation will be on hold until minimum trip size is met. Your credit card will not be charged until trip is confirmed.

Five Day John Day River Trip

  • Lower Canyon (Clarno to Cottonwood)
  • Trip meets at 7:30 AM on day one and ends at 3:30 PM on day five*
  • $1150 for adults and $1025 for youth (age 12 and under).
  • Parties of 10 or more are eligible for a group discount on most trip dates. Please contact us for details concerning group rates.
  • All camping gear provided; tent, sleeping bag, pad, group gear.
  • All meals starting with lunch on day 1 through lunch on final day.
  • River water levels and trip capacity may limit availability.
  • Before you book you may want to review our deposit, cancellation, and refund policies.
  • Minimum total trip size is 4 people. If your group (combined with other groups who have requested the same trip) together total less than 4 then your reservation will be on hold until minimum trip size is met. Your credit card will not be charged until trip is confirmed.

Nine Day John Day River Trip

  • Service Creek to Cottonwood
  • Trip meets at 7:30 AM on day one and concludes at 3:00 PM on day nine*
  • $1850 for adults and $1500 for youth (age 12 and under).
  • Parties of 10 or more are eligible for a group discount on most trip dates. Please contact us for details concerning group rates.
  • All camping gear provided; tent, sleeping bag, pad, group gear.
  • All meals starting with lunch on day 1 through lunch on final day.
  • River water levels and trip capacity may limit availability.
  • Before you book you may want to review our deposit, cancellation, and refund policies.
  • Online reservations are not available for this trip length, please contact us to book. Nine day trips are available for groups of 6 or more.

 

 

  • Minimum age is 6.

Trip Highlights

  • Beautiful desert scenery.
  • Mild whitewater makes this our most relaxing multi-day river trip.
  • Good to excellent fishing.
  • One of America's longest free-flowing rivers.

Trip Summary

  • Near: Madras, The Dalles
  • Trip Length: 4, 5 or 9 days
  • Meeting Time: 8:00 AM
  • Season: April - July
  • Boat Options: paddle raft, oar raft, row-yourself cataraft, inflatable kayak, stand up paddle board
  • Whitewater Rating: II (novice)
  • Suggested minimum age: 6

Trip Guide: Upper River (pdf)
Trip Guide: Lower River (pdf)