The North Umpqua River, which flows through a gorgeous, thickly forested, southwest Oregon canyon, features sparkling clear water and numerous enjoyable rapids.
Why choose the North Umpqua River trip?
- The North Umpqua sports more rapids per mile than most runs, and the rapids are great fun at any time of year.
May and early June is the ideal time to raft the North Umpqua if you're looking for white-knuckle thrills, while summer offers warmer weather and a more relaxed pace.
Our one day North Umpqua trips feature the exciting 12 miles from Boulder Flat put-in to Gravel Bin take-out, encountering such drops as Boulder Hole, Cardiac Arrest, Weird Weir, African Queen, and Pinball. (Low water trips may put in at Marsters Bridge for a 10 mile run.)
- Two and three day trips are available. We camp in beautiful, riverside Forest Service campgrounds. These campgrounds are car accessible, which means that you can bring as much gear as you would like. Use of vehicle-accessible sites allows us to keep our rafts light and maneuverable, and also enables us to charge a lower trip fee than would otherwise be expected for a premium multi-day trip.
Day one of our two and three day trips run the same stretch of river as our one day trips. Day two of our two and three day trips feature a downstream run highlighted by fewer - but larger - rapids such as Wright Creek, Steamboat and Bathtub. (Alternately, groups chartering a two or three day trip may opt to repeat the exciting run of day one. For some late-season two and three day bookings a repeat run may be advisable: Please contact our office for details.) Three day trips involve a day three repeat of the run of either day one or day two. After July 15 - due to government restrictions - all 2 and 3 day trips involve one put in and one take out per day rather than a continuous raft run.
- The Umpqua is renowned for its outstanding steelhead fishing. The combination of large summer-run steelhead, fly-fishing only restrictions, and outstanding scenery draws anglers from all over the world.
- Nearby attractions include Crater Lake National Park, Diamond Lake, and numerous waterfalls including Toketee Falls, as well as Watson Falls (the state's third highest).
- Pre and post trip lodging is available at the Steamboat Inn, known for its scenic streamside setting and fine cuisine.
The North Umpqua sports more rapids per mile than any other river we raft. The Umpqua's rapids are not the largest we run, but this river wins the "most action in a day of boating" award. On most one day trips (and in most cases on day one of our two and three day trips) we run the exciting 12 miles from Boulder Flat put-in to Gravel Bin take-out, encountering such drops as Boulder Hole, Cardiac Arrest, Weird Weir, African Queen, and Pinball.
The second day of our two day trips features a downstream run highlighted by fewer -- but larger -- rapids such as Wright Creek, Steamboat, and Bathtub. (Alternately, groups chartering a two day trip may opt to repeat the exciting run of day one.) Day three of our three day trips involve a repeat of the run enjoyed on either day one or day two.
All trips meet at 10:00 AM* at the "Gravel Bin" boat ramp, which is approximately 40 miles east of Roseburg, Oregon on Highway 138.
Look for a vehicle sporting the O.R.E. logo. Our lead guide will answer questions and help you prepare for your trip.
One Day trips
You will park your car at Gravel Bin then board an O.R.E. van for the 25 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.
We typically arrive at our take-out point around around 4:00 PM.** Your car is here, so your will be free to be on your way at your leisure
Two and Three Day trips
Logistics vary with group size, water level and time of year (due to government regulations). In some cases we will drop your car off at camp before proceeding to the launch point. In other cases your car will remain at Gravel Bin until the end of the first day of rafting. In either case, we're typically off the water on day one between 3 and 4 PM.**
2 and 3 day trips include a stop for a riverside lunch each day between noon and 1 PM. These trips typically also include opportunities to fish, hike or explore the river canyon.
On the last day of your multi-day Umpqua trip we will break camp then drive all cars to the take out point, so that your car will be awaiting you when you get off the river. We're typically off the water on the last day of the trip by around 3 PM.**
*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.
** Many factors influence our timetable, including water levels, winds, and the needs and preferences of our guests. Please consider these times approximate.
- The services of our professional guides and staff.
- Transportation to and from our meeting place.
- A hearty lunch on our one day trips, and all meals from lunch on day one through lunch on day two or three on our two and three day trips. Meals are freshly prepared by our guides from the highest quality ingredients. Special dietary needs may be accommodated with advance notice.
- Durable, professional quality rafts and river running equipment, including U.S. Coast Guard Approved lifejackets.
- Waterproof river bags for your personal gear.
- Camp chairs (on two and three day trips).
We meet at 10:00 AM on the day your trip begins at the Gravel Bin boat ramp, which is approximately 40 miles east of Roseburg, Oregon on Highway 138. You will find the boat ramp about 3/4 mile upstream from Steamboat Creek, roughly midway between highway mileposts 39 and 40. See our maps page for more information.
One day trips typically end by approximately 4 PM. Two and three day trips typically end by around 3 PM the last day of the trip. (Many factors influence our timetable, including water levels, winds, and the needs and preferences of our guests. Please consider these times approximate.)
Shuttle specifics vary by day and group. If you are joining us for a one day trip you will leave your car at our meeting place and ride in an ORE vehicle to put-in. If you're staying for additional days of rafting you probably still leave your car at our meeting place for the day, although alternatively we may first carpool to our camping spot then transport you by van to our put-in location (and back to camp at the end of the rafting day).
For day trips you will simply need to bring only your own clothing, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, a change of clothes and a water bottle. For two day trips you will also need to bring toiletries, a sleeping bag, pad and tent, and clothing to wear in camp. (Tents, sleeping bags and pads are available for rent from O.R.E.)
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.
The North Umpqua is renowned for its outstanding steelhead fishing. This is one of the nation's top steelhead streams. If you would like to try your hand at fly fishing, bring your gear and 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. Fishing is permitted from shore only.
While in the area consider including a hike on the Umpqua River Trail in your itinerary. Or visit a few of Umpqua National Forest's numerous waterfall, including picturesque Toketee Falls (highway 138, milepost 59), or Watson Falls (milepost 61), the third highest falls in Oregon. Another enjoyable side trip is a visit to Umpqua Hot Springs. For information about these recreational opportunities contact the Umpqua National Forest at 541-672-6601.
Slightly further a field but still easily within reach is world-famous Crater Lake National Park. (It is approximately a 50 miles drive from our meeting place near Steamboat to Crater Lake.) Visit a Crater Lake Website for more information, or call the Park at 541-594-2211.
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.
Gratuities are customarily presented to your paddle raft guide on day trips. Gratuities are customarily presented to the Lead Guide on two day trips, and will be shared equally among all guides on those trips.
- Largest # rapids per mile.
- Excellent scenery & clear water.
- Near Crater Lake National Park.
- Near waterfalls & hot springs.
- A world class fly fishing stream.
- Good camping nearby.
- Near: Salem
- Near: Roseburg
- Trip Length: 1, 2 & 3 days
- Meeting Time: 10 AM
- 2020 Season: May - July
- Trip type: paddle rafting (oar raft by request)
- I.K.s available on 2 & 3 day trips
- Whitewater Rating: III+ (Intermediate)
- Suggested minimum age: 7