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Sandy River

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The Sandy River is a great II+/III early-season rafting trip for those who are looking for something more exciting than a float, but not a full-blown high-water rafting trip. Our 8-mile section begins with one of the harder rapids on the trip with Pipeline a class II+ that gets you excited for the rest of this scenic float.

The soaring cliffs hold the dripping walls and the occasional waterfall splashing straight into the river. Along the way keep an eye out for the Osprey’s soaring above looking for their next meal swimming below the surface. The Sandy River is well known for the many different seasonal fish runs it contains, such as spring chinook salmon.

The many islands and braided channels provide enough whitewater to keep things fun, while still allowing you to take in the forested hills and think that the water you are on was on Mt Hood just the day before. The sweeping views often hold mink, otters and the springtime usually means lots of waterfowl arriving on their way north for the summer.

With only a short window that the Lower Sandy is a fun level to raft, make sure to explore this Columbia River Gorge area classic.


  • Season: April–June
  • Meeting Location: Dodge Park
  • Meeting Time: 10:00 AM
  • Nearest City: Sandy, OR
  • Trip Length: Half day
  • Level/Difficulty: Class II+/III (Novice/Intermediate)
  • Age Minimum: 6
  • Minimum Total Trip Size: If your group (combined with other groups who have requested the same trip) together total less than the minimum then your reservation will be on hold until the minimum trip size is met.
    – 5 guest minimum for day trips
  • Your credit card will not be charged until trip is confirmed.


  • Rafting near the Columbia River Gorge & Portland.
  • Short rafting season – an early season-only trip.
  • Family-friendly, class II+/III river trip on the Lower Sandy.
  • Raft on the waters coursing from nearby Mt Hood.
  • Soaring cliffsides and seasonal waterfalls



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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.

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 on most of our rivers (some options can be 5 years old), and adults of all ages. 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).

No, even if it’s your first time we have a trip that can work for you.


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.

Yes, we operate trips even if it is raining. After all, it is whitewater rafting and we enjoy the water. On the rare occasion that conditions warrant it because of safety concerns, O.R.E. will cancel a trip.

Yes, we are unable to accommodate walk-up businesses/customers due to trip planning etc.  Day trips can fully book up for the weekends during the summer, so it is best to reserve early. Mid-week trips and spring/fall trips are not as busy.

We provide top-quality professional rafting equipment, including U.S. Coast Guard Approved lifejackets, helmets, and other safety gear.


In general, you will only need to bring your own river-appropriate clothing, footwear, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, a change of clothes, and a water bottle for day trips. Full-day trips include a freshly prepared deli lunch.


Please note that our policies vary for day trips and multi-day trips. 


Deposits and payments: Half-day and full-day trips require payment in full when the reservation is placed. (Exception: If more than seven days remain before the trip begins, groups of ten or more may call to reserve with a $25 per person deposit.)


Cancellations, Transfers, and Refunds:

Please notify us as soon as possible if you find it necessary to cancel your reservation. Because we lose the ability to sell reserved spaces to other individuals or groups, we strictly adhere to the following policies:


  • 7 Days or More Advanced Notice: Choose to receive a refund of your deposit or transfer your reservation to another trip, less a $25 per person cancellation fee.
  • 6 Days or Less: No credits or refunds will be issued if you cancel 6 or fewer days prior to a day trip.


Please note that cancellation fees may apply to cancellation of the entire reservation as well as to partial cancellations (for instance, a reduction in your party size from six to five).

Yes! We partner with a local guide and offer this as an option for those looking to fish along their trip. Click here for more details, and be sure to read below for information regarding fishing license requirements. 

You will need to check the local fishing regulations as we operate in many different river locations. You will need a fishing license for the state that you are in. Both Idaho and Oregon offer daily passes and annual for in-state and out-of-state residents. Youth ages 12 and under in Oregon and 14 in Idaho do not require a license.


You will be able to fish from campsites and at lunchtime, but we cannot guarantee that you will be able to fish from the rafts while we are moving downriver. If you’re interested in having a fishing guide and an assigned raft for fishing let us know, we may be able to arrange on request.


Plan a perfect river excursion with all the right information at your fingertips. Learn about our stunning locales, explore our detailed gear book, or reach out with any other questions so we can make your trip as smooth as possible.