300 days of sunshine a year is the recipe for a great rafting experience on the Deschutes!

300 days of sunshine a year is the recipe for a great rafting experience on the Deschutes!

If you are staying at our Mt Hood Cabin in the summer there is one thing that you do not want to miss…Rafting the Deschutes!  Less than an hour away is the Oregon capital of river rafting, Maupin.  Maupin is a cute small high desert town east of Mt Hood.  There are over eight different rafting companies that will take you on a half day or more river rafting extravaganza.

Like all residents of a state that live close to tourist activities, I was guilty of not taking advantage of this opportunity.  I have lived here for over a decade and heard about Maupin and the river but never ventured over the mountain to this part of the state.  After I see a Groupon coupon for rafting I was determined to do it.  I’m not getting any younger and the bucket list needs to be worked on.  So I bought some vouchers, convinced some friends to do the same and we were off for the weekend, staying at our Mt Hood Cabin.  That Saturday we left the cabin at about 11:45AM for a 12:30PM check-in.  We were scheduled to hit the white water at 1PM.  Our Groupon was for a company called High Desert River Outfitters.  They ran a special for 50% off.  So for $30 a piece we had ourselves 3 hours of fun…the best $30 I’ve ever spent.

Just traveling over Mt Hood is a treat.  The peaks, glaciers and trees are always refreshing to look at.  As you are headed east on highway 26 head towards central Oregon. and watch for the signs that say Maupin on Route 216.  This road gives you the complete Oregon landscape from fir trees, then ponderosa pines, to the hay fields and ranches of the high desert.  Don’t worry about weather.  Maupin has 300 days of sunshine a year so if it’s cloudy on the west side come on over to the east side for some sun and warmth.  You eventually hit highway 197, go right to Maupin.

We arrived, parked and checked in.  After filling out the proper paperwork we had a tailgate picnic and loaded up on some much needed calories as we knew it would be 3 hours before we ate again.  We used the dressing rooms provided and changed into our bathing suits, sandals, sun tan lotion (a must) and were fitted for our life vests.  We then loaded the shuttle bus with the crew and we were off to the river.

The trip lasted about 2.5 hours on the water with one stop to swim the rapids, which I highly recommend (I did it twice…why not).  The rapids ranged from a Class II to V, mostly III’s.  At the entrance of each rapid we were briefed, no one fell out, teamwork a must.  I saw young kids and grandma’s in rafts, everyone enjoying the day and the water.  After a great trip we loading the rafts and the bus and headed back to base camp while listening to the jokes and stories of the guides.  The whole trip made you feel like family, wanting to come back again.  As we reached Maupin the guides gave us some recommendations for dinner.  We ended up hitting Oasis Café.  This historic (hole in the wall) café…yup…you guessed it, great food.  We had the recommended burgers, beer battered fries and peanut butter shakes.  If you tell the waitress the name of your HDRO guide they get a free shake the next time they come in.  After dinner we crossed back over the Deschutes bridge on highway 197 and wouldn’t you know it, our guides walking on the bridge headed to their hangout place for that free shake…and a few beers I presume!

Here is a list of all the rafting companies in Maupin.  Happy vacationing in our pristine state!

While here make sure you stay at our Mt Hood Cabin.  This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home has it all from hot tub, firepit, bbq, ac, full kitchen, wifi, flatscreen TV, cable, DVD and pillowtop mattresses with quality sheets and linens.  Not to mention our summer heated outdoor pool, tennis court and Sandy River hiking trails exclusive to our cabin community.  See the Mt Hood Cabin website here at www.greatnorthwestcabins.com or call us at 503-492-8783 any day from 9-9 PST for information and reservations.  We will be glad to answer your questions.


That’s me, Bob to the right, my 2 daughters to the left and friend Don and his son Ethan…good times had by all!