Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking

Rafting and kayaking are foundational to the Youth Dynamics Adventures program. The river provides a dynamic and beautiful environment for incredible conversations! Whatever river experience you choose, you will receive a professionally guided, fun, and meaningful experience for your group!

Clackamas River:

Clackamas 2

Clackamas River

Known as the “backyard jewel” for Portlanders, this river has it all. It is nestled in the Wild and Scenic section of Mt Hood National Forest, and Youth Dynamics is one of a small group of outfitters that have had the privilege to run this river since it first opened up for permits.

The two seasons we run are spring and summer. Spring flows are typically too extreme for Inflatable Kayaks, but during the summer months, this is a spectacular ½ or full-day trip. Raft trips can be scheduled in both seasons. The summer season typically finds us running Hole in the Wall or Fish Creek to Moore Boat Ramp, but in the spring we’re able to put in higher up on the river near Three Lynx power station, a more challenging section to raft.

  • Age: 11 or 14+ (depending on season and kayak/raft options)
  • Season: March – September
  • Length: 1/2 day & full-day
  • Group Size: 8+
  • Cost: $55-$75

Deschutes River

This river might have the most consistent flow levels of any river in the USA, or maybe we’re just partial. Rain absorbs into the porous rocks of Central Oregon and shows up in the many underground springs that help feed the river. Other sources, like Lake Billy Chinook, dump water into the picturesque high desert canyon that is such an attraction for visitors. The Deschutes also boasts one of the most heavily rafted sections of water in Oregon: The Maupin Stretch.

Deschutes

Deschutes River

Longer raft trips can be designed to run on either the top 2 segments, bottom 2 segments, or even extend the full span of all 4 segments: Warm Springs Boat Ramp to Heritage Landing. Extended IK trips include the last two segments: Buckhollow to Heritage Landing. Single Day Trips are only run on segments 2 & 3, depending on the craft:

(1)   Segment 1: Warm Springs to Harpham Flats (raft only)

(2)   Segment 2: Harpham Flats to Sandy Beach (raft only)

The “Maupin Stretch” (the most common segment, boasting two of the most popular rapids on the river: “Boxcar” and “Oak Springs”.

(3)   Segment 3: Buckhollow to Macks Canyon (raft or kayak)

(4)   Segment 4: Macks Canyon to Heritage Landing (raft or kayak)

  • Age: 11+
  • Season: Year-round
  • Length: ½ day and multi-day trips
  • Group Size: 8+ (size limits may apply)
  • Cost: Stingle day trips start at $80 per person

Klickitat River

Glacier runoff feeds this remote river section, and although it’s challenging for some younger groups, once you are there you will not want to go home. The river flows by the foot of Mt. Adams and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This is a wonderfully challenging spring river, for single-day raft trips only (Fish Hatchery to Leidl Bridge).

  • Age: 14+
  • Season: May – July
  • Length: Full-day
  • Group Size: 12+ people
  • Cost: $80 per person

McKenzie River

If you’re wanting to beat the heat of summer or you are traveling from the Eugene, Roseburg, or Corvallis area, you don’t have to travel far. The McKenzie River is what you want. 

Mckenzie3

McKenzie River

This is a river where drift boats got their start, and it’s well known for its fishing. This river is also known for its beautiful scenery and ever-changing water features like Martin’s Rapids, a fun class three drop. We do single-day raft trips only, from Fin Rock to Helfrich.

  • Age: 11+
  • Season: May – September
  • Length: Full-day trips
  • Group Size: 12+ people
  • Cost: $80 per person

North Santiam River

This wonderful spring runoff river is close enough to Portland and tame enough to offer a fresh challenge to kayakers, having all of the features to make it a very memorable experience for you and your group. With rapids like Spencer’s and Carnivore, it is sure to fill your excitement cup to overflowing.

  • Age: 14+
  • Season: April – June
  • Length: Full-day trips
  • Group Size: 8 – 12 people
  • Cost: $80 per person

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day runs from about 9 AM to 3:30 PM with a stop for lunch. Half-day rafting adventures are available on many shorter river sections; morning or afternoon options can be scheduled, whatever works best for your group.

What if someone in the group does not swim?

Being a swimmer, even a good swimmer, is of course beneficial for confidence if nothing else, but it is not a prerequisite. Paddlers will be required to wear a Personal Flotation Device at all times on all rivers. Helmets are also available, recommended, and even required on some river sections. You have the right by law to wear a helmet when rafting class three whitewater and above, and they will be made available to you.

What am I responsible to bring?

It is recommended that paddlers bring appropriate swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and sandals or river shoes that will not fall off. Depending on the season you may also want to bring a thin insulation layer for while on the water, and dry clothes to put on once you are off the river.

Youth Dynamics will provide capable and experienced guides familiar with the sections of the rivers. We will provide equipment that is well maintained and necessary for rafting in whitewater. We provide Personal Floatation Devices, wetsuits, booties, and splash jackets needed to deal with the climate and water temperatures. A full packing list for each experience will be made available through the booking process. 

What is the best option for middle schoolers?

We offer rafting on river sections that are appropriate for all ages, such as the Maupin stretch of the Deschutes River. Our staff will help you design a trip that is appropriate for your group.

What are the biggest differences between rafting and kayaking?

Rafting can be physically challenging for any skill level, it depends on the demands of the water being rafted. Kayakers can find themselves meeting greater challenges as they are more independent in their own boat and need to be able to self-rescue and quickly learn how to maneuver. A certain level of fitness is recommended for kayaking. 

Where will we meet the Youth Dynamics staff?

Several meeting options are typically available: at the river, near (or at) the put-in, or stops on the way before cell service is lost. For trips on local rivers, such as the Clackamas and Sandy, you meet us at our Adventure Base located in Canby to be fitted with your river gear.

Our staff will equip and provide the essentials for your experience (e.g. gear, food, equipment, training, insurance) and will work with your group leader for programming and other logistical needs. In addition, our staff will provide the technical and professional skills needed to provide a safe and life-changing adventure.

Our goal is to assist you in providing a memorable experience for your group that has the opportunity to be life-transforming. Whether you are trying to create unity in your church youth group or build community in your school, group home, or youth-related organization—we are with you!

Let’s adventure together!

V Youth Dynamics Adventures Oregon

Physical: 2350 SE Territorial Rd, Canby, OR 97013

Mail: PO Box 385, Canby, OR 97013

Phone: 503.692.9070