River rafting adventure trips have become America's more accessible family holidays. Oregon and Washington States are the only full year rafting regions because of the area's more temperate climate, limited snowfall, gentle spring run-offs and high mountains. Rivers gush through varied terrain, pine rainforests, deep valleys, semi-desert flats and gorges. In fact, most rafters agree that the most versatile rafting rivers are the Deschutes and White Salmon. However, rafters need to follow strict safety guidelines and be able to handle sudden dangers.
Most rafters will opt for the many well-established rafting companies, choosing one with extensive experience, trained guides and certified safety equipment, not to mention free parking and a place to eat. Almost everyone from age 4 and up can raft with the exception of pregnant women, unfit/overweight people, or those with cardiovascular diseases. Non-swimmers/young children are not permitted on certain trips, even though accidents are still rare.
Families use the Deschutes River during the summer. The water is generally warmer, and the spring run-off has long since gone, leaving the river waters calmer. Other people find the White Salmon River more challenging, especially during the spring run-off when fast water rushes speedily through gorges/narrow passages, giving that familiar frothy white appearance.