- Rivers emptying into the Columbia River Gorge offer some of the most exciting whitewater rafting adventures in the NW.
- The Deschutes, Hood, White Salmon, and Wind Rivers all provide rafting runs of various levels.
- Hiring an experienced, certified river guide is strongly recommended.
Whitewater rafting owes its popularity to the unique, breathtaking thrill of experiencing the raw power of a rushing river up close. Nothing quite matches the excitement of shooting through Class IV rapids amid the gorgeous canyons of a Northwestern waterway. While a few gentler runs appropriate for novices do exist, most whitewater runs near Hood River, Oregon are recommended only for seasoned rafters, and hiring an experienced river guide is strongly encouraged.
Best Rafting Runs near Hood River
- Deschutes River: The Deschutes is one of the most popular rafting rivers in the Northwest, and the Lower Deschutes has several runs that can stretch from half a day to a 5-day excursion.
- Hood River West Fork: At its best November-April, the Hood River West Fork is narrow at the put-in, but builds to almost non-stop Class III-IV rapids along the way.
- White Salmon River: The White Salmon and the Little White Salmon both have mouths on the Columbia River Gorge’s Washington banks north of Hood River. Both have rafting runs suitable for all levels, but children under age 10 are excluded from many tours.
- Wind River: The Wind River in SW Washington sports some of the most treacherous and thrilling whitewater in North America; Class IV, IV , and V rapids are common along one brief stretch.
Guided Tours & Rentals
Many expert guided whitewater tours can be found in and around Hood River; prospective rafters should look for certified guides with excellent safety records, like those shown on this page.