A visit to Sunriver, Oregon calls for getting on the water and soaking up the sunshine. Sunriver is a community based around Sunriver Resort that lives and breathes outdoor recreation. Visitors from all over the world call Sunriver one of their favorite vacation destinations, and much of the reason belongs to the stretch of the Deschutes River that runs through town. When the summer sun is high in the sky, one of the best ways to cool off and get some thrills is to float a whitewater section of the river.
Rafting on the Deschutes River
There are many sections of the Deschutes that can be rafted, and all of them provide some incredible views. The Deschutes runs through a variety of landscapes from huge canyon walls in the high desert to weaving between mountains in the Deschutes National Forest. Tall ponderosa pines, twisted desert junipers, sandy rock outcroppings, sprawling meadow vistas, mountain views and even some bustling urban districts can all be seen from this river. Most floats go over sections of the river that have either no rapids, or small sections of class I or II rapids. However, a whitewater rafting trip of the Deschutes will take visitors over class III rapids, while some other sections of the river boast class IV sections that are recommended for experts only. Whatever level of thrill or relaxation you are looking for, it can be found on the waters of the Deschutes River.
In Sunriver, floaters have two main options. Either put in at one of the common areas on the river that goes through town for a leisurely, rapid-free float, or reach out to a professional tour company to plan a thrilling whitewater experience.
How to Plan Your Sunriver Rafting Trip
So you’ve decided to pursue the whitewater adventure! The first step will be to contact a local tour company to check on availability, as well as other factors like the predicted weather conditions. You can plan your rafting trip with Sunriver Resort, or you could directly contact the river outfitter that they work with, Sun Country Tours. Either way, you’ll end up in the expert care of the Sun Country Tour river guides.
Sun Country Tours is the only river outfitter in Sunriver that offers whitewater rafting tours. Sunriver visitors looking for whitewater rapids will want to sign up for the Big Eddy Thriller. Visitors can meet up with their river guides at the Sun Country Tours office in Sunriver before loading up in a shuttle and driving to the designated put-in location, the Aspen launch site, just downriver from Dillon Falls. You’ll be outfitted with all the proper gear like helmets, life jackets and paddles. Before taking on the rapids, your guides will take you on a short walk to overlook the class III sections and discuss the best ways to maneuver through. After that quick briefing, hop in the raft and have fun! A shuttle will pick your group up after the trip and drop you back off at the Sunriver office.
Local Dining and Lodging in Sunriver
You’ve just finished your whitewater adventure, and now you’re hungry and looking for a place to rest your head. First off, Sunriver has some amazing dining options. Marcello’s is an upscale yet family-friendly restaurant that serves Italian cuisine with plenty of free bread. You’ll find Hola!, a Mexican and Peruvian restaurant near the Sunriver Marina. Sunriver Resort boasts plenty of incredible restaurants, serving everything from casual pup fare and local beers to upscale dining options, fine wine lists, craft cocktails and poolside snacks. In the mood to sit back and let the food come to you? Blondie’s Pizza offers free delivery across all of Sunriver.
For lodging, consider a stay at Sunriver Resort in one of the luxurious hotel guestrooms and suites, or a vacation rental, great for groups and families. The Pines at Sunriver is another option, offering affordable hotel accommodations and amenities like a pool and hot tub.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Adventures Abound Starting at Sunriver Resort
Sunriver is the type of place that takes your breath away no matter what season it is. During the summer you can hop on a horse for your very own wild wild west experience. The team at Sunriver Stables will make you feel comfortable on your ride, even if you’ve never saddled up before. Whether you’re in a tube or a kayak, floating down the Deschutes River is a relaxing activity that’s fun for the whole family.
Casual Family Weekend in Sunriver
Imagine this: you’re riding your bike through a rolling meadow, the Cascade mountain range in the background, and the only sound is from the whir of a prop plane taking off against a crisp blue sky. Up ahead, your children pull carrots from their pockets and present them to a gathering of friendly horses in an adjacent pasture.
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Camp Abbot’s Important Role During World War II
Sunriver is one of the region’s oldest and most beloved destination resorts. Since the late 1960s, Oregon families have made memories here, riding bikes to the general store, learning to golf on the courses and swimming in the river and the resort’s pools.