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.
Horseback Riding in Sunriver, Oregon
For many, exploring new trails and breathing in the fresh mountain air is best done on horseback. And what better place to get in the saddle than in beautiful Sunriver, Oregon. Here, trail rides meander along the Deschutes River, offering mountain views and showcasing the natural beauty of the region. Enjoy corral rides, pony rides, lessons and guided trail rides on horses selected specifically for the comfort and ability of the rider.
Top 8 Things to Do in Sunriver in Summer
Whatever you’re looking for from a fun summer vacation, you’ll find it in Sunriver. Just 20 minutes south of Bend, the bustling community sits surrounded by forests of ponderosa pine and offers a full weekend of enjoyment for travelers of all stripes—complete with world-class golf courses, otherworldly natural scenery, lazy river floats and comfortable overnight stays.
Six Car-Free Adventures You Can Have at Sunriver Resort This Summer
Summer is a time for kicking back, getting out of town, and making memories with the family. And if your travels bring you to Sunriver Resort this summer, you’ll find plenty of popular activities to enjoy at your doorstep—all without ever getting in the car.