North West Rafters Association Southern Oregon Non Profit Whitewater Rafting Club - Since 1982


Welcome To Oregon's Oldest Whitewater Rafting Club


Explore Oregon's rivers with Oregon's oldest whitewater rafting club North West Rafters Association. Join our group of experienced friendly rafters for exciting fun in the outdoors.

Rivers will remain unspoiled for future generations only if protected and cared for by those who use them today. It is important that we set high standards for ourselves and minimize our impact as much as possible. River running makes little impact on the environment. It is quiet, and non polluting. Except for the put-in, overnight campsites, and the take-out, whitewater rafters leave no trace. Thousands of river runners can use a river or lake and you can never tell they have been there. Good camping conduct is needed to keep our rivers clean and their value intact. You will discover an immense satisfaction in enjoying river running without depreciating the river in any way and leaving no lasting trace.

The North Umpqua River

The Umpqua waters are sacred. Oregon's North Umpqua River is often shrouded by a fine gray fog that forms on its pools in the morning, then wafts through dense timber and creeps up the canyon walls. The water cuts a deliberate path around boulders and glides into rapids and riffles that shimmer in the sunlight. This ornate labyrinth is, from bank to bank, one of the prettiest stretches of river on earth.

These waters have history. The locals can point out the tree that Zane Grey's cook, Takaashi, climbed to yell out casting coordinates to the legendary author. These are the home waters to the North West Rafters Association's members, considered the best day trips in Oregon. Over the years countless dignitaries from President Hoover to the actor Clark Gable have come here. The North Umpqua is respected for the lessons it teaches in her rapids. You don't have to canoe, kayak or raft to appreciate these crystal clear waters where you can see every rock on the bottom. Just being here on its shores will change you….


There is a water temperature gauge at Winchester and a new gauge near River Forks Park.
USGS Water & Flow Information The water temperature is currently around 46 degrees requiring a wetsuit or drysuit in case you swim.

Currently 3/20/17 the water flows are above the average of 5,000 CFS at 10,000 CFS or double the normal flow.

Guidelines for High Water Whitewater Rafting by Bill McGinnis

Guidelines for High Water Rafting

HB2320 Oregon State Marine Board Permit UP-DATE

On 2/17/17 there was a proposed amendment by Senator Steiner Hayward on boat registration $3.00 per foot for all canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, inflatables, row boats, float tubes and other hand launched boats.

March 1st, Ron Hilbert testified at the Capitol in Salem Oregon at the Hearing on SB2320 Public Testimony at the House Committee On Transportation Policy. The fate of HB2320 is in the hands of this committee.

Part of Ron's testimony: the act of admission for the State of Oregon expressly declares:
Section 2. Jurisdiction over waters forming boundary of state; use of navigable waters as free highways. "all the navigable waters of said State, shall be common highways and forever free, as well as to the inhabitants of said State as to all other citizens of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor. [11 Stat. 383 (1859)]" ("Impost" is a tax or similar compulsory payment.)

Oregon cannot charge you for using public navigable waterways and this is clearly what this permit is doing. In my opinion the bill will die in committee.

At the Public Hearing 7 supported the bill (mostly state and county parks departments who could receive money from it) and 27 Testified against the bill.

American Whitewater Survey
Almost 200 responded to the survey and 6% said they could support such a bill and 94% basically opposed the bill for various reasons.

The North West Rafters Association's policy is to remain neutral in all matters but is obligated to educate its members of issues that can affect them in their recreational pursuits of the outdoors. The NWRA does neither support or oppose HB2320 Non-Motorized proposed legislation, we feel it is up to our members on an individual basis.

Southern Oregon Water Safety Program

Ron Hilbert is representing the NWRA at the meetings. This group has put the "Rings and Ropes" installation at 6 locations along the lower Umpqua River consisting of throw rings and throw ropes at a kiosks with safety information. They are planning more installations in the future.

Their focus is on getting a water temperature sensor installed near the golf course on the North Umpqua River. Cost of the project is around $6000, $3000 paid by the government and $3000 paid by the Cow Creek Indian Tribe. The media will publish daily the temperatures and swimming warnings along with the NWRA's wear your life jacket logo starting in March 2017. KPIC television will also be involved in the program. The media publicity campaign will start two weeks before memorial day weekend the highest fatality weekend of the year historically. There will be a press conference, articles in the paper, radio interviews, TV spots, etc.

This promotion will give name recognition to the NWRA. I feel we can make the NWRA a training resource for the community for canoeing, kayaking and rafting.

Time to renew your 2017 membership


Why Join a Whitewater Rafting Club?

  • Explore rivers you have never seen before
  • Start whitewater rafting on easy rivers with experienced boaters
  • Make new friends with other people like yourself
  • Learn safe recreational boating through planned river trips
  • Participate in river safety classes
  • Camaraderie with all river users
  • Find used river gear at low prices

Join the NWRA

About North West Rafters Association Whitewater Rafting Club

rightalignThe North West Rafter Association was formed in 1982, it is a non-profit 501c3 Federal and State approved educational organization.

Our Mission
To provide recreational boating opportunities on rivers, promote boating & water safety education. We welcome everyone in the Northwest to join our Association. A majority of our members are from Southern Oregon. Rafters, Catarafters, Kayakers, Canoes, SUP's and any other whitewater craft are welcome to join us on our scheduled trips. We have many events scheduled for 2014 - check out the Trip Calendar for upcoming events.

Summer Rafting on the McKenzie River

Winter Rafting the Umpqua River

River Courtesy

  1. Always be prepared to offer assistance when problems appear. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance from other boaters.
  2. Know the safety code and practice it.
  3. NEVER boat alone, usually a group of three boats is minimum on a river.
  4. Respect the rights of fishermen, go farthest away as possible so he/she can't think you scared the fish. Be considerate of other non-boaters enjoying the water, and private landowners.
  5. Respect river access and landowner rights. Do not cross over private land without permission.
  6. If you come upon another group on a river, ask permission to pass or go around, don't barge into their group.
  7. Keep a reasonable distance between boats in your group and other groups. Only one boat at a time usually runs a rapid. This will allow sufficient maneuvering time to avoid potential problems if another boater has trouble. Don't pass other boats in a rapid.
  8. Remember large boats or rafts and heavily loaded boats have a lot of momentum and are difficult to stop.
  9. The boat proceeding downstream has the right of way. Don't pull out in front of it unless there is plenty of room. Do not abuse or insist upon the right of way.
  10. Don't hog good surfing waves or good eddies.
  11. If you are in a group stay between your lead boat and your sweep boat.
  12. Be responsible for the boat in front of you and behind you, if a rescue is necessary you will be the closest to help. Run a rapid and then wait for the next boat in an eddie until they are clear of the rapid.
  13. In case of a swim GET THE PEOPLE OUT FIRST if they separate from their boat, then get the boat. Down-stream boats pick up any floating gear, and up-stream boats assist in the rescue.
  14. Don't move on until your group is ready to go. If the last boat just caught up to you they haven't had time to rest yet. Avoid over exertion and exposure to excessive cold or heat.
  15. Don't monopolize space at the put-in or take-out areas, when getting your group organized. Keep your gear separate and confined to a small area.
  16. If you are a non-swimmer, have a current medical condition, disability, or past history, you must inform your group leader. Your trip leader should have your contact person in case of an emergency and your medical insurance information. Anyone under 18 should have an emergency medical permission form their parent or guardian.
  17. Be aware of possible hypothermia victims, and excessive alcoholic consumption, which lowers your body temperature and dulls judgment. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels and makes an individual more susceptible to hypothermia. The river itself is no place for alcohol or drugs. Save it for in camp after you get off the river.
  18. As always, the most important rule: Have fun and be safe!

King of the Rogue Whitewater Race




Sotar Rafts

Sawyer Oars

Orange Torpedo Trips
Whitewater Cowboys

Costal Stores

Sawyer Oars

Eddy News


May Meeting will be held in
Grants Pass Oregon

Thursday, May 11th at 6:30pm

Agenda: 2017 Event Schedule - Especially May Events - and a Movie

April 28-30 N. Umpqua Annual Campout/Float
Dutch Oven Cook Off

2017 NWRA Officers

Francesca Guyer President
Richard Johnson Vice President
Greg Robinson Secretary
Jody Bammann Treasurer
Ron Hilbert Communications & Webmaster