Canoeing, Kayaking & Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting allows you to explore places that would take days to hike to.


Paddle lakes and rivers, explore the outdoors in Oregon.


Inflatable Kayaks are a wonderful way to explore Oregon's Scenic Rivers.

River Running in Oregon and the West

covered Bridge McKenzie River 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 satisfactin in enjoying river running without depreciating the river in any way and leaving no lasting trace.


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 and a new river flow gauge near River Forks Park in Roseburg.
Graph of  Temperature, water, degrees Celsius
USGS Water & Flow Information The water temperature is currently in the 60 degrees requiring a wetsuit or drysuit in case you swim.

Copeland Creek below Boulder Flat: USGS Water & Flow Information


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 is publishing daily water 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.

In our committee communications with the National Weather Service we have made them aware that the data they have for water temperatures will help the safety of boaters, and they are developing a staff to work on this issue nationwide with 18 new staff members.

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 2021 membership

The permit is required on all boats 10' and over except motorboats and sailboats with valid registration decals. This is identical to the current requirement for non-motorized boats to carry the Aquatic Invasive Species Permit (AIS permit), and in this concept the Waterway Access Permit would replace the AIS permit for non-motorized boats. Permits are transferrable to other non-motorized boats and children under 14 do not need a permit. Revenues generated will be used to support boating facility grants for state, local governments, park organizations, and tribal governments for the acquisition of property, leases, or easements in order for the public to access waterways and construction and maintenance of boating access facilities. Funds are also be available for public bodies and non-profit entities to develop safety education courses and to purchase boating equipment to reduce barriers for underserved communities who wish to recreate on Oregon's waterways.

Why Join a Whitewater Rafting Club?

North Umpqua River - Amacher Park to River Forks Park

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 2021 - 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!

Gold Hill Whitewater Center
King of the Rogue Whitewater Race