This will be best year in a long time to check out one of our more high adventure spring trips. The trips are a mix of remoteness, excitement, beauty, and wilderness and they only run in the spring – in some years not at all. A few of them even combine whitewater with VERY comfortable camping (the Cal Salmon and Clear Creek – comfortable and very exciting:)).
These trips are our roots, we love them, and they are a big part of the reason some of the best guides in the world call Ashland, Oregon home during the river season.
The snowpack’s range from 130 to close to 200%. Below are our spring trips that will benefit the most from all this snow and precipitation. Even on a huge snow year some of these rivers have very short season and the best dates (or all the dates) book fast.
As always – While spring offers some of the biggest and most isolated trips anywhere for most trips you do not need to be an experienced adventurer, an athlete, or even to have ever touched a paddle or spent a night under the stars. Our trips are designed for those who like or want to be introduced to the outdoors and our goal is to make these places we love accessible to everyone. So if you have any questions about whether one of the trips below is good for you just ask.
Spring Snow Melt Rivers:
The California Salmon
3 days/3 nights | April – June | Class IV+/ V | Gateway: Medford, OR (MFR) / Redding, CA (RDD)
California’s premier spring run, this is one of the most spectacular class V adventures in the country!. This is a signature spring trip and, for many of us, the “Cal Salmon” is our favorite class V river in the U.S. It combines beautiful, lush coastal scenery, an intimate, marble-smooth, granite inner gorge, a seemingly endless number of waterfalls cascading in from above, emerald-green waters, tons of wildlife, a comfortable pop-up base camp, and unequaled class IV-V pool-drop whitewater. This is truly a world-class, high-adventure run. The late May dates are getting full.
Clear Creek Kayaking
3 days | Mid May – Mid June | Class IV | Gateway: Northern CA / Ashland, Or
Clear Creek is like no other stretch of river in the country and one of the most unique trips we offer. Tumbling out of the Red Buttes Wilderness Clear Creek carves an extremely narrow and rocky gorge with a rainforest feel and crystal clear water – there are places where the canyon is not much wider than our kayaks. The trip combines high adventure, spectacular beauty, pop-up riverside glamping, and a chance to run a stretch of river that is rarely seen (or even heard of). The highlight of the trip is ‘Clear Creek’ – a spectacularly beautiful, remote, and extremely rarely run tributary of the Klamath. It is truly a magical place.
4 Days | April – Early May | IV+ | Gateway: Boise, ID (BOI) / Eastern OR
One of the most incredible and rarely run river trips in the country. A Middle Owyhee trip is for those who are looking for isolated wilderness, spectacularly dramatic landscapes, and plenty of excitement. It’s a journey to one of the most remote lands in the lower 48. It combines dramatic dark sheer canyon walls, big rapids, and it is even more remote than the Lower. While there is only one class V rapid the remoteness makes it a true expedition. One of our trips was featured on OPB’s Oregon Field Guide. This river trip is a true wilderness experience.
The Illinois River
4 days | April – early May | Class IV+ (V) | Gateway: Medford OR (MFR)
Southern Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Illinois River is considered by some to be the best wilderness rafting trip in the country. Few rivers can match its combination of extreme isolation, solitude (we can only take 24 people a year down this river!), beauty, and whitewater. The Illinois features crystal clear water, countless waterfalls tumbling into the river, a spectacular canyon with steep walls draped in moss and ferns, and world-class pool drop whitewater. This rafting trip is what wilderness river running is all about and we are honored to offer it.