Combine rafting big summer flows down rapids that are over a football field long, an ultra-comfortable ‘safari style’ backcountry camp (think glamping), and options for mountain biking, running, inflatable kayaking, and fly fishing. The Upper Klamath cuts a steep wilderness canyon through the Cascades of Southern Oregon and is one of the finest and most exciting class-IV+ rivers in the West. This is a uniquely action packed and comfortable 2 or 3 day luxury camping adventure – there is no other trip like it in the United States.
The trip is a 2018 Sunset Magazine Travel Award Finalist and Portland Monthly named our Upper Klamath Multi-Sport Rafting Safari as one of their “Ten Once-in-a-Lifetime Cascadian Journeys” – “It is glamping at its best. And you must earn it.”
Momentum’s first commercial rafting trip was on the Upper Klamath and it is one of the two rivers that made us choose Ashland, Oregon as our base. We have added many other rivers and adventures to our offerings, but Ashland is still our home and the ‘UK’ will always be an integral part of our trip offerings and a guest and guide favorite. We recently built our ‘Upper Klamath Bush Camp’ to create one of the most unique, active, and comfortable trips in the U.S.
The same guides that guide our trips throughout Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, and abroad run our Upper K trips – guides with a minimum of 5 years of experience on many of the world’s most difficult whitewater rivers, and guides that truly enjoy sharing the outdoors and their outdoor experiences with others.
The Upper Klamath is one of the best trips on the west coast, one of our backyard rivers, and one we know like an old friend. Join us and see why guests that have joined us on trips all over the west and abroad still try to make time for a ‘UK’ trip (or two) every year.
The Upper Klamath has a high desert old west character. There is a pioneer flavor with the canyon dotted with Native American and frontier relics, rapid names straight out of a western, and a ride along an old stage coach track that winds through remote pine forests and beautiful meadows.
The river has three different sections and begins with a fun class-III warm-up. This first stretch makes the Upper Klamath a recommended rafting trip for first-timers or experts in good health. There is plenty of opportunity to learn the finer points of river running before dropping into section two where the canyon constricts, the river drops out of sight, and things completely take off. Get ready for one of the most action-packed sections of river anywhere. Starting with a long class-IV+ rapid called Caldera, the river rarely slows for the next seven miles and is packed with exciting and fun class IV and IV+ drops. Buried in the middle of this stretch is the half-mile long Hell’s Corner rapid.
In the afternoon we will pull into our unique and comfortable ‘Upper Klamath Bush Camp’. The camp is a safari style riverside base camp located deep in the canyon and only accessible by raft. Set among ponderosa pine are shaded walk-in tents with cots and private decks, a shaded eating area, showers, hammocks, and the ‘UK Bar’. The late afternoon can be spent hiking, fly-fishing, playing games in the sun, having a drink at the bar or by the river, or just hanging out in a hammock. In the evening we will serve appetizers, a big dinner, and desert, followed by a comfortable night under the high desert sky.
For those interested day two can be a big day. Day two includes running the big continues class IV+ rafting section again and then continuing further downstream through the third and final stretch of river. There is a morning option for a six mile mountain bike ride or trail run along a rolling track through pine forests, past old west ruins, and with views down into the canyon. For those who don’t want to ride there is an option for a short (but bumpy) drive.
On day 2 (or 3) there is an afternoon option to inflatable kayak on the more moderate third section of the river. Navigating your own inflatable kayak is a unique and very exciting way to experience the river and they add a whole new dimension and sense of adventure to the river. You are free to explore in a small and maneuverable craft, to feel the rapids up close and personal, and ultimately to test your new river running skills. Except for the rafting portions all the multi-sport activities are optional and you can pick and choose.
The Upper Klamath is one of our original ‘backyard’ rivers, and one we know like an old friend. Join us for two or three days of big whitewater, lots of activity options, a beautiful canyon, and a unique and very comfortable night at our safari style backcountry base camp. It’s a quick, active, and comfortable wilderness escape – away from wifi, cell phone chatter, and hectic daily schedules.
Please Note: This trip can be very active or more relaxed – it’s up to you! It is perfect for experienced and first time paddlers (and for those who find regular camping not to be their cup of tea). However all guests need to be in reasonable physical condition for the whitewater rafting section and for a short but steep 150 yard hike on day two. If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call or an email.