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Deschutes River - oregon
20th of April
Streamflow 6010 cfs
Average 4000 cfs
Runnable Min 2500 cfs
Runnable Max 9000 cfs
Gradient FPM
Length 44 Miles
Class III to III+
Current Weather 72° Chance Showers


Lower Deschutes (Sherars Falls to Columbia River) is currently runnable with streamflow levels at 6010cfs, about 50% above the average runnable rate of 4000cfs. We recommend paddling this section of the Deschutes River between a bare minimum of 2500cfs and a high of 9000cfs.

This class III to III+ journey is accessible from 5 different boat launch points along the Deschutes River. Paddlers should prepare for the 15 class III to III+ whitewater rapids along this run. Lower Deschutes (Sherars Falls to Columbia River) is also ideal for multi day paddlers looking to do some camping too. Campers will find 43 riverside campsites as the run winds its way through 44 miles of the beautiful Deschutes River. Streamflow levels and subsequent run conditions for Lower Deschutes (Sherars Falls To Columbia River) are sourced from the nearby USGS streamflow gauge at Deschutes River Near Madras, Or.

This run is another great overnight or day run.  There are a few remaining rapids before hitting the mighty Columbia and camp and fishing options abound. Weather on the river today will be a 30 percent chance of showers after 11am. increasing clouds, with a high near 72. southwest wind 5 to 11 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Season Begins: January & Ends: December

Seasonal Flow Status: 29% Above Average

With a 6010cfs streamflow rate, Lower Deschutes (Sherars Falls To Columbia River) is currently above its 4673cfs average seasonal streamflow for this time of year by 29%. Typically, this paddling destination has seen streamflow levels ranging between a low of 3910cfs in 2015, and a high of 6010cfs seen in 2019. Data for this report is sourced directly from USGS streamflow gauge 14092500

Hourly Forecast: 72° Today, Chance Showers

Over the course of the next 5 days, weather conditions on the river are expected to range between A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 11am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 61. North wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. to partly sunny, with a high near 73. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 61° - 73°

Forecast Discussion

930 FXUS66 KPDT 191158 AAA AFDPDT Area Forecast Discussion...Updated National Weather Service Pendleton OR 458 AM PDT Fri Apr 19 2019 Updated aviation discussion .SHORT TERM...Today through Sunday night. Upper level trough and cold front approaching the Pacific northwest early this morning. Satellite showing partly to mostly cloudy skies across the northern portion of the forecast area with clear skies south. As the front gets closer expect clouds to increase and spread south. Showers will develop and increase in coverage as well. Models showing a fair amount of instability over central and northeast Oregon this afternoon and early evening ahead of the front. Southwesterly jet is also moving into the region at this time. Have increased coverage and pops for thunderstorms. The front will be slow to move out of the area as it becomes nearly parallel to the upper flow. Expect showers to continue tonight over central and northeast Oregon. The upper level trough and cold front will move east Saturday. Precipitation and clouds will be decreasing especially in the afternoon. An upper level ridge then builds into the region Sat night and Sunday with fair weather. Temperatures remain fairly warm today with 60s to lower 70s. Cooler on Saturday. 94 .LONG TERM...Monday through Friday...Monday through Tuesday night a ridge will be over the area and fair and dry weather is expected aside from a slight chance of upslope showers along the Washington Cascade crest. There will be partly cloudy skies Monday night through Tuesday night as a disturbance approaches the coast but only makes slow progress. By Wednesday the ECMWF and Canadian models show a weak system and trough crossing the area and flattening the ridge to the south while the ECMWF has the disturbance fizzle out and maintains a ridge. Have leaned towards the GFS and have a chance of showers in the mountains Wednesday afternoon along with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the eastern Oregon mountains. The lower elevations will have a slight chance of showers with the Columbia Basin remaining dry. Showers will taper off overnight. Models continue to disagree Thursday and Thursday night ...

Whitewater Rapids and Obstacles

Obstacle Summary Class Elevation
Buckhollow Rapids

Read and run class II

II 666.81 Feet
Trestle Hole Rapid

Just below the railroad trestle bridge is an island that splits the river.  Let channel is basic class II.  Right channel is a little tougher with a hole.

Read and run
II+ to III- 653.16 Feet
Wreck Rapid

The river drops over a ledge here.  Best route is to take the first wave train down from right to left.   This rapid is named after a train collision that occurred here in 1949

III to III+ 624.82 Feet

A straight forward rapid

Read and run
II 506.23 Feet
Macks Canyon Rapid

If you stay on the left channel this is mainly some small waves.

II 439.89 Feet
Island Rapid

2 small islands split the river into 3 channels as the river widens slightly here.  This creates a shallow entrance into 1 of the 3 channels.  Most right channel is probably the calmest with the most left channel the most turbulent.  Any route is not going to be harder than class II water.

Read and run
II to II+ 409.88 Feet
Bull Run Rapid

A wave train

read and run
II to II+ 379.28 Feet
Jet Pump Rapid

read and run
II+ 349.41 Feet
Harris Rapid

Some rock dodging and waves

Read and run
II to II+ 302.68 Feet
Washout Rapid

Large waves and a hole just right of center.  Easiest line is probably just left of center down a fairly large V and wavetrain.

Scout river left if you wish.
III to III+ 265.15 Feet
Gordon Ridge Rapid

A set of drops as the channel narrows.  Yield to upcomming jetboat traffic if they are commited to their line.

Read and run
III to III+ 233.73 Feet
Colorado Rapid

A short straight forward rapid

Read and run
III to III+ 208.39 Feet
Knock Knock Rapid

This is an area with pretty turbulent currents and eddylines.  This can flip unsuspecting kayakers.  Rafters can float over the boils without too many issues.

II 198.88 Feet
Rattlesnake Rapid

Read and run
III 195.71 Feet
Moody Rapid

Take the left channel as you approach the take out.  The channel narrows and creates a class III rapid.

III to III+ 184.33 Feet

Regional 5 Day Forecasts

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Upper Clear Creek

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Tunnel 1 to Golden Whitewater Park

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Golden Whitewater Park

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Upper South Boulder Creek

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Lower Boulder Canyon

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Run Overview

Permitted Watercraft


Lower Deschutes (Sherars Falls to Columbia River) Campsites

Twin Springs Camp

An open camp accessible from the river or by car.  Toilet and not much shade here.  BLM camp fee.


River left medium sized camp.


Large camp on river left.


Smaller to mid sized camp on river left.

Jones Canyon Camp

River right.  Vehicle and river access.  Full service fee based camp.


A so-so camp on river left.  No shade.


River left camp

Rattlesnake Canyon Camp

This camp isn't very river friendly.  River right.  Fee area.


A large camp on river left.  Good eddy pool with sandy beach makes this a nice camp even if the shade is limited.


A small camp on river left.


River left

Talbot Camp

River left medium sized camp with some shade.

Upper Dike Camp

River left.  Medium sized camp with decent shade

Dike Camp

River left camp with a toilet.

Sixteen Canyon Camp

Large camp on river right.  Toilet.

Homestead Camps

On river right on the river bend are a couple of large camps with good shade, a beach and a toilet.

Nooky Rock Camp

Good camp on river left.

Airstrip Camp

River left just north of the dirt airstrip.  Toilet.


river right


2 or 3 primitive camps on river right

Lockit Camp

A couple of large camps with good shade and a toilet on river left.


River right

Harris Camps

A couple of larger camps on river left.  Toilet

Green Light Hole

River left just after the rapids.  Near the railroad tracks

Fall Canyon Camp

Larger site on river right.  Toilet


river left.  No campfires, dogs or camping while cattle present here.


River left. No campfires, dogs or camping while cattle present here.


River left. No campfires, dogs or camping while cattle present here.

Deer Spot Camp

Mid sized camp river right.

Bedsprings Camp

2 good sized camps on river right.  Good shade and toilet.  A small beach at the first camp.

Hot Rocks Camp

River right camp with good shade.

Deschutes Camp

Small camp on river left not far below washout rapid.

Free Bridge Camp

River left.

Kloan Camps

Several small camps on river left.  This area can also be reached by 4WD on the free bridge road.

Bathtub Camp

River right, decent shade.


This is one of many small camps on river right in this area.  You can find camps here from bathtub camp all the way down to commisioner camp.

Game Commission Camp

River right.

Upper Shade Bar

River left.

Lower Shade Bar

River left. Toilet

Gordon Ridge Camp

Located on river right about halfway down the rapid.  Good beach with not a lot of shade.

Five Trees Camp

River right. Toilet.

Wagonblast Camp

Small camp on river left with toilet access.

Colorado Camp

Large camp on river right.  Shade and pit toilet.



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