The McKenzie River becomes navigable at the Olallie campground, about 11 miles east of McKenzie Bridge. Between the Olallie campground and the town of Blue River, there are seven public boat launches, including at Paradise and McKenzie Bridge campgrounds. Expect to encounter Class II and III rapids along the Upper McKenzie. Many local outfitters can guide you down the river.
McKenzie River Adventures (541/822-3806 or 800/832-5858, www.mckenzieriveradventures.com) has half-, full-, and two-day white-water rafting trips May–September. The half-day (four-hour) trip is $80 adults, $60 children, lunch included; the full-day (seven-hour) trip is $100 adults, $80 children, lunch included. The cruises range 7–18 miles and take in some Class II and III rapids. Reservations are recommended.
Destination Wilderness (541/549-1336 or 800/423-8868, www.wildernesstrips.com) floats the McKenzie March–October. Half-day trips are $75 adults, $65 children; full-day $95 adults, $75 children; and two-day $295 adults, and $265 children.
Oregon Whitewater Adventures (39620 Deerhorn Rd., Springfield, 541/746-5422 or 800/820-7238, www.oregonwhitewater.com) offers guided half-day trips for $60, full-day trips for $90, and a two-day overnighter for $290. All necessary gear and transportation back to your car are included.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel