For More Info Call:  503-946-3404

Deschutes River Rafting

Photo Credit: Kim Budd

Photo Credit: Levi Old

Photo Credit: Jor-El Zajatz

Course Details

    Location: Oregon
    Activities: Rafting
    Tuition & Fees: $1195
    Financial Aid Available: Yes

Experience one of Oregon's most scenic and picturesque rivers as you view wildlife and navigate rapids, then cozy up in your sleeping bag until the next thrilling day. You don’t need to have previous rafting experience. We will teach you everything you need to know to travel comfortably including how to pack appropriately, load a raft, set up tarps, paddle in a raft, and navigate the river. 

Available Courses

How to Enroll

Steps to becoming a Northwest Outward Bound course participant:
Step one: Complete the online enrollment by clicking on Reserve Your Spot Today (above), or call to enroll (866-467-7651 or 503-946-3404)
Step two: You will receive a personalized Registration E-Mail from your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. within 48 hours.
Step three: Complete the paperwork that we have directed you to on this website.
Step four: We will need a couple of weeks to review your enrollment packet and approve your participation.

Enrollment Packet & Course Information

Enrollment Packet Deadline Policy: All applicants must adhere to the due dates listed in their Registration E-Mail. If you are unable to meet the requested deadlines, please be sure to contact your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Otherwise, your spot on the course will be opened up to another student.


Physician Exam Form Admissions & Enrollment Policies

Note: Supplemental Forms may apply if we need more specific information about you. Refer to your Registration E-Mail to determine which supplemental forms are required for your enrollment packet.

This section contain details that are key to the specific course you have enrolled on. This information will come in handy when packing, planning, and preparing for the adventure you have chosen. Please read these documents CAREFULLY and contact your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

Gear & Footwear

Travel Information

Course Description

Attending Outward Bound

Course Preparation & Physical Fitness
Information on Completing & Returning Forms

Supplemental Forms & Scholarship

Refer to your Registration E-Mail to determine if any of the following forms are required for your enrollment process. AGAIN, note the DUE DATE in your Registration E-Mail.
The Northwest Outward Bound School offers financial assistance in the form of Needs-Based Scholarships. The scholarships typically do not exceed 1/3 of the base cost. In order to receive an award offer, you will have to enroll in your chosen course, go through the enrollment and medical screening process and be officially cleared to participate on the course. There is a $500 deposit that must be paid at the time of enrollment, which is refundable if your scholarship award does not meet your needs. Please note that all scholarship applicants are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awards are strictly based on need and scholarship money availability. The application form is available below. Please contact Skye Clifford (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you have any questions regarding the Needs-Based Scholarships, and/or other questions regarding financing for your course.

Need-Based Scholarship Application

Course Description

This course consists of 4 to 5 days of white water rafting on the Deschutes River beginning at Mecca Flats. Students will begin with lessons in safety and river travel, then progress to reading currents, anticipating obstacles, scouting difficult rapids and working as a team to negotiate technical portions of the river. Students will also learn about river hydrology, swimming, paddle techniques, captaining the raft, expeditionary travel and take short day hikes. Students will also travel through historic Native American lands. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect during a solitude period called a solo.

The Outward Bound Difference
Our courses are based on more than just wilderness skills; they are designed to deliver life skills. Students will not only practice leadership skills, they will learn in an environment where instructors role model compassion and environmental stewardship. They will learn in an environment where challenge and adventure lead to a sense of accomplishment and a genuine feeling of pride. Students are expected to learn and master skills; to exercise craftsmanship; to try their best; and are asked to consider their experience in group conversations and through an emphasis on reflection and bringing learning home.

This course may be the hardest thing a student has ever done. Outward Bound philosophy maintains that by facing the challenges the course offers, students will emerge physically and mentally stronger with an increased mastery of expedition skills and a better understanding of their own capabilities. We think the payoff is well worth the work, but students should be aware of what they are getting into and be excited about the challenges.

Service and Compassion
Outward Bound courses are team environments where groups work closely together to travel, navigate and camp every day. Group living can be challenging. Inevitably students learn about one key facet of human interaction - compassion. Throughout Outward Bound’s 50-year history and into the present, we strive to deliver new perspective on compassion and being of service to others. Today most courses include a half to a full day of community service, and we hope a student's experience with us translates into a desire to engage in service to others when they return home.

Course Area

Deschutes River, Oregon – The Deschutes River is part of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The river flows north from the Oregon Cascades to its confluence with the Columbia River. The Deschutes watershed plays a very integral role in Central Oregon’s landscape, hosting a vast array of insect, fish, and bird populations throughout the spring and summer months. Common summer wildlife around the river includes osprey, bald eagles, western tanagers, bullock’s oriole’s, deer, bighorn sheep (rare), rattlesnakes, and waterfowl such as mergansers, great blue herons, and mallard. The river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually cold, constant water flow. The group will camp each night along the banks of the river. This course will travel a segment of the Lower Deschutes, approximately 50 miles, from the town of Warm Springs to just downstream of the town of Maupin. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to Class IV, mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddle skills and teamwork. The Lower Deschutes is a popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing, and the region has a colorful human history, with a railroad running alongside much of the length of the Lower Deschutes. The river border for 1/3 of the Lower Deschutes is the Warm Springs Reservation. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. 

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