Family Adventure

Experience Oregon's John Day River

Enjoy the high desert landscape and meandering water along Oregon's longest free-flowing river.

Are you dreaming of slow days with your favorite people, away from the distraction of phones, social media, and work? Looking for a way to connect with family and friends surrounded by the beauty of the high desert? If you want to create memories with your loved ones and start the summer off right, this is the trip for you.

This adventure is designed for folks looking for an experience on the river that includes boating, camping, and optional fishing. Great for groups with small children or folks who love the river and aren't looking for extreme whitewater. 

This trip operates on the traditional territory of the ancestral lands of the Tenino, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Numu (Northern Paiute).

Your John Day River wilderness adventure begins when we meet you at the Redmond/Bend, Oregon airport baggage area. We will then drive about two hours to the launch site. It's a beautiful drive, so you keep your camera handy. We will make a stop to use the restroom, pick up fishing licenses (if applicable, please inform us in advance if you plan on fishing), alcoholic beverages, if desired, and last minute personal items.

On this trip we will float the river on large inflatable rafts. One-person sit-on-top kayaks are also available. Rafts carry 4-7 people plus one guide, and we aim to keep family groups together.

We make every effort to make your outdoor experience in the Central Oregon wilderness a comfortable one. All camping gear is provided. Four person tents are used, two guests per tent so that you will have plenty of room. Single tents are available for a small additional fee. You will sleep like a baby on our durable self-inflating mattresses, and cots are also available. Camp chairs are provided for relaxing on shore while you discuss the beautiful scenery, check out wildlife, fish, or just sip on a cold beverage. Solar showers are provided for a relaxing warm shower at the end of the day. All camp gear is set up and taken down for you by our cheerful crew. For your privacy and comfort we provide a custom tent for hot showers and the camp toilet.

Food is prepared by our camp cook while you hike or just sit and enjoy the scenery. Bacon-wrapped filets, Dutch-oven lasagna, BBQ country style ribs, and raspberry hazelnut meringue will give you the energy for extreme relaxation and exploration each day. You will be served three meals a day plus snacks. We can accommodate most allergies and dietary restrictions, although the purchase of specialty food items my require a small additional fee.



3-5 days


Starting at $795/person plus 3% public lands use fee


Age 3+


John Day River near Mitchell, OR.

Nearest airport is Bend/Redmond (RDM)


Camping in tents along the river shore. All equipment provided.


Mellow: Class I-II rapids



  • Quality oar rigs and paddle rafts and hard-sided sit-on-top kayaks.

  • Guides who do all cooking, camp set up, navigation, risk management, and permit acquisition.

  • Waterproof bags for packing and transporting your clothes and personal items.

  • Satellite phone for any emergency calls.

  • Transportation from and to the Redmond/Bend Airport (if needed).

  • Three delicious meals a day plus snacks.

  • Non-alcoholic beverages i.e. water, juice, and sodas.

  • Camping gear, tents, cots or inflatable mattresses, solar showers, etc.

  • Optional instruction in rafting, kayaking, backcountry cooking, camp craft, and fishing (if you want to fish please tell us in advance)


  • Hotel accommodation before and after the trip

  • Personal clothes, toiletries, and pillow (see packing list)

  • Fishing license (if applicable)

  • Alcoholic beverages: There is plenty of cooler space and ice for all your favorite beverages. We request that you bring cans or plastic bottles so we don't risk broken glass on sandy beaches.

  • Tips for guides

  • Shuttle for personal vehicles from river launch to take out point

oregon john day river family trip