How to Float the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon
Floating The River Made Easy
Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe has made it easy for you to float the river this summer with the Park& Float station, at the 1000 SW Bradbury Dr. next to The Pavilion ice rink. Rent tubes for the whole family and reserve a shuttle bus ride back to your car all in one easy and convenient stop.
Advance reservations through www.tumalocreek.com are highly encouraged.
PARK & FLOAT 2021:
- Open daily through September 5, weather dependent.
- Tube rentals run between 10 a.m. and 4:30a.m. The last Drake Park pickup is at 7 p.m.
- Cost is $21 which includes tube rental, shuttle and $1 for river restoration via the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
- Changing rooms and restrooms are available at the Park & Float.
- Fully stocked retail store on locations for everything you will need to float the river, including reef-safe sunscreen, dry bags, cell phone cases, footware, sun wear, hats, snacks, refreshments.
FLOAT LIKE A PRO:
- Know The River: Tumalo Creek provides a comprehensive safety talk that covers river safety, stewardship, and river orientation.
There is a short whitewater section through the Bend Whitewater Park under the Colorado Ave. Bridge. This section features a series of 12 drops that are entirely optional. If you are uncomfortable with this section in any way there is an area you can get out and walk around the rapids.
- Know When To Float: The Park & Float opens at 10 a.m., arrive early to avoid the lines. Hot afternoons draw exceptionally large crowds, be prepared! Plan for 2 hours on the water and give yourself extra time as lines and weather can be factors. If there are crowds trust the experts at Tumalo Creek.
- Protect Yourself: Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are available on request at no extra charge.
When you’re on the water, be an active and engaged advocate for the river and follow the basic tenants of the Enjoy Protect Respect project, a local campaign created to increase community engagement to enhance the overall health and usability of the Deschutes.
River Floating Options
Several river recreation options are possible. Choose a two-hour float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park or a one-hour float from either Riverbend Park or McKay Park. Farewell Bend on the other side of the Deschutes provides a beach launch and McKay Park, just below the Bend Whitewater Park, makes for a great starting point for a quick float to Drake Park.
The Surf’s Up in Bend
The Bend Whitewater Park is a must-see attraction for river floaters or more experienced kayakers and river surfers. Whether participating or spectating from the footbridge, the Bend Whitewater Park is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and built on the location of a former dam once used for mill operations. Find maps and details at BendWhiteWaterPark.com.
Float the Deschutes River the Right Way
With an estimated 250,00 boaters, paddlers, floaters and swimmers using the Deschutes River every year, it’s imperative we all do our part to protect the river we all love so much.
Enjoy the river safely by wearing a life jacket and securing all of your gear properly
Protect the river by picking up your trash and belongings
Respect the river by only entering and exiting in specified approved access points
The Enjoy Protect Respect movement is a call to set a higher standard for behavior on the Deschutes. Let’s work together to promote a safe, responsible, and fun river experience that our community can enjoy for many years to come. It is our river, let’s keep it natural. Together as a community we can enjoy, protect, and respect the Deschutes River. Active engagement in river stewardship and respectful floating behavior – to other floaters and the river itself – are at the core of long-term river conservation and protection.