Enjoy a Sunriver summertime tradition by exploring the Deschutes River with a variety of watercraft options, including innertubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. The river in this area offers scenic mountain views and wildlife sightings, with a Class 1 moving water rating featuring riffles, minor waves, and minimal obstructions.

However, it’s essential to be aware of some important facts about the Deschutes River:

  1. The current can be deceptively swift.
  2. The river is spring-fed, and water temperatures seldom exceed 60 degrees, posing a hypothermia risk for prolonged exposure.
  3. State law mandates life vests for all occupants of watercraft, regardless of the type of vessel.
  4. Ensure you wear appropriate clothing, carry food and water, and adhere to safe boating practices for a safe river outing.

Popular floating routes in the Sunriver area include:

  1. Big River (RM 199.2) to Harper Bridge (RM 191.7) – 7.5 miles, 3-5 hours.
  2. Harper Bridge (RM 191.7) to Besson Day Use Area (RM 189.9) – 1.8 miles, 45 minutes.
  3. Harper Bridge (RM 191.7) to Sunriver Resort’s Canoe Takeout (RM 183.1) – 8.6 miles, 4-6 hours.
  4. Besson Day Use Area (RM 189.9) to Sunriver Resort’s Canoe Takeout (RM 188.2) – 6.8 miles, 2-4 hours.
  5. Besson Day Use Area (RM 189.9) to Benham Falls Day Use Area (RM 182.0) – 7.9 miles, 3-4 hours.

Sunriver Resort operates a commercial marina at River Mile 188.2, requiring boat rentals to use the facility, including a shuttle ride back from the Canoe Takeout at River Mile 182.0. For Sunriver homeowners and their guests, there is a private launch and parking area at River Mile 188.2, accessible with specific association-issued cards.

You can find watercraft rentals, life vests, and other essentials at various shops in The Village at Sunriver and the Sunriver Business Park. For a comprehensive list of public boat launches along the upper Deschutes River, visit www.deschutespaddletrail.com.


Deschutes River Maps

4 Seasons Recreational Outfitters


Sunriver Marina


Sunriver Sports


Village Bike & Ski