North Umpqua River Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip
North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip Summary
The North Umpqua River, known for ample amounts of thrilling whitewater and mountain scenery, is an ideal place to hideaway from the world for a few days of fun with your family and friends. Spend two days splashing, paddling, and yelling with excitement on the river. Spend afternoons exploring waterfalls, swimming holes and hotsprings. Evenings are occupied with relaxing around a campfire in a riverside campsite or enjoying a gourmet meal with glass of wine at a local riverside lodge. On the North Umpqua River every part of the day has an exciting and relaxing activity for the members of your family or group.
Day one run the popular one-day section from Boulder to Gravel Bin with numerous class II, III, and even one IV rated rapid. Day two run the less often traveled lower section with a collection of extremely exciting, big wave class III rapids that get the adrenaline rushing. Day two is amazing section of river that often goes un-explored, so on the two day trip you become one of the fewer who see this incredible section of whitewater.
Nights are relaxing around a campfire while guides prepare a multi-course dinner at a riverside campground or at the luxurious Steamboat Inn where your pallet will be treated with their famous winemaker dinner after cocktails in the library and a hot shower in your river front cottage.
Due to the permit system on the Umpqua River we only offer a limited number of trips every year so book early as we do book out the whole season.
What our guests have to say...
North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip
Reviewed by dealdog on August 28, 2013
“Umpqua River Whitewater Kayaking!”
...we did get a great white water kayaking experience with side trips to a swimming hole where the water was warm and to the hot springs at one of the National Forests in the area. Plus the blackberries were in season and we made like Yogi gobbling up everything we could find. The level of safety from our guides was world class and the lunches on the river were tasty and filling. The dinners at the Steamboat Inn started with cocktails in the library followed by family style servings with wine provided by our guides - we eat out alot and i can honestly save the food was excellent!
North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip Itinerary
Trip Logistics Overview
Unlike many of our multi-day trips, this is a vehicle based trip, so our personal items for evenings and such don’t go down the river with us. Day one we typically go straight to the put-in and launch for the day. At the conclusion of day one the group will drive either to the lodge or campground (depending on lodge or camping trip) where the evening will be spent. Most drives are under 10 minutes. Usually some type of activity either hiking, swimming, or hot-springing will also happen post rafting in the afternoon. Day two the group will pack up and head for the second day section of river, about a 10 minute drive. After running the second day section it’s back to the vans and head towards home.
Detailed Itinerary for this North Umpqua Multi-day Trip
Lodge Trip: Upon arrival at the Inn, you will be given a room assignment and the evening is yours. Unpack and hop into the shower or the hot tub. Feel free to take your fly rod down to the river and try your skill on one of the most famous fly fishing rivers on the West Coast (make sure you have an Oregon fishing license). Whatever you choose, be back and ready for dinner; this is a meal you will not want to miss. After dinner relax out under the stars or play a board game. Just have fun and rest; this is your vacation.
Camp Trip: Upon arriving in camp the guides will help you set up a tent and you can get geared up for the evening. At the same time you are moving in the guides will be setting up our kitchen and preparing appetizers to hold you off while the entree of steaks, salmon, or ribs are cooking up. After some fresh brownies from the dutch oven it’s time to relax around the campfire with your kids or friends and re-live stories from the day.
Day 1: Depending on where you are coming from we have a variety of meeting points to choose from. Check out the Travel Information Tab for all the meeting location details. Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast before we meet; you will be very active before lunch.
Day one starts off with a bang and puts you in some perfect warm-up class II+ or III white water. This is where you will hone your inflatable kayak skills of weaving around boulders and riding over waves, or bring your rafting team into sync as you prepare for the bigger rapids in a paddle raft.
After a riverside lunch prepared by the guides, it will be time to head back out for the white water packed half of the day. The afternoon on the North Umpqua is filled with class II, III and one class IV rapid hiding in the middle. After paddling through rapids like the Froggers, Amazon Queen and Pinball, your raft team will feel ready to take on any white water you can find. In the late afternoon when your knuckles are white and your smile has become a permanent fixture on your face, the group will reach the takeout, the vans and your luggage.
After loading in the vans the group will usually head up towards Steamboat Creek falls for some swimming, relaxing and jumping into the deep pool below the falls. This beautiful pool is a great spot to relax for an hour or two and just enjoy being with your group of family and friends. Some groups opt to go explore the hot springs or Toketee Falls which also make great afternoon explorations before heading to camp or the lodge.
Day 2: After a filling breakfast, it’s into the vans and back to the North Umpqua river for another day filled with crystal-clear water, big waves and fun with your group. The day starts off at Bogus Creek with plenty of exciting morning white water, including Wright Creek and Bathtub rapids. You will quickly notice that the rapids on day two are a bit bigger than day one and the excitement level has jumped up a notch or two. This is a thrilling section of river. Another riverside lunch will lead you into more class II and III rapids, such as Cliffside and the guide favorite, Island. Upon arrival at the takeout the group loads into the vans and heads back towards home.
Travel Information for the North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls
Where to Meet Orange Torpedo Trips
You can choose to meet us at one of three locations for this trip depending on where you are coming from and where you are going after.
1. Our shop in Merlin Oregon at 7:15 AM. We are located at 210 Merlin Rd. Merlin, OR. 97532. Exit I-5 at exit 61 and drive 3.2 miles. We are on the right hand side.
2. The Windmill Inn in Roseburg Oregon. The Wildmill Inn is directly off of I-5 at exit #125. We meet here at 8:30 AM.
3. Gravel Bin Boat Ramp: On Highway 138 about 1 mile up river from the Steamboat Inn. We meet here around 9:15 AM.
If you are coming from the South or will already be in Grants Pass Oregon meeting us at our shop in Merlin these are some great spots in town.
- Redwood Motel Grants Pass Oregon 888-535-8824 (recommended)
- Shiloh Inn Grants Pass Oregon 541-479-8391
- La Quinta Inn Grants Pass Oregon 541-472-1808
If you are coming from the north like Eugene, Portland, or Seattle it will be easier for you to meet us in Roseburg Oregon. If you want to meet us in Roseburg we meet customers in the parking lot of the Windmill Inn at 8:30 AM. You can also choose to stay up on the river at the beautiful Steamboat Inn. If you stay at the Steamboat we can pick you up there around 9:15 AM.
The North Umpqua River corridor is strewn with incredible camp grounds. If you plan on adding a day of rafting on the North Umpqua River to a family road trip, a night camping in the area will be a great experience. If you plan on camping in the area the night before your trip plan on meeting us at the Gravel Bin boat launch around 9:15 AM. Below is a great site for camping information on the North Umpqua River.
The closest commercial airport is in Eugene, Oregon which is about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Roserburg. If you fly into Eugene you will need to rent a car and meet us at the Windmill Inn in Roserburg.
Southern Oregon is known for its great summer weather.
- May · High (F) 71 Low (F) 46 Avg. Rainfall 1.82 in.
- June · High (F) 78 Low (F) 51 Avg. Rainfall .92 in.
- July · High (F) 86 Low (F) 55 Avg. Rainfall .44 in.
- August · High (F) 86 Low (F) 55 Avg. Rainfall .57 in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of boats do you use?
As on most of our trips we offer a variety of river craft to choose from. Orange Torpedo Trips is best known for inflatable kayaking with 80% of our customers choosing this as the way to go down the river, but on this trip we offer 3 types of river craft on this trip. Watch the video to learn more about our 3-boats.
Learn to paddle your own inflatable kayak (Torpedo). We have guides in Torpedo’s teaching you how to paddle and leading you through the rapids in a 4 to 1 ratio. If you happen to fall out the guides have you out of the river in seconds. 45+ years of doing it on the Rogue River and tens of thousands of satisfied returning customers prove that it is extremely fun.
A more traditional type of rafting, paddle rafts are a great way to go if you still want to do some work, but think the torpedo is just a little to much. Work with a team of your friends paddling the big boat through the rapids as the guide sits in the back to help navigate.
Hop on an oared raft and ride in luxury. This is the relaxed way to travel. If taking in the scenery and letting the guide do the work is how you vacation then hop on board. This is how kids 4-11 years old will usually travel.
Q: What is an Orange Torpedo?
An Orange Torpedo is our custom-designed inflatable kayak. We have brought our 45 years of guided inflatable kayaking experience into our partnership with world renown raft builder SOTAR to introduce an industry leading high performance, beginner friendly inflatable kayak which we exclusively use.
Q: Can I switch boats during the trip?
Yes, but with some limitation. If you start in an inflatable kayak and decide quickly that it’s not for you. We will get you out of the kayak. If you start in a raft and decide you want to kayak, we cannot always guarantee that ability. Based on what people tell us they want to do we pack a specific amount of equipment and bring an appropriate number of guides for a trip. Sometimes that does not leave much room to add kayakers mid-trip. People will often be willing to switch out throughout the trip, but if someone signs up to tackle the river in an inflatable kayak, we want to make sure they have chance to paddle the entire trip if they want.
Q: Gratuity, is it common to give tips and how much?
Gratuity is certainly appreciated but by no means required. At the conclusion of a trip please just give any gratuity to the head guide who will divide it evenly among the crew. Standard restaurant gratuity percentages tend not apply on these trips, so what we have seen over the years on the North Umpqua 3-day trip is an average of approx: $50 per person in a group. So a group of four would be about $200. That is what we typically see on this trip as an average, please don’t feel obligated. Also, when thinking about gratuities, please feel free to tip the staff at the lodges during your stay there.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
On single day trips your $10 per person deposit is refundable up to 72 hours before your trip. Cancellations within 72 hours of the scheduled trip launch will be subject to loss of their deposit.
On all of our multi day rafting trips we do not offer refunds on deposits or balance payments. We strongly encourage all customers to purchase travel insurance through travel guard to help protect your travel investment against the things that come up in life. It’s a small additional price for the comfort to know that if something comes up (illness, work change, etc) you will have the ability to recover your significant travel investment. Get a Travel Guard Quote Here.
Q: How much is the deposit and when is the balance due for my trip?
As on all OTT trips, this trip requires a 30% deposit. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the trip launches. Upon making your reservation you have the option to set up your credit card to automatically run the balance on the due date.
Q: Is there a single occupancy fee on this trip?
The lodge version of the North Umpqua River multi-day does have a single occupancy fee of $50 per night.
Q: How many years have we been running the rivers?
Orange Torpedo Trips was founded on the Rogue River in 1969 by rafting visionary, Jerry Bentley. Within just a few years OTT had spread to numerous rivers throughout the Northwest including the Klamath River, the Main Salmon River and Snake Rivers.
Q: What is our average tour guide tenure?
We are proud to have one of the highest head guide tenure’s in the industry. The majority of our multi-day trip guides are teachers in the off-season. This off river profession makes them naturally great guides with a desire to teach our customers about the rivers, but it also makes them stable year to year guides. The average tenure, with our company, of our head guides is 29 years.
North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip Rates/Dates
2018 North Umpqua 2-day Lodge Trips
- Adult/Youth - $599 ($100 additional single occupancy fee)
Trip Start Dates:
- May - 10, 12, 24, 26
- June - 7, 9, 21, 23
- July - 5, 7, 19, 21
- August - 2, 4, 16, 18
2018 North Umpqua 2-day Camping Trips
- Adult/Youth - Adult $439
Trip Start Dates:
- June - 2, 14, 16, 28, 30
- July - 12, 14, 26, 28
- August - 9, 11, 23, 25
Other dates for both lodge and camping trips as well as 3-day trips are available by request for groups of 6 or more.
North Umpqua Whitewater and Waterfalls Trip Packing List
These trips are a little different from most of our other multi-day trips. On the North Umpqua trips we stay at the same location both night and no gear will ever go down the river. So when you meet us, whatever you packed your stuff in is what we will take to either the campground or the lodge. We do have dry-bags for the daytime, but evening stuff will never go on the river.
What to pack
On the River
- 2 swimsuits or shorts and top (cotton not recommended)
- Sports sandals or hard-soled wetsuit booties (ideally something that does not come off when swimming)
- Synthetic paddling gloves (only if kayaking and even then not required but they do help with blisters) - Available at our shop
- Polypro, synthetic or hydro-skin shirt (nice for mornings and chilly days - Not required but can be comfortable) - Available at our shop
- Water Bottle (1 liter) with carabiner - Available at our shop
- Waterproof sunscreen - Available at our shop
- Sunglasses with croakies or chums strap (consider bringing two pairs)
Evenings - Camping Trips
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad - If you don't have one just let us know
- Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
- light rain jacket
- 1 pair shoes with socks
- 2 pair pants
- 2 pair shorts
- 2 t-shirts
- Small Towel
- Mosquito repellent
- Personal Items (toothbrush, medications, etc.)
- Fishing equipment and valid state fishing license (Certainly not required but the North Umpqua is a premier fishery. Artificial Flies ONLY.)
Evenings - Lodge Trips
- 1 pair pants
- 1 pair shorts
- 2 shirts
- Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
- Insect repellent - Available at our shop
- Personal items (medications, hygiene; keep personal grooming items to a minimum)
- Camera with memory cards and batteries
- Fishing equipment and valid state fishing license (Certainly not required but the North Umpqua is a premier fishery. Artificial Flies ONLY)