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Canoeing and kayaking in Bend, oregon

Whether you’re craving a lazy canoe float on calm water, a thrilling kayak ride through churning whitewater, or something in between, we promise you’ll find the aquatic adventure of your dreams in Bend. 

The new state-of-the-art Bend Whitewater Park offers a unique experience for paddlers of all skill levels. Three distinct channels offer a safe passage for floaters, a wildlife habitat, and a whitewater park with four distinct waves ranging from beginner to expert. Wave conditions are influenced by electronically controlled pneumatic bladders that influence wave shape, size, and complexity.​ The park is free and open to the public.

The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway offers oodles of lakes perfect for exploring by canoe or kayak. Devils and Sparks Lakes are two spots where non-motorized boats are allowed, so lollygag along the lake and enjoy the scenery and fresh mountain air.

If a guided outing is what you prefer, Wanderlust Tours offers daily half-day canoe and kayak tours on the serene lakes of the Cascade Range. You'll be picked up in town and your gear is included on every tour, along with a knowledgeable naturalist guide. For an extraordinary experience, try one of Wanderlust’s starlight canoe tours or a moonlight canoe tour.

If you’d rather go it alone, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe is a great place to rent all the gear you need. Then scope out this map of the Cascade Lakes to get the scoop on navigating your high lake adventures.

The Sunriver area is another breathtaking destination for a kayak or canoe trip along the Deschutes River. Make an entire day of it by putting in at the Harper’s Bridge and be prepared to float for 3-4 hours to the pull-out at Benham Butte. If you want a shorter ride or need a place to take a break for lunch, hop out at the Sunriver Marina only a 1 1/2 hour float from Harper’s Bridge. You can even rent your canoes, kayaks, and rafts at the Sunriver Marina located within Sunriver Resort.

For those seeking longer adventures, the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance offers the "Deschutes Paddle Trail River Guide," which includes a separate fold-out map of the Cascade Lakes. The guide provides a detailed look at 26 miles of the Little Deschutes from La Pine to Sunriver. It also features 95 miles of the big Deschutes from Wickiup Reservoir to the very last take-out in Deschutes County at Lower Bridge. There’s even information on non-navigable  sections of the river as well as river history and a guide to wildlife and plants. Pick up your copy for $15 at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe or at the Bend Visitor Center in downtown Bend.

Whitewater kayakers will love the thrill of the First Street Rapids on the Deschutes River in the middle of Bend. Plenty of boulders are scattered through fast-moving water below the rapids, creating perfect spots for eddy turns, peel outs, roll practice, and ferrying back and forth between shore lines. If you’re looking to improve your whitewater skills, check out the classes offered by Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe.

For info on whitewater rafting adventures on the Deschutes River, visit our whitewater rafting page here.


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