Canoeing, Kayaking & Surfing in Bend, OR
Nothing in the world compares to an afternoon spent canoeing, kayaking, or surfing on the mighty Deschutes River or one of the many glittering lakes tucked in among the Cascade mountains. Bend is an absolute haven for paddling adventures, so grab your canoe, kayak, or surfboard to discover heavenly fun on the water.
The Bend Whitewater Park rolls out big wave excitement right here in town. Located near the Old Mill District, these playful and innovative man-made waves surge through the Deschutes River. Three channels make up the park, with the center channel being a challenging and exciting set of waves that will fulfill any whitewater junkie’s dream. Just take a drive across the Colorado bridge and see surfers lined up for their chance to take a ride. Or for a mellower trip, the fish ladder channel is ideal for kids and beginners, while the habitat channel is for the protection of local wildlife and is off-limits to people and pets.
Or, how about paddling right through town by kayak or canoe along the meandering Deschutes River for a more carefree float. Popular routes include Riverbend to McKay Park, McKay Park to Drake Park, and Riverbend Park to Drake Park. Each float is perfect for families, novices, or those looking for a quick in-town adventure.
If you’re itching to dip your paddle and toes in a tranquil lake while watching Osprey soar and towering mountains encompass the skyline, then gear up for a canoe or kayak adventure along Cascade Lakes Highway. Sparks Lake and Hosmer Lake include captivating views of Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters and offer miles of exploration through canals and coves and all without the distraction of motorboats. Elk Lake and Cultus Lake not only have dazzling views but marinas, cabins, and restaurants where you can dock your vessel and grab a burger and a cold beverage. And both lakes allow motorboats up to 10mph.
For canoe and kayak rentals in Bend, check in with the crew at Tumalo Creek Canoe and Kayak. Or, for a guided tour, the standup folks at Wanderlust Tours offer half-day tours where you’ll get inspiring first-hand knowledge about the area and our waters.
With our lakes and waterways getting busier and busier, it’s good to get an early start, but even at 7 am, expect the crowds to start arriving. And please, pack out all trash, stay in designated areas, leave wildlife alone, and be respectful of other users.