Average Gradient
11.50 ft/mi (2.18 m/km)
Most difficult rapid
Class I
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

As winter ends and things warm up, Bend locals get their inflatable rafts, tubes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards ready to hit the river. Because of its proximity to Bend, the stretch of the Deschutes River from Riverbend Park to Drake Park is extremely popular. You can also rent tubes, stand-up paddleboards, and arrange your return trip just across the river at Farewell Bend Park. 

The float is perfectly relaxing and peaceful, with mountain views and plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained. As you lazily make your way down the river, you will float through the Old Mill District, pass The Les Schwab Amphitheatre, and approach the 'spillway,' which is your first exit or portage point. IMPORTANT: you must exit on the left before the spillway, and there will be plenty of signs indicating when to do so. If you are continuing on your float, you will simply walk under the bridge and resume your float from Mckay Park, floating through a residential section of town before ending your journey at Drake Park. Shuttles are a popular option, however Sun Country Tours has a bus that picks people up at Drake Park and returns them to Farewell Bend Park for a small fee (inquire about times and pricing at the Sun Country Tours trailer, located at Farewell Bend Park).

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Not Required

Motors Allowed


Open Year-round



Close to town. Lazy, safe section of the river. Mountain views. Wildlife.


Float through business and residential districs. Crowded on summer weekends. Slow current in sections.

Pets allowed


Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

44.042022, -121.320701

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

44.060142, -121.319452


Family friendly
Boat ramp(s)
Big vistas



Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Overall difficulty


Route Characteristics: Character


Suitable for

Inflatable Kayaks

Permit required




We have more than enough tourists trashing our rivers without more people advertising it simply for personal gains and your portfolio.
Great write up, the map you posted is for a different section of the river, this map may be more helpful (found on www.bendparksandrec.org)
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy

Organ Mountains Wilderness Area, New Mexico
Truckee + Lake Tahoe area, California