Whether you live in Bend or are just visiting for the weekend, consider this your cheat sheet for floating the Deschutes River.
The popularity of floating the river has surpassed what anyone envisioned when Bend’s Park and Recreation District formally opened the river for business. Unfortunately, the amount of trash, from lost clothing to littered cans, has also ballooned. Rather than curtail floating, the park district and its partners, including the Old Mill District and Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, are asking locals and visitors to consider their impact when they set sail from Farewell Bend Park. Points of emphasis include eliminating trash and litter on the river and reducing stress on native and restored riparian areas, by helping users identify and use established access and exit points on the river.
- Bring your own tube and inflation device OR rent onsite at Riverbend Park, or at Tumalo Creek and Kayak ($20 for 2 hours).
- Bring cash for a river shuttle ($3) or run your own shuttle using a bike or Zagster bike sharing service.
- Put life jackets on children.
- Pick up trash. (Is seeing it and leaving it any better than littering?)
- Bring food or other packaged items that produce garbage.
- Bring single use water bottles. (You’re in the birthplace of the HydroFlask!)
- Consume drugs and alcohol. (They are both illegal and dangerous on the river.)
- Float through the safe passageway channel unless you’re willing to risk a bump or scratch. (It’s a river, not an amusement park.)