A great winter time paddle on the Deschutes River is coming to an end. Spring has arrived. Within a few weeks the Middle Deschutes will be reclaimed by farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon leaving this stretch of river nearly bone dry. So, this may have been my last run of the season here between Tumalo State Park and Cline Falls State Park.
Wayne Ball and I paddled the 10 mile stretch between Twin Bridges Road and Cline today, late in March, 2016. Water levels are about 700 cfs which means it’s flowing fast and deep, covering shallow rapids but making dramatic features in others. I love paddle boarding this section and always look forward to paddling here each winter. Some named rapids like Awbrey Falls (mandatory portage) and some unnamed ones offer exciting challenges to even the most skilled whitewater SUP athlete.
Though mostly Class IIs and IIIs, the rapids all tend to be shallow. It was nice to be on the Hala Luya SUP board with the retractable fin system, the StompBox.
View our route via Gamin Connect here.
If you plan to run this bit of river, be sure to have a river running background, be prepared for a wild ride in a desert canyon, and dress every bit the part of whitewater kayaker (S.H.I.P.P.S: shoes, helmet, insulation, PFD, padding/body armor, and have a signaling device with you such as a whistle.). Also, respect private property. Near Awbrey Falls land owners don’t like people on shore scouting.
By Paul Clark
Paul Clark is “the dufflel bag paddle boarder” and adventure SUP correspondent based in Bend, Oregon. Visit www.suppaul.com for media, photography, and adventure paddle boarding resources.
April 1, 2016