Degree of Difficulty
The rapids which you will encounter on your journey down the Deschutes range in difficulty from very simple to somewhat challenging. Each rapid has been classified by its "degree of difficulty." Minor rapids consist of Types 1 and 2; major rapids consist of Types 3 or greater.
Easy. Offers no major obstructions. Water surface shows only small riffles. Low hydraulic forces are in effect. No significant danger other than the simple, unobstructed force of the the current of the river.
The majority of rapids on the lower 100 miles of the Deschutes fall into this category.
The river we will be rafting falls into this category, with a few slightly challenging rapids.
Medium difficulty. Streamflow increases velocity. Obstructions may necessitate some maneuvering. Medium hydraulics will be experience. Small standing waves or relatively safe medium-sized standing waves are possible.
Dangerous. Swamping or overturning is common. Medium to high streamflow velocities will be encountered. Standing waves will be present. Powerful hydraulics exist. Maneuvering will be required during passage. Dangerous suckholes may form at large boulders. Midstream obstructions may be present. Novices should seriously consider lining their boats through these rapids.
Extremely Dangerous. Extended rapids necessitate long-term difficulties. High standing waves and midstream obstructions force maneuvering in powerful hydraulics. Suckholes are capable of capsizing the most stable craft. Novices should not attempt. Novices should line the boats through these rapids or portage around them.
Extremely Dangerous. These rapids require technical maneuvering in strong hydraulics. Rapds may be extended for some distance. Standing waves and midstream obstructions or suckholes present serious hazards to equipment and life. Novices and many experience boatmen should line boats through or portage around.
Foolish to Attempt. Involves life hazard. Waterfalls, impossible hydraulics and necessary maneuvering combine to make safe passage more a matter of luck than skill. Lining boats through or portaging around in recommended for even the most competent boatmen.
Rapid Classifications | Local Area | Where to Stay | Reservations | What to Bring