A less than average snowpack can put a heavy strain on Oregon’s most popular rafting rivers.

As a whitewater rafting company in Central Oregon we depend on annual snowfalls in the Cascade Range to the west and the Ochocos to the east  to pile up, melt, and replenish the reservoirs that feed the Deschutes and McKenzie rivers. The National Weather Service is reporting that Oregon is experiencing a drier and warmer winter season than normal and snowpack monitors around the state are reporting less than half of average levels at western and central stations.

The snowpack season typically peaks around April then the snow begins to melt and the water runs off of the peaks into the lakes and streams below. If the snowpack at the end of the season is less than average it puts a greater strain on the river and streams that support natural habitats, irrigation farming, and local businesses like ours.

Fortunately, the Deschutes and McKenzie rivers literally have an ace in the hole which makes them a little less vulnerable during a drier winter season. Large underground aquifers that are the result of tens of thousands of years of snowmelt that has seeped through the porous volcanic layers provide a bit of a buffer during less than average snow years. The Deschutes and McKenzie rivers are born out of these huge underground reservoirs and the countless freshwater springs that bubble up from deep below the surface.

We consider ourselves pretty lucky to be able to live, work, and play on some of Oregon’s most consistent flowing and scenic rivers. And, although we may have gotten off to a slow start on this year’s snowpack levels, we have been doing a rain dance here at the office and we’re confident that Mother Nature will bless us with another great summer season. The National Weather Service is predicting that the drier than normal weather pattern that has dominated the Pacific Northwest will give way to a more soggy spring season ensuring that our local reservoirs will have plenty of fresh water to keep us floating, splashing, and having fun this spring and summer.

You can always count on the Deschutes River for big water action and fun.

You can always count on the Deschutes River for big water action and fun.

So, go ahead and plant the seeds now with your family and friends and start planning your Deschutes Rafting or McKenzie Rafting trip with us. Last season was one of our busiest and folks are already calling and booking another trip for this season and taking advantage of one of our Web Specials. You can use our Online Reservation system to check availability and book the perfect day or date. You can also call our office and speak to one of our HDRO team members for some extra help planning that perfect summer vacation!