The New High Desert River Outfitters

High Desert River Outfitters merges with Tributary Whitewater Tours

High Desert River Outfitters is a well trusted and family owned rafting outfit since 1990. The dream was started by brothers Gary and Larry out of Portland, Oregon. During the summers, they would spend their weekends in Maupin, OR guiding rafts and excited clients down the Deschutes River.  Throughout the decades High Desert River Outfitters has held permits and ran trips on many rivers including the Rogue, Owyhee, Deschutes, McKenzie, North Santiam and more. 

In early 2021 High Desert was purchased by Tributary Whitewater Tours, another family owned western rafting outfitter. Tributary Whitewater Tours started in 1978 – offering white water rafting trips in California. The list of permits now includes the three forks of the American River, the North Yuba (original permit holder since 1981, only 3 permits exist!), both Upper and Lower Klamath Rivers, the Cal Salmon and many more unique rivers.

Tributary now offers over 16 rivers to explore on our rafting trips in Oregon and California. We enjoy the challenges and unique opportunities each river provides. In California our operations are run as raftcalifornia.com. As we merge High Desert River Outfitters into our family, we will transition to the name raftoregon.com for our Oregon rafting trips.

Top 5 reasons we are stoked on our Oregon rafting operations

1. We love wilderness rafting trips

Everyone at our company has a passion for rivers. Some were drawn by the tranquility, some grew up around them, others studied ecology – but we all crave the adventure that each river trip brings. Overnight wilderness river trips offer a unique opportunity for us to unplug, unwind and come out recharged, just from being out in nature. Multi-day trips on the Wild and Scenic Owyhee and Deschutes rivers offer the ability to explore these places at a more leisurely pace. 

2. Updated operations outpost 

Our meeting location and outpost on Elrod Avenue in Maupin, OR was updated in 2017 with a large warehouse designed with corrugated metal and light wood features. The space is well ventilated and air conditioned and offers our rafting guests a place to check in and purchase any rafting gear including:

  • sunshirts
  • hats
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • apres rafting drinks – cheers
The space is really inviting and after your trip we have your rafting photos ready to view inside. There is also a courtyard with picnic tables if you would like to enjoy your own snack or meal. 

3. Located at the center of the Oregon whitewater scene 

Our management team took a road trip up to Maupin, OR in December of 2020 to meet with the previous High Desert River Outfitters owners and for a research and development mission. We loved that the Deschutes river flows right through town and rafts could just float under the iconic bridge during the river trip. There are many fun places to hand out in town after a day of rafting. On this particular visit, we enjoyed drinks and food at the Riverside Cafe and spent our evenings by their outdoor fire pit chatting with the locals.

4. 50% off return rafting trips in Oregon & California

Since 2019, Tributary has offered a 50% off return rafters discount to guests when they return within the same season. With the addition of more rivers in Oregon, that opens up more opportunities to save on some amazing adventures. 

We know it sounds crazy, so some restrictions apply (usually peak weekends, but inquire with our reservations staff for availability). 

5. More opportunities for our staff

Yes, running a whitewater rafting company is a job for us all, but our employees get to spend their time on and around the rivers. Some river guides spend entire summers on the same section of river. We offer so many river trips, our guides have the opportunity to run multiple rivers commercially in a summer. Not many outfitters offer that amount of diversity. Job positions are still available for our 2022 rafting season.