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Bend Whitewater Park

2487-2499 NW High Lakes Loop, Bend, OR 97701, USA

Welcome to the Bend Whitewater Park. Located in the Deschutes River near the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon, this in-water amenity offers a variety of river recreation opportunities including tubing, kayaking, and surfing.

The park is made up of three distinctly different channels:

  • Passageway Channel – The Passageway is the perfect option for those who want to add a little rapids adventure to their float. For those who want to keep it mellow or who have children as part of the group, exit the river and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river. Learn more about the Floating the Passageway Channel.
  • Whitewater Channel – Are you a whitewater kayaker, surfer or paddleboarder? The Whitewater Channel is your destination. This center channel of the park has four wave features for emerging to expert whitewater enthusiasts. Learn more about the Whitewater Channel.
  • Habitat Channel – The third channel of the park exists to protect and enhance river health and provide habitat to important local and migratory wildlife. There is no public access (by people or pets) to this ecologically sensitive area. Learn more about River Stewardship.

 

Bend Whitewater Park River Channels and Portage Route

 

For Safety, please abide by the following:

  • Wear a life jacket! State law requires them for all boaters, paddleboarders and children 12 years old and under. Whistles are also required with boats and paddleboards. Need a life jacket? They are available for free rental at Riverbend Park.
  • Consider your own and your child’s abilities before entering the river and always supervise children in and around water.
  • Use equipment intended for river recreation and avoid using pool toys or low-quality tubes. Rental equipment is available at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and local retailers.
  • Be responsible. For everyone’s safety, be familiar with Oregon State Marine Board regulations on river recreation and don’t drink while recreating in or around the river.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the parks, parking lots or on the river.

The following activities are prohibited at Bend Whitewater Park:

  • Tethering to the bridge or island and the use of bungee cords, ropes or other like devices. Ropes tied to fixed objects present a significant entanglement and drowning risk.
  • Jumping off the bridge.
  • Access to the park from the emergency ladder on the footbridge.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.
  • Motorized craft.
  • Swimming, diving or jumping within the Bend Whitewater Park; swimming is allowed off McKay Park beach.
  • Any activity that obstructs the safe flow of river users.
  • Entering the protected natural area, riparian area or the river-right (east) island.

Unsafe or illegal behavior may result in exclusion and/or citation.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Gather your friends and family and share the popular Deschutes River floating experience beginning in the Old Mill District and ending at Drake Park in downtown Bend. Before you go, check out our tips below.

How to Float:

  • Bend Park & Float will be our new starting point beginning June 16. From there, jump on the Ride the River shuttle to Riverbend Park beach. The park features restrooms, water fountains and electrical outlets for pumps.
  • Stay left as you approach the Colorado Ave. Bridge. Follow directions on in-river signs.
  • Exit or Ride the Rapids:
    – If you want to add an adventure to your float, ride the rapids! We suggest getting out and scouting The Passageway conditions before making your decision.
    – If you want to keep it mellow or if you have children with your group, exit the river before the Colorado Ave. Bridge and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river.
  • Re-enter at McKay Park beach to continue your float.
  • When you see the Galveston Ave. Bridge, move to the right side of the river.
  • End your float on the right side of the river at Drake Park.
  • The float takes about 90-120 minutes. If a busy day and/or riding the shuttle, it can be longer.

Here’s what you need to know

  • Midway down the floating corridor you will need to make a decision, exit or ride the rapids. The passageway is the perfect option for those who want to add a little rapids adventure to their float. For those who want to keep it mellow or who have children as part of the group, exit the river before the Colorado Ave. Bridge and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river.
  • Wear a life jacket! State law requires them for all boaters, paddleboarders and children 12 years old and under. Whistles are also required with boats and paddleboards. Need a life jacket? They are available for free rental at Riverbend Park.
  • Consider your own and your child’s abilities before entering the river and always supervise children in and around water.
  • Use equipment intended for river recreation and avoid using pool toys or low-quality tubes. Rental equipment is available at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and local retailers.
  • Be responsible. For everyone’s safety, be familiar with Oregon State Marine Board regulations on river recreation and don’t drink while recreating in or around the river.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the parks, parking lots or on the river.

River Floating Safety Tips

  • Be aware and plan. The Deschutes River has calm waters suitable for floating, but it also has points of danger. For more information on proper lifejacket use, visit the Oregon State Marine Board.
  • Protect native plant and wildlife! Put in and take out of the river at designated boat landings and portage paths (see map).
  • Help keep our river clean. Secure your gear to avoid losing personal items and disposal of garbage in the river.
  • State law requires that each boat or paddleboard carry one Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board, and children age 12 and under are required to wear life jackets. Boaters and paddleboarders are also required to carry a whistle.

Parking & Ride the River Shuttle

  • Now – June 15: Parking is available at Riverbend Park and public parking lots on Columbia Street. (There is no shuttle service.)
    June 16 – Sept. 3: Parking is available at Park & Float, Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. Shuttles will be running regularly during the day.
  • It is best to use Cascade East Transit’s Ride the River shuttle to return to your vehicle at the end of your float. The shuttle stops at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and Drake Park.
  • The Ride the River shuttle service is available, June 16 through Sept. 3, Labor Day.  2018 fee is not determined; 2017 fee was $3.00 for all day.

Free Life Jacket Rentals: May 26 - Sept. 3

  • Available at Riverbend Park, May 26 through June 15. Available at Park & Float, June 16 through Sept. 3.
  • Kids & Adults: Free life jacket rental. Simply rent for the day, return by closing. No additional rental needed so you can safely play in the river, float, boat and swim.
  • Look for more information on hours of availability to come.
  • If poor weather conditions, the rental trailer may be closed. If inclement weather, please call (541) 317-9407 to verify if the trailer is open.

River Rentals: May 26 - Sept. 3

  • May 26 – June 15: Float tube and standup paddleboard rental trailer at Riverbend Park.
  • June 16 – Sept 3: Float tube, surfboard, boogie board and standup paddleboard rental trailer at Park & Float at Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way.
  • Float tubes are professional-grade tubes meeting today’s safety standards, not the old-fashioned truck tire tubes or lightweight dime-store blow-ups. Comfortable for a relaxing float, tubes feature mesh bottoms and handles.
  • Look for more information on the types of standup paddleboards and other boards available.
  • Rental Trailer Hours: To Be Determined, May 26 through Sept. 3.
  • Last tube rental is 4:00 pm; last paddleboard rental is 5:00 pm.
  • If poor weather or air quality/smoke conditions, the rental trailer may be closed. If inclement weather, please call to verify if the trailer is open.

 

Parking for Floaters:

Now – June 15: Parking is available at Riverbend Park and public parking lots on Columbia Street. (There is no shuttle service.)
June 16 – Sept. 3: Parking is available at Park & Float, Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. Shuttles will be running regularly during the day.

Bend Whitewater Park Parking Options:

Park & Float at Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. One block south of the whitewater park. (Directions)
McKay Park, 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr. (westside) (Directions)
Miller’s Landing Park, 80 NW Riverside Blvd. (eastside) (Directions)

Ride the River Shuttle is available from June 16 – Sept. 3, 2018. The cost is $3 per person per day. More info at cascadeseasttransit.com.

Bend Park & Float, located next to The Pavilion on Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, offers everything you need to make your day on the river fun and easy.

There is parking, snacks, lawn activities and more. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe will offer rental of durable river tubes and complimentary life jackets for children and adults. You can also rent a paddleboard, surfboard or kayak. Several floating options are possible from Bend Park & Float.

Choose a two-hour float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park or a one-hour float from either Riverbend Park or McKay Park. For Bend Whitewater Park rapids and fun, Bend Park & Float is only a block away.

The Ride the River shuttle begins and ends at Bend Park & Float with stops at Riverbend Park and Drake Park. And there is bike parking and Zagster bike share on site if you want to skip a vehicle completely.

Bend Park & Float services will be available Saturday, June 16 through Monday, Sept. 3 and are weather-dependent. Beginning May 26, early season rentals may be available at Riverbend Park, but shuttles are not running. If poor weather and/or before June 16, call  to see if the rental trailer is open.

Surf Central Oregon

Are you a whitewater kayaker, surfer or paddleboarder?

The Whitewater Channel of the Bend Whitewater Park is your destination! This center channel of the park has four wave features for emerging to expert whitewater enthusiasts. The features are created by twenty-six, underwater pneumatic bladders, natural and man-made riverbed conditions and dynamic river flows.

How to Get to The Bend Whitewater Park

Location – 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Rd (Directions)
The Bend Whitewater Park is located in the heart of Bend in the Deschutes River north of the Colorado Avenue Bridge. Viewing is available on the pedestrian bridge and on the east side of the river and at McKay Park.

Whitewater Waves

Jason’s Wave

Jason’s wave is the most down-river feature.  It is best suited for people learning whitewater sports or refining their skills. (Beginner)

Kricket’s Wave
Just up river from Jason’s wave, this feature is best suited for people with some experience in whitewater conditions. (Difficult to more difficult)

The Green Wave
The next upriver feature is the Green Wave. This wave is best suited for experienced river users and will most often be ideal for surfing and kayaking. (Difficult)

Eddy’s Wave
Nearest the bridge is Eddy’s wave which is the largest in the series and best suited for the most experienced river users. (Most difficult)

Know Before You Go

  • Access to The Whitewater Channel is from downriver of the park at either McKay Park beach or Miller’s Landing Park. Do not access the channel from upriver.
  • The river-left (west) island is for line-up. There is no public access to the river-right island.
  • Life jackets and whistles are required for all boaters and paddleboarders.
  • Helmets are recommended. Board leashes, however, should never be used as they can get caught on underwater elements.
  • Always scout the conditions as river flows and wave features change frequently. Consider the waves above and below and plan your exit routes for each wave.
  • Check the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page for updates and conditions at Facebook.com/BendWhitewaterPark
  • Look Before You Launch: The Deschutes River is dynamic and changing so always scout the waves above and below and plan your exit strategy.

Safety Information

Recommended Safety Equipment:

  • Cold water protective clothing and footwear
  • Throw rope
  • Life jacket
  • Helmet
  • Whistle

Prohibited:

  • Tethering to the bridge or island and the use of bungee cords, ropes or other like devices. Ropes tied to fixed objects present a significant entanglement and drowning risk.
  • Jumping off the bridge.
  • Access to the park from the emergency ladder on the footbridge.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.
  • Motorized craft.
  • Swimming, diving or jumping within the Bend Whitewater Park; swimming is allowed off McKay Park beach.
  • Any activity that obstructs the safe flow of river users.
  • Entering the protected natural area, riparian area or the river-right (east) island.

Unsafe or illegal behavior may result in exclusion and/or citation.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Wave Update:

Information is at your fingertips!

Wave Update: September 21st, 2017 @ 2 pm

  1. Jason's: Mellow beginner surf wave with pile. Good for SUP's!
  2. Kricket's: Low energy freestyle pocket, green center. 
  3. Green Wave: Green roller, shortboard special!
  4. Eddy's: Powerful wave hole with wide center pocket. 
  5. Ankle biter: Mellow crumbler.

-- Approximate flow and water temperature at BWP: 963 cfs, 52.3 degrees F

Know before you go! Before you head down to the Bend Whitewater Park, check the updates here or on Facebook. These reports help you understand river flows and what activity/level each wave is set up for.

Please note that while the pneumatic bladders in the center channel of the Bend Whitewater Park allow us to manipulate the river to create waves and rapids, we do not control the flow of the river. This means a wave feature may be different than what is expected or intended without notice. We try our best to let you know when flows fluctuate and effect waves however, the Deschutes River is a natural body of water and can change.

Kayak Roll Session
Offered: Seasonally, May – June
Come practice rolling your kayak in safety of the warm, water indoor pool. Please tape the end of your boat paddles. Program fee includes one person and one boat, additional people pay basic entrance fees. Space is limited to 12 boats, pre-registration is required.

See current offerings.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Take the Virtual Tour

Before you head to the river, check out our new virtual tour! Experience the Deschutes River and the popular floating route through the heart of Bend that is enjoyed by thousands of people every summer.

Image of the XploreIt logo.
Use your mouse to explore! Click and drag to move the camera around and select the orange icons to begin and continue your adventure.

Bend Park and Recreation District is committed to sustainability and river stewardship. With approximately a quarter million river users each summer, everyone has a role in maintaining the Deschutes River as a special place.

The Bend Whitewater Park was built with this purpose in mind. When constructed and opened in 2015, the project:

  • Removed the Colorado Street Dam and created a fish ladder to restore fish migration in this reach of the Deschutes River.
  • Created the Habitat Channel and maintains a year-round minimum flow level for protected species.
  • Installed functional art that also serves as a King Fisher post.
  • Installed several Osprey nesting posts.

Floating is going green in 2018!

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe is launching a Citizen Stewardship Green Tube initiative to take care of the Deschutes River. From the Bend Park & Float, next to the Pavilion on Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, a complimentary tube rental* will be offered in exchange for floating with a special green tube and utilizing a rubbish collection kit. *One per group.

Learn more at tumalocreek.com.

River Cleanups

Help keep the Deschutes River clean and free from debris. Secure your belongings and make sure trash goes in bins.

Want to be involved beyond your day on the river? Join the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council for Deschutes River Clean-up Day on July 28. Volunteers will remove weeds, debris and garbage from the river and riverbanks.

For more info: enjoyprotectrespectdeschutes.org

 

More ways to help

  • Protect native and protected species by staying out of the Habitat Channel, which is the river right and most eastern channel in the whitewater park.
  • Protect native plant and wildlife! Put in and take out of the river at designated boat landings and portage paths.
  • Help keep our river clean. Secure your gear to avoid losing personal items and disposal of garbage in the river.

Passageway Channel

What type of equipment should I use in the Passageway?

The Passageways has both rapids and rocks so you’ll want to be prepared with the right equipment.

For whitewater enthusiasts, it’s suggested to use whitewater paddleboards, surfboards and kayaks.

For floaters, it’s advised to use a durable tube that can handle contact with rocks as well as river turbulence. Avoid using pool toys, pool loungers and other items not specifically designed for whitewater or contact with rocks.

It used to be called the safe passage and now it isn’t. Why?

We are now calling the left-side channel the “Passageway” to accurately convey expectations for users. What is safe to one person may not have the same meaning to another individual.  The Passageway has greatly improved overall safety for floaters and water enthusiasts who do not wish to exit the river; however, it is still a wild river so there are inherent risks.

Whitewater Channel

What are the features in the middle channel?

The middle channel is made up of twenty-three underwater, pneumatic bladders that fill and deflate with air to move in different angles to influence the shape of the river. Conditions will vary daily based on water flows and pneumatic influences.

Jason’s Wave: The first feature (furthest down-river) was designed for the beginner using a variety of watercraft.

Kricket’s Wave: The second feature was designed with kayaking in mind. As water levels vary, this feature could also be a great experience for stand-up paddleboarding.

Green Wave: This feature is being modified over the winter to improve the experience for surfers.

Eddy’s Wave: This wave (closest to the bridge) produces the largest wave and is best for advanced kayaking.

How many pneumatic features are there in the park?

The quantity of river flow into the two active channels is controlled by gates located just under the Colorado Ave. Bridge. There are an additional 23 bladders within the four features in the whitewater channel.  Bladders look similar to a long inner tube that can be raised and lowered by filling/deflating the bladders with air.

How are the bladders and features controlled?

Filling and deflating the bladders is controlled electronically by person using a tablet or from inside the control vault. Each time a bladder is manipulated, all other features are impacted. Feature conditions are also influenced by the river flow which occurs naturally as well as a result of the amount of water released from Wickiup Reservoir. The art and science of creating particular conditions for each feature will improve over time.

If river conditions vary daily, how can I get the latest information?

Be sure to check the Current Conditions page.

In addition, the Facebook page for Bend Whitewater Park has regular wave reports from the wave shaper. This is the best source for information about the whitewater channel for experts and should be consulted before heading to the park.

What was done to improve safety in the whitewater channel?

Additional fine-tuning engineering included:

  • Improved eddy surfaces
  • Improved performance of Kricket’s and Green waves
  • Reduced safety hazards identified in the whitewater channel

Other Questions

What is being done about the trash at McKay Park?

We are disappointed about the increase in trash in McKay Park and along the river. We will be adding additional trash cans in the area, and assessing how we direct more resources to help collect the garbage during peak times.  We’ll also be talking with community partners and others about ideas for a broader community-wide discussion around this issue.

Will businesses be permitted to offer lessons in the Bend Whitewater Park?

To conduct business at McKay Park and/or Miller’s Landing Park adjacent to the Bend Whitewater Park, there is a permit process that requires proof of insurance coverage.  This is the process for sale, rental or promotions of merchandise or service; the provision of a paid service or program, instruction or training that includes use of dry land for anything more than quick transportation in or out of the Deschutes River.

The public is always welcome in our parks; therefore, a permitted business does not have exclusive use and business activity may not adversely impact general public use. See business use of a park for more information. 

General

Welcome to the Bend Whitewater Park. Located in the Deschutes River near the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon, this in-water amenity offers a variety of river recreation opportunities including tubing, kayaking, and surfing.

The park is made up of three distinctly different channels:

  • Passageway Channel – The Passageway is the perfect option for those who want to add a little rapids adventure to their float. For those who want to keep it mellow or who have children as part of the group, exit the river and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river. Learn more about the Floating the Passageway Channel.
  • Whitewater Channel – Are you a whitewater kayaker, surfer or paddleboarder? The Whitewater Channel is your destination. This center channel of the park has four wave features for emerging to expert whitewater enthusiasts. Learn more about the Whitewater Channel.
  • Habitat Channel – The third channel of the park exists to protect and enhance river health and provide habitat to important local and migratory wildlife. There is no public access (by people or pets) to this ecologically sensitive area. Learn more about River Stewardship.

 

Bend Whitewater Park River Channels and Portage Route

 

Rules & Safety

For Safety, please abide by the following:

  • Wear a life jacket! State law requires them for all boaters, paddleboarders and children 12 years old and under. Whistles are also required with boats and paddleboards. Need a life jacket? They are available for free rental at Riverbend Park.
  • Consider your own and your child’s abilities before entering the river and always supervise children in and around water.
  • Use equipment intended for river recreation and avoid using pool toys or low-quality tubes. Rental equipment is available at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and local retailers.
  • Be responsible. For everyone’s safety, be familiar with Oregon State Marine Board regulations on river recreation and don’t drink while recreating in or around the river.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the parks, parking lots or on the river.

The following activities are prohibited at Bend Whitewater Park:

  • Tethering to the bridge or island and the use of bungee cords, ropes or other like devices. Ropes tied to fixed objects present a significant entanglement and drowning risk.
  • Jumping off the bridge.
  • Access to the park from the emergency ladder on the footbridge.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.
  • Motorized craft.
  • Swimming, diving or jumping within the Bend Whitewater Park; swimming is allowed off McKay Park beach.
  • Any activity that obstructs the safe flow of river users.
  • Entering the protected natural area, riparian area or the river-right (east) island.

Unsafe or illegal behavior may result in exclusion and/or citation.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Park & Float

 

Parking for Floaters:

Now – June 15: Parking is available at Riverbend Park and public parking lots on Columbia Street. (There is no shuttle service.)
June 16 – Sept. 3: Parking is available at Park & Float, Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. Shuttles will be running regularly during the day.

Bend Whitewater Park Parking Options:

Park & Float at Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. One block south of the whitewater park. (Directions)
McKay Park, 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr. (westside) (Directions)
Miller’s Landing Park, 80 NW Riverside Blvd. (eastside) (Directions)

Ride the River Shuttle is available from June 16 – Sept. 3, 2018. The cost is $3 per person per day. More info at cascadeseasttransit.com.

Bend Park & Float, located next to The Pavilion on Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, offers everything you need to make your day on the river fun and easy.

There is parking, snacks, lawn activities and more. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe will offer rental of durable river tubes and complimentary life jackets for children and adults. You can also rent a paddleboard, surfboard or kayak. Several floating options are possible from Bend Park & Float.

Choose a two-hour float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park or a one-hour float from either Riverbend Park or McKay Park. For Bend Whitewater Park rapids and fun, Bend Park & Float is only a block away.

The Ride the River shuttle begins and ends at Bend Park & Float with stops at Riverbend Park and Drake Park. And there is bike parking and Zagster bike share on site if you want to skip a vehicle completely.

Bend Park & Float services will be available Saturday, June 16 through Monday, Sept. 3 and are weather-dependent. Beginning May 26, early season rentals may be available at Riverbend Park, but shuttles are not running. If poor weather and/or before June 16, call  to see if the rental trailer is open.

Floating

Gather your friends and family and share the popular Deschutes River floating experience beginning in the Old Mill District and ending at Drake Park in downtown Bend. Before you go, check out our tips below.

How to Float:

  • Bend Park & Float will be our new starting point beginning June 16. From there, jump on the Ride the River shuttle to Riverbend Park beach. The park features restrooms, water fountains and electrical outlets for pumps.
  • Stay left as you approach the Colorado Ave. Bridge. Follow directions on in-river signs.
  • Exit or Ride the Rapids:
    – If you want to add an adventure to your float, ride the rapids! We suggest getting out and scouting The Passageway conditions before making your decision.
    – If you want to keep it mellow or if you have children with your group, exit the river before the Colorado Ave. Bridge and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river.
  • Re-enter at McKay Park beach to continue your float.
  • When you see the Galveston Ave. Bridge, move to the right side of the river.
  • End your float on the right side of the river at Drake Park.
  • The float takes about 90-120 minutes. If a busy day and/or riding the shuttle, it can be longer.

Here’s what you need to know

  • Midway down the floating corridor you will need to make a decision, exit or ride the rapids. The passageway is the perfect option for those who want to add a little rapids adventure to their float. For those who want to keep it mellow or who have children as part of the group, exit the river before the Colorado Ave. Bridge and walk to McKay Park to re-enter the river.
  • Wear a life jacket! State law requires them for all boaters, paddleboarders and children 12 years old and under. Whistles are also required with boats and paddleboards. Need a life jacket? They are available for free rental at Riverbend Park.
  • Consider your own and your child’s abilities before entering the river and always supervise children in and around water.
  • Use equipment intended for river recreation and avoid using pool toys or low-quality tubes. Rental equipment is available at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and local retailers.
  • Be responsible. For everyone’s safety, be familiar with Oregon State Marine Board regulations on river recreation and don’t drink while recreating in or around the river.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the parks, parking lots or on the river.

River Floating Safety Tips

  • Be aware and plan. The Deschutes River has calm waters suitable for floating, but it also has points of danger. For more information on proper lifejacket use, visit the Oregon State Marine Board.
  • Protect native plant and wildlife! Put in and take out of the river at designated boat landings and portage paths (see map).
  • Help keep our river clean. Secure your gear to avoid losing personal items and disposal of garbage in the river.
  • State law requires that each boat or paddleboard carry one Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board, and children age 12 and under are required to wear life jackets. Boaters and paddleboarders are also required to carry a whistle.

Parking & Ride the River Shuttle

  • Now – June 15: Parking is available at Riverbend Park and public parking lots on Columbia Street. (There is no shuttle service.)
    June 16 – Sept. 3: Parking is available at Park & Float, Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. Shuttles will be running regularly during the day.
  • It is best to use Cascade East Transit’s Ride the River shuttle to return to your vehicle at the end of your float. The shuttle stops at Riverbend Park, Park & Float and Drake Park.
  • The Ride the River shuttle service is available, June 16 through Sept. 3, Labor Day.  2018 fee is not determined; 2017 fee was $3.00 for all day.

Free Life Jacket Rentals: May 26 - Sept. 3

  • Available at Riverbend Park, May 26 through June 15. Available at Park & Float, June 16 through Sept. 3.
  • Kids & Adults: Free life jacket rental. Simply rent for the day, return by closing. No additional rental needed so you can safely play in the river, float, boat and swim.
  • Look for more information on hours of availability to come.
  • If poor weather conditions, the rental trailer may be closed. If inclement weather, please call (541) 317-9407 to verify if the trailer is open.

River Rentals: May 26 - Sept. 3

  • May 26 – June 15: Float tube and standup paddleboard rental trailer at Riverbend Park.
  • June 16 – Sept 3: Float tube, surfboard, boogie board and standup paddleboard rental trailer at Park & Float at Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way.
  • Float tubes are professional-grade tubes meeting today’s safety standards, not the old-fashioned truck tire tubes or lightweight dime-store blow-ups. Comfortable for a relaxing float, tubes feature mesh bottoms and handles.
  • Look for more information on the types of standup paddleboards and other boards available.
  • Rental Trailer Hours: To Be Determined, May 26 through Sept. 3.
  • Last tube rental is 4:00 pm; last paddleboard rental is 5:00 pm.
  • If poor weather or air quality/smoke conditions, the rental trailer may be closed. If inclement weather, please call to verify if the trailer is open.

Parking Shuttle

 

Parking for Floaters:

Now – June 15: Parking is available at Riverbend Park and public parking lots on Columbia Street. (There is no shuttle service.)
June 16 – Sept. 3: Parking is available at Park & Float, Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. Shuttles will be running regularly during the day.

Bend Whitewater Park Parking Options:

Park & Float at Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, across from The Pavilion at 1001 SW Bradbury Way. One block south of the whitewater park. (Directions)
McKay Park, 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr. (westside) (Directions)
Miller’s Landing Park, 80 NW Riverside Blvd. (eastside) (Directions)

Ride the River Shuttle is available from June 16 – Sept. 3, 2018. The cost is $3 per person per day. More info at cascadeseasttransit.com.

Bend Park & Float, located next to The Pavilion on Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, offers everything you need to make your day on the river fun and easy.

There is parking, snacks, lawn activities and more. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe will offer rental of durable river tubes and complimentary life jackets for children and adults. You can also rent a paddleboard, surfboard or kayak. Several floating options are possible from Bend Park & Float.

Choose a two-hour float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park or a one-hour float from either Riverbend Park or McKay Park. For Bend Whitewater Park rapids and fun, Bend Park & Float is only a block away.

The Ride the River shuttle begins and ends at Bend Park & Float with stops at Riverbend Park and Drake Park. And there is bike parking and Zagster bike share on site if you want to skip a vehicle completely.

Bend Park & Float services will be available Saturday, June 16 through Monday, Sept. 3 and are weather-dependent. Beginning May 26, early season rentals may be available at Riverbend Park, but shuttles are not running. If poor weather and/or before June 16, call  to see if the rental trailer is open.

Current Conditions

Wave Update:

Information is at your fingertips!

Wave Update: September 21st, 2017 @ 2 pm

  1. Jason's: Mellow beginner surf wave with pile. Good for SUP's!
  2. Kricket's: Low energy freestyle pocket, green center. 
  3. Green Wave: Green roller, shortboard special!
  4. Eddy's: Powerful wave hole with wide center pocket. 
  5. Ankle biter: Mellow crumbler.

-- Approximate flow and water temperature at BWP: 963 cfs, 52.3 degrees F

Know before you go! Before you head down to the Bend Whitewater Park, check the updates here or on Facebook. These reports help you understand river flows and what activity/level each wave is set up for.

Please note that while the pneumatic bladders in the center channel of the Bend Whitewater Park allow us to manipulate the river to create waves and rapids, we do not control the flow of the river. This means a wave feature may be different than what is expected or intended without notice. We try our best to let you know when flows fluctuate and effect waves however, the Deschutes River is a natural body of water and can change.

Kayak Roll Session
Offered: Seasonally, May – June
Come practice rolling your kayak in safety of the warm, water indoor pool. Please tape the end of your boat paddles. Program fee includes one person and one boat, additional people pay basic entrance fees. Space is limited to 12 boats, pre-registration is required.

See current offerings.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Whitewater

Surf Central Oregon

Are you a whitewater kayaker, surfer or paddleboarder?

The Whitewater Channel of the Bend Whitewater Park is your destination! This center channel of the park has four wave features for emerging to expert whitewater enthusiasts. The features are created by twenty-six, underwater pneumatic bladders, natural and man-made riverbed conditions and dynamic river flows.

How to Get to The Bend Whitewater Park

Location – 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Rd (Directions)
The Bend Whitewater Park is located in the heart of Bend in the Deschutes River north of the Colorado Avenue Bridge. Viewing is available on the pedestrian bridge and on the east side of the river and at McKay Park.

Whitewater Waves

Jason’s Wave

Jason’s wave is the most down-river feature.  It is best suited for people learning whitewater sports or refining their skills. (Beginner)

Kricket’s Wave
Just up river from Jason’s wave, this feature is best suited for people with some experience in whitewater conditions. (Difficult to more difficult)

The Green Wave
The next upriver feature is the Green Wave. This wave is best suited for experienced river users and will most often be ideal for surfing and kayaking. (Difficult)

Eddy’s Wave
Nearest the bridge is Eddy’s wave which is the largest in the series and best suited for the most experienced river users. (Most difficult)

Know Before You Go

  • Access to The Whitewater Channel is from downriver of the park at either McKay Park beach or Miller’s Landing Park. Do not access the channel from upriver.
  • The river-left (west) island is for line-up. There is no public access to the river-right island.
  • Life jackets and whistles are required for all boaters and paddleboarders.
  • Helmets are recommended. Board leashes, however, should never be used as they can get caught on underwater elements.
  • Always scout the conditions as river flows and wave features change frequently. Consider the waves above and below and plan your exit routes for each wave.
  • Check the Bend Whitewater Park Facebook page for updates and conditions at Facebook.com/BendWhitewaterPark
  • Look Before You Launch: The Deschutes River is dynamic and changing so always scout the waves above and below and plan your exit strategy.

Safety Information

Recommended Safety Equipment:

  • Cold water protective clothing and footwear
  • Throw rope
  • Life jacket
  • Helmet
  • Whistle

Prohibited:

  • Tethering to the bridge or island and the use of bungee cords, ropes or other like devices. Ropes tied to fixed objects present a significant entanglement and drowning risk.
  • Jumping off the bridge.
  • Access to the park from the emergency ladder on the footbridge.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.
  • Motorized craft.
  • Swimming, diving or jumping within the Bend Whitewater Park; swimming is allowed off McKay Park beach.
  • Any activity that obstructs the safe flow of river users.
  • Entering the protected natural area, riparian area or the river-right (east) island.

Unsafe or illegal behavior may result in exclusion and/or citation.

WARNING:  The Deschutes River is wild.  All rivers may present hazards not easily recognized. Always exercise caution when recreating in the river. Recreate at your own risk.

Virtual Tour

Take the Virtual Tour

Before you head to the river, check out our new virtual tour! Experience the Deschutes River and the popular floating route through the heart of Bend that is enjoyed by thousands of people every summer.

Image of the XploreIt logo.
Use your mouse to explore! Click and drag to move the camera around and select the orange icons to begin and continue your adventure.

Stewardship

Bend Park and Recreation District is committed to sustainability and river stewardship. With approximately a quarter million river users each summer, everyone has a role in maintaining the Deschutes River as a special place.

The Bend Whitewater Park was built with this purpose in mind. When constructed and opened in 2015, the project:

  • Removed the Colorado Street Dam and created a fish ladder to restore fish migration in this reach of the Deschutes River.
  • Created the Habitat Channel and maintains a year-round minimum flow level for protected species.
  • Installed functional art that also serves as a King Fisher post.
  • Installed several Osprey nesting posts.

Floating is going green in 2018!

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe is launching a Citizen Stewardship Green Tube initiative to take care of the Deschutes River. From the Bend Park & Float, next to the Pavilion on Simpson Ave. and Bradbury Way, a complimentary tube rental* will be offered in exchange for floating with a special green tube and utilizing a rubbish collection kit. *One per group.

Learn more at tumalocreek.com.

River Cleanups

Help keep the Deschutes River clean and free from debris. Secure your belongings and make sure trash goes in bins.

Want to be involved beyond your day on the river? Join the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council for Deschutes River Clean-up Day on July 28. Volunteers will remove weeds, debris and garbage from the river and riverbanks.

For more info: enjoyprotectrespectdeschutes.org

 

More ways to help

  • Protect native and protected species by staying out of the Habitat Channel, which is the river right and most eastern channel in the whitewater park.
  • Protect native plant and wildlife! Put in and take out of the river at designated boat landings and portage paths.
  • Help keep our river clean. Secure your gear to avoid losing personal items and disposal of garbage in the river.

FAQ

Passageway Channel

What type of equipment should I use in the Passageway?

The Passageways has both rapids and rocks so you’ll want to be prepared with the right equipment.

For whitewater enthusiasts, it’s suggested to use whitewater paddleboards, surfboards and kayaks.

For floaters, it’s advised to use a durable tube that can handle contact with rocks as well as river turbulence. Avoid using pool toys, pool loungers and other items not specifically designed for whitewater or contact with rocks.

It used to be called the safe passage and now it isn’t. Why?

We are now calling the left-side channel the “Passageway” to accurately convey expectations for users. What is safe to one person may not have the same meaning to another individual.  The Passageway has greatly improved overall safety for floaters and water enthusiasts who do not wish to exit the river; however, it is still a wild river so there are inherent risks.

Whitewater Channel

What are the features in the middle channel?

The middle channel is made up of twenty-three underwater, pneumatic bladders that fill and deflate with air to move in different angles to influence the shape of the river. Conditions will vary daily based on water flows and pneumatic influences.

Jason’s Wave: The first feature (furthest down-river) was designed for the beginner using a variety of watercraft.

Kricket’s Wave: The second feature was designed with kayaking in mind. As water levels vary, this feature could also be a great experience for stand-up paddleboarding.

Green Wave: This feature is being modified over the winter to improve the experience for surfers.

Eddy’s Wave: This wave (closest to the bridge) produces the largest wave and is best for advanced kayaking.

How many pneumatic features are there in the park?

The quantity of river flow into the two active channels is controlled by gates located just under the Colorado Ave. Bridge. There are an additional 23 bladders within the four features in the whitewater channel.  Bladders look similar to a long inner tube that can be raised and lowered by filling/deflating the bladders with air.

How are the bladders and features controlled?

Filling and deflating the bladders is controlled electronically by person using a tablet or from inside the control vault. Each time a bladder is manipulated, all other features are impacted. Feature conditions are also influenced by the river flow which occurs naturally as well as a result of the amount of water released from Wickiup Reservoir. The art and science of creating particular conditions for each feature will improve over time.

If river conditions vary daily, how can I get the latest information?

Be sure to check the Current Conditions page.

In addition, the Facebook page for Bend Whitewater Park has regular wave reports from the wave shaper. This is the best source for information about the whitewater channel for experts and should be consulted before heading to the park.

What was done to improve safety in the whitewater channel?

Additional fine-tuning engineering included:

  • Improved eddy surfaces
  • Improved performance of Kricket’s and Green waves
  • Reduced safety hazards identified in the whitewater channel

Other Questions

What is being done about the trash at McKay Park?

We are disappointed about the increase in trash in McKay Park and along the river. We will be adding additional trash cans in the area, and assessing how we direct more resources to help collect the garbage during peak times.  We’ll also be talking with community partners and others about ideas for a broader community-wide discussion around this issue.

Will businesses be permitted to offer lessons in the Bend Whitewater Park?

To conduct business at McKay Park and/or Miller’s Landing Park adjacent to the Bend Whitewater Park, there is a permit process that requires proof of insurance coverage.  This is the process for sale, rental or promotions of merchandise or service; the provision of a paid service or program, instruction or training that includes use of dry land for anything more than quick transportation in or out of the Deschutes River.

The public is always welcome in our parks; therefore, a permitted business does not have exclusive use and business activity may not adversely impact general public use. See business use of a park for more information.