When in Bend, in the summertime, floating becomes a popular pastime with locals and visitors alike. The most iconic float is the Deschutes River that runs through the center of town and in years past, we have had use of a shuttle bus to take you and your float back to the starting point. However with Covid and social distancing, the bus is not operating. Therefore, unless you have two cars, one at the beginning and one at the end, you have to walk your float back! This can be an amusing sight as you will be in your swim gear carrying a giant ring through the streets and along the Deschutes River but it’s worth it!
The Deschutes River can get extremely busy as the day goes along and people get out to float, the best times are early morning or later in the day, don’t forget a dry bag for your keys and phone, water shoes suitable for walking back along the Deschutes River, and no alcohol – sorry guys, soda and water are allowed!
You’ll also have to navigate the Bend Whitewater Park halfway down the float, you can choose to ‘run the fish ladder’ – a mild rapid – or take your float out and walk around and put back in.
There are several other areas to float around Bend, you can visit Sunriver and float the Deschutes River there – https://sunriverlodging.com/your-guide-to-floating-the-deschutes-river-in-sunriver-like-a-pro/
or drive out toward Mt Bachelor Ski Resort and turn off at the Dillon Falls Trailhead, leave one car there and drive up to the Slough to put in your floats and float down to the Dillon Falls Trailhead. These will not be as busy as the main Deschutes River float through Bend, but still just as fun!