The mighty Clackamas River runs deep this time of year fueled by spring rains and early snow melt, tantalizing thrill-seekers with its whitewater rapids. A gathering of enthusiasts who live to conquer the rapids is held every May called The Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival which is taking place May 19 and 20 this year. The festival is one of the oldest and largest whitewater events in all of the pacific northwest and is just a scenic, short drive upriver from the city of Estacada.
The event started as a challenge between a group of friends to see who could win a race through the Carter Falls section of the river. Today the festival has grown into a large celebration of the sport, while focusing on bonding, fun and safety and this year marks its 35th installment. The scope of the event has also grown over the years. In addition to events like the drift boat slalom and cartaraft slalom, kayakers have their own category as part of the larger festival as does a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) race.
For more information on all the event offerings check out their website.
If you want to try it yourself, have a go with an experienced guide for a half or full-day trip down one of our scenic rivers. If flat water is more to your liking, eNRG provides kayaking trips to historic Willamette Falls in Oregon City. Learn more about kayaking and rafting in Mt. Hood Territory on our water play page.