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Illinois River Rafting Reviews

Enthusiastic guides with love of rivers

I am so glad this company has an Illinois permit. The professionalism and general good character of these guides will have me coming back to this magical place with this team on an annual basis.
- Rebecca Post

Illinois River - Wow

My April 2019 trip with NW Rafting on the Illinois was outstanding. From start to finish the guides, rafting, camping, food were all terrific! And the Illinois is a gorgeous river.
- Science Kilner

Amazing 4 day trip

I just finished an amazing 4 day trip in the wilderness section of the Illinois River with Northwest Rafting Company. The canyon was more beautiful than I had imagined with crystal clear water, exciting rapids, and unique plants. The guides Zach, Courtney, Thomas, and Aaron were very professional, safety conscience and FUN ! The food was fantastic with appetizers before gourmet meals and delicious desserts. Totally mind blowing to eat so well in such a remote river canyon. I loved hearing from Zach about the history of the Illinois Rivers designation under the Wild and Scenic Act which happened in 1984 when I was living on the Illinois River at McCaleb Ranch. If you want to experience world class whitewater in a beautiful isolated river canyon I highly recommend NWRC !!
- Jamie Camden

Illinois River : Superb !!

Just got off a fantastic 4-day float with Zach and his crew. What a gorgeous river! The water is so clear, you can see to the bottom most of the time. The rapids were technical and tricky, but the guides make it look easy, even the Class fours and the Class five. Green Wall is a rush, but not the only rush; there are many great rapids every day. We saw lots of birds, including water ouzels (the rafters friend), and enjoyed a couple of great hikes with the guides; Zach took us on one hike high above the river to where the Kalmiopsis and the Pitcher plants were growing. The plants and the view were all marvelous. The camps were great and the food was too. The crew is fun to be with, and are competent and thoughtful in every way. This is a great company to go down a river with; everything was first-class, and I am so glad I got to go with them.
- Craig Watts

continuous whitewater & scenery

Too many exciting rapids too count. Cloudless skies. Huge variety of plants because of overlapping Pacific Northwest and California ecosystems, plus serpentinite. Multitude of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Beautiful canyons viewed from both the river below and the trails above. Dozens of bird species. Superb guides. First-class adventure!
- Bob Carson

Great Trip-Best Ever!

Just got off the Illinois River (4/18) with NWRC. I've been on 5 rivers and the Illinois is the best and provides the best rapids and the greatest number in the 34 miles. NWRC provided great and quite new equipment. Good cooking and good crew/guides with lots of experience and personality. The owner, Zach, joined us and demonstrated his desire to make the trip for his customes the very best. Great scenery with no crowds like some of the other rivers. The camps were clean and usable with the exception that this 77 y/o male found the trips to the "facility" dangerous and unnecessarily challenging (I hope management can figure out a better system for this issue). I highly recommend this company and this river. one caveat, we were very fortunate to have sunny warm weather for the entire trip, typical April weather in southern Oregon may not be as user friendly but the beauty of the scenery and the challenge of hte river would likely make up for any climate challenges. Ted
- Ted

I'd do it again in a heartbeat

I had the awesome privilege of getting on one of NWRC's first commercial trips down the Illinois River in southern Oregon, and it was one for the books. Zack and Xander are camping/cooking/guiding wizards. Not only did they show us the best lines and most incredible camp sites, they had fascinating stories about the river--the unique geology, the history of its designation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the low-down on the still unexplored parts of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The food was amazing--who has ever heard of getting to enjoy pineapple upside-down cake in the heart of an isolated wilderness run?--and to top it all off, Zack brought a waterproof dry bag for my guitar case, which meant I got to kick back at the campfire each night and play my guitar! Sure, I could have done the Illinois as a self-support trip and packed my kayak full of gear, but thanks to Zack and company, I got enjoy the wilderness in comfort and style.
- Tom Fliss

I absolutely loved our trip

I absolutely loved our trip down the Illinois. The scenery and water quality was outstanding. We saw two black bears, many eagles and herons, but no ther boaters. Even though Zach and crew provided raft support, the remoteness of the river demanded we, as kayakers, make good decisions about which rapids to run. But the best part was off the river where Zach and crew chose great campsites and cooked the most delicious meals I've ever had while kayaking. Thanks so much, NWRC for providing a great experience.
- Rick Danis

Illinois River, May 2017

Fabulous trip! The Illinois River is remote and beautiful. We saw no other souls between put-in and take-out. The whitewater is challenging and fun (at ~1900 cfs). I felt confident and comfortable riding/paddling a raft guided by NWRC through Class IV-V rapids. Food was plentiful and delicious. Guides were personable and interesting people. This trip completely lived up to my expectations. Thanks Zach and NWRC!
- Barry McKenzie