Chetco River


Upper Chetco 2018

★★★★★
5 5 1
I cannot thank NW Rafting enough to have made this trip possible. It’s very challenging, it can be raw and in the moment, but I feel very lucky to have experienced something that very few have. The team has endless energy, pure talent and love for their profession and an all out respect for the area. I personally would do this trip again in a heartbeat but just know you will really have to work for it. The bruises and blisters are still healing a week later...

Upper Chetco

★★★★★
5 5 1
Just finished the upper Chetco with Zach and the gang. If you are looking for a true wilderness adventure and you are willing to earn it, this trip might be for you. If you are looking for just a typical river trip down a new river, this trip is definitely not for you. The Chetco is a hybrid between a mountain climb, a back packing trip, and a river trip. You will want to be in good physical shape to carry the 60+ lb. pack 10 miles to the river. The beginning of the hike is relatively flat with a few moderate climbs, but the real fun starts when you begin the 2000' descent into the canyon. If you have bad knees, unfamiliar with a heavy pack, or are over 40, you will definitely want hiking poles. Throw in a few blisters along with the heavy load and you and your legs will be having a serious discussion by the time you reach camp as to who's idea was it to go on this crazy trip. You are carrying all your gear in and this is where the trip is more like a back packing trip. You will sleep in your boat and put up a tarp if it rains. I thought the meals were great relative to back packing standards. No steaks on the grill! When you get to the river, this is where all your hard work pays off. The water clarity on the Chetco is in a league of its own. You can easily see the bottom 25' down with an emerald green tint from the rocks. The rapids are continuous. Don't worry because you will still get your exercise because you may have to push, pull, or drag your boat in some spots. I found myself occasionally looking upstream to see if anyone was coming down river, there is nobody coming. You are in a remote wilderness and you have the place to yourself. Another good reason to be in shape for this trip in case something would go wrong. Zach and his guides do an awesome job with this trip. They know the river and they know how to take care of their guests. Your biggest concern should be your physical ability. Our trip started with clear skies and temps in the upper 80's and ended with pouring rain and temps down in the 50's. One day due to the conditions, lunch was a cliff bar. You need to be able to laugh and joke when things are not perfect. The Chetco is a one of a kind place and we are lucky that someone had the foresight to protect this river. I hope you get a chance to experience this amazing place and when you tell someone you've been down the Chetco, you will know you have earned it!

Lower Chetco July 2016

★★★★★
5 5 1
Chetco July 2016 What a novel adventure! The Chetco, a river that many people have never heard of, runs out of the seldom visited Kalmiopsis Wilderness as a small, crystal clear river in a narrow valley. We traveled down the river for three days in inflatable kayaks, weaving around giant boulders, shooting through small chutes and sometimes dragging the kayaks across shallow riffles. No one else was on the river and there were many choice campsites along deeper pools that encouraged swimming at the end of the day. It was a unique experience, unlike any of the other well known river trips in Oregon.

Lower Gorges of the Chetco, July 2016

★★★★★
5 5 1
Having lived in Oregon thirty years, I'd only explored the Kalmiopsis wilderness briefly.The Lower Gorges of the Chetco trip appealed greatly . Unlike the Upper stretch, there is no 10 mile hike to the put-in and is quite a bit less of a commitment in terms of time, money & energy. I was concerned that experiencing the river at low flow in an IK would not be much fun for someone with extensive river experience. NWRC has put together a very fun 3 day outing along the Chetco "Gorge" at the boundary of the Wilderness area. The guides were safe, capable and enthusiastic. Gear was top notch and logistics were smooth. The whitewater was fun in the IKs. I am now keen to do the upper stretch; even the hike in! I strongly recommend this trip to anyone looking to explore a little known area of Oregon.