A tributary of the Columbia River, the John Day in Northeastern Oregon is the third longest free-flowing river in the continental U.S., and the longest in the Pacific Northwest. It runs 281 miles and is protected as a Wild and Scenic River by the Federal Government. It was named after John Day, who was a member of the Astor Expedition, a group that left Missouri to explore all the way to the mouth of the Columbia River in 1810.
The John Day is one of Oregon’s finest river canyons with cliffs and palisades towering more than 3000 ft. high above the river. Rafters will discover Indian petroglyphs and homesteads filled with artifacts and folklore throughout their journey this lazy river. This is the perfect rafting trip for those who prefer fishing and hiking to the splash of whitewater rapids.
Drifting time on the river is spring through June, and the weather is usually glorious this time of year. Rolling hills covered with juniper and sage brush, along with swirling rock veins and patterns along the canyon wall make for spectacular scenery. Expect a sparsely populated landscape, pristine beach camps, and excellent opporuntities for steelheed and bass fishing as well as great bird watching.