One guest summed it up perfectly; a Lower Klamath rafting trip is “the perfect entry-level river trip, guaranteed to cure anyone suffering from nature deficit disorder or simply looking for some relaxation and family bonding time.”
Treasured for its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities, the Klamath was one of the first rivers in California to be granted National “Wild and Scenic River” status and is beloved for rafting and fishing.
On this Klamath River rafting adventure, we explore a special stretch of the Lower Klamath near Happy Camp, CA where the water bubbles with bouncy, easy rapids and warm, pleasant swimming holes. Often adored by OARS’ littlest guests, it’s an ideal choice for those with young children interested in a family adventure vacation or introduction to whitewater rafting.
As is true for so many other California rivers, the region is steeped in history. Gold miners and colorful characters flooded the area in the mid-1800s, and old mining sites line the river in various places. When they’re not frolicking in the water, your kids will become completely absorbed in trying to find their fortune with a gold pan, and you’ll have fun watching them try. The focus of our family-friendly Lower Klamath River rafting trip is to help kids gain confidence and interest in the outdoors while the adults kick back and relax.
What to Expect
Itinerary & Map
Itinerary at a Glance
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every Lower Klamath River rafting trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, camp locations, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
Meet your trip leader and fellow travel mates in Happy Camp, CA at Angler’s Klamath River Resort Inn mid-morning. We’ll repack gear into waterproof bags and then shuttle to the put-in where we’ll have a safety orientation before boarding the rafts and inflatable kayaks to take on the rapids. After a few fun splashes, we’ll pull over along the riverbank for a delicious lunch before continuing downriver to our campsite.
Once in camp, the guides will set up the kitchen and begin preparing a sumptuous dinner. There will be time to set up your individual tent site, get to know each other, fish, swim, play, or sample the delectable hors d’oeuvres the guides have prepared. Dessert and perhaps a tall tale will follow the evening meal.
The next morning, wake-up to the wonderful smells of coffee and breakfast. After packing up our gear, we will continue downstream, and before long we’ll arrive at our biggest rapid for the trip, Otter’s Playpen. We will take a short hike to scout the rapid before confronting it in our rafts and inflatable kayaks. The afternoon is filled with splashy rapids, calm pools for swimming, and perhaps even an opportunity to jump off a rock into the river before reaching camp and enjoying one more night under the stars together.
After another delicious breakfast, everyone prepares a pack-lunch to enjoy later. The final day offers the mildest whitewater and is a great time for younger or more timid folks to try out the inflatable kayaks. As the noon-hour approaches, some might munch on their pack-lunch while enjoying the final serene stretch of our Lower Klamath rafting adventure. Others may eat their lunch on the grassy knoll at Angler’s Klamath River Resort Inn where our trip ends. After the trip, your guides will help you unload your personal things and you’ll have ample time to head back into civilization.
Meeting Time & Place
Happy Camp, CA
Dates & Prices
Due to the ongoing construction and impacts of the Klamath dam removal project, OARS does not expect to operate any trips on the Klamath River in 2024.
We are excited for a dramatic recovery in the coming years and are now taking advance reservations for the 2025 rafting season.
Save $100 on 2025 departures when you’re one of the first to book by March 31 and request “Premier Pricing” over the phone.
|2025 Departures||Adult Price||Youth Price|
|June 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27||$999||$899|
|July 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29||$999||$899|
|August 1, 5, 8, 12, 15||$999||$899|
• $8 per person federal, state, and local access fees
• Sleep Kit $25 | 2-person tent included
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Pre- and post-trip transportation, accommodations, and meals
- Transportation to and from the Angler’s Klamath River Resort Inn
- Lower Klamath River Access Fee
- Sleeping bag & a deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad (these items may be rented from OARS)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
The number and variety of boats on an OARS trip will vary based on water levels, the number of participants, and other factors we take into account when planning your adventure. Please be aware that in doing so we will ask you to share boat time with your fellow travelers. We don’t assign boats, nor can we guarantee exactly which crafts we bring, but trust us to provide you with the best possible mix for you and others on your trip.
Learn more about the OARS Fleet and the boats that may be a part of your experience: oar raft, paddle raft, inflatable kayak.
After each active day on the river, we pull ashore to camp for the night. Our first task is to unload the boats using a fire-line of crew and guests to expedite the process. Individuals then collect their waterproof bags and locate an area on the beach to camp for the night.
While you put up your tent, the guides will set up the kitchen and central dining/seating area with camp chairs. They will also locate a secluded area away from camp to set up the portable toilet, where privacy is assured.
As guides prepare dinner, hors d’oeuvres are served. This is an opportunity to relax, enjoy a drink if you wish, and reflect on the day with your fellow traveling companions.
In the morning, the first wake-up call lets you know that coffee, hot water for tea or cocoa, juice, fresh fruit, and cold cereal are ready. You can fill your mug and grab a bite, then begin to pack up your personal belongings and sleep gear as the guides prepare breakfast. After breakfast, the entire camp is broken down and packed up. Once the guides have all of the gear loaded back onto the boats, we’ll head downstream to see what new adventures await us.
More info about Meals & Dietary Restrictions can be found on our Trip Resources page.
The weather in Northern California is typically quite favorable during the summer months. The days are long and typically dry, making for a pleasant journey. Like anywhere, though, the weather can be unpredictable, and one should always be prepared for rain.
Average Air & Water Temperatures
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Water °F|
The Lower Klamath’s warm, gently-surging whitewater makes for a relaxing float trip. This trip is ideal for inflatable kayaking, families, and first-time rafters.
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
Reservations and Deposits
A $250/person deposit is required at the time of booking. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit has been processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 60 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 50 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|Date of Cancellation||Cancellation Fee|
|180 or more days before your trip||$25/person|
|179 – 90 days before your trip||$50/person|
|89 – 60 days before your trip||$100/person|
|59 days or less before your trip||Full Fare|
Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation email for details.
OARS reserves the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. In such instances, we will inform you at least 45 days before departure. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip. If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers; however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same season, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $25/person fee up until 90 days before departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. Transfer requests made 89 days or less before departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.
O.A.R.S. West, Inc. operates on the Lower Klamath River as a permitted outfitter of the Klamath National Forest
Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement
We respect and recognize that many of the river canyons on state and federal lands where we operate are the ancestral homes of indigenous communities. Where we operate on the Lower Klamath River between Sluice Box and Happy Camp, we acknowledge the territories of the Karuk, Modoc, Shasta, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
You May Also Like
Use our Compare tool to find your perfect Adventure.