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Grande Ronde 1 Day Naturalist Adventure

Trip Description



2020 Date TBA: Join us on this special single day, 40 mile adventure on the beautiful Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers in Oregon. Experience two of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful Wild & Scenic Rivers. Float through class II & III whitewater in deep basalt river canyons lined with stunning Ponderosa Pine forests. Look for bighorn sheep and black bear (maybe a moose!) as you learn from Wallowology‘s Science Guides about the crucial role of intact lands in climate change adaptation, habitat, and wildlife corridors. You’ll learn about the special qualities of old growth trees, the amazing adaptations of raptors, and much more as we enjoy the rich variety of plants and animals on this wild science float!

This single day trip begins in Minam, OR and ends near Troy, OR. Float includes a delicious river-side lunch,  all rafting equipment, professional guiding, and naturalist interpretation. And 50% of all proceeds will go to supporting Wallowology‘s Programming.

The beautiful Grande Ronde River canyon
Our multi-day trips float through the Wild & Scenic section of the Grande Ronde River
Common Merganser family. Parents adopt young who have drifted downstream of their folks.
Camp scene among the Ponderosa Pines
Our guests never go hungry! We use local ingredients whenever possible.
River otters are a familiar site on all of our rivers
Evening light on the canyon walls
Oregon Swallowtail Butterflies along the Grande Ronde's banks
Columbia River Basalt forms the canyon walls of the Grande Ronde
Majestic Ponderosa Pines lord over the Grande Ronde's river banks
Hikes with fantastic views
Class II and III white water on this beautiful scenic float
Great fly fishing river, especially for Grande Ronde Steelhead
Relaxation time

Single Day Special Naturalist Adventure: Saturday, June 1, 2019: $200/person

2019 Grande Ronde River Rates & Dates

1 Day 3 Day
Adult $95 $895
Youth (18 & under) $76 $716

1 Day Trips:
May 26-July 9 (Our 1 day trips are available for groups of 8 or more between these May 26 & July 9. Please contact us to inquire about availability.)

Multi-Day Trip Launches:
June 7, 17, 24
Custom Dates and Trip Lengths Available Upon Request

Cancellation Policy: Your reservation will be confirmed after we receive a deposit of 50% of your total trip cost. Your trip balance will be due 30 days prior to your launch date. If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify Winding Waters River Expeditions in writing or by e-mail immediately.  If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit.  Again, deposits are not refundable.  If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded.  If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself.  Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups.  Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies.  For this reason, we highly recommend buying Travelex Travel Insurance to protect your investment.

Winding Waters River Expeditions reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good-faith discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or re-price any trip.  This includes the possibility of moving to a different river or river segment due to extreme water conditions, forest fires, road closures and/or acts of God. If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to Winding Waters River Expeditions.

  • Meet at 7AM at the Winding Waters’ Boathouse in Joseph, OR
  • Drive 45 minutes to the Minam, OR Launch
  • At the Minam Launch, listen to a brief risk management talk from WWRE guides and receive life jackets
  • Begin floating around 8:30am
  • Enjoy a delicious riverside lunch prepared by your guides
  • Depending on river flows, take out in Troy, OR around 4PM-5PM and return in the Winding Waters Boathouse typically by 6PM-6:30PM
  • It’s best not to make big travel plans this evening. Plan to enjoy a nice evening in Joseph or Enterprise if possible.
  • A delicious riverside lunch
  • Rafting Guide service
  • Interpretive Guide service
  • All necessary rafting and safety equipment

Put-In/Launch (Minam, OR):

Take-Out (Wildcat Bridge near Troy, OR):

Q: Do you need experience to go on this whitewater rafting trip, or can you take beginners?
A: The wonderful thing about rafting with an outfitter is that you do not need any experience. When joining a whitewater rafting trip with Winding Waters, guests are at ease knowing we have trained, professional guides. The level of difficulty of a river is based on the character of its whitewater rapids. The section of the Grande Ronde we float for our day trip is an easy stretch of river with class II rapids here and there.

Q: What kind of boats do you use on this trip?
A: Due to the nature of the higher water and miles we’ll be covering, We will use our oar boats where a guide rows the boat while you enjoy the scenery.

Q: What’s the youngest age you can take on this trip?
A: We will take children ages 12 and up. We have child-sized US Coast Guard-approved personal floatation devices (PFD’s). We’re happy to consult with parents about any specific questions.

Q: Can we charter a private trip? How many people do we need?
A: We are glad to offer private charter trips to groups of 12 or more. A charter trip means that your group consists of all of the trip’s participants. We do not sell that trip departure to any outside guests.

Q: What time and where do I meet for my trip? Where is the nearest airport?
A. We will meet the morning of your day trip at 7:00AM at the Winding Waters’ Boathouse in Joseph, OR. You will park your vehicle at our Boathouse and leave it there for the day. The nearest airport to Joseph, OR is Lewiston, ID.

Q: What kind of clothing should I wear?
A: Layers are the key for this day as it’s still spring in Wallowa County and you never know what we’ll get. Rain gear to help keep you dry work well, layered underneath with quick drying shorts and top. For your feet, bog boots or synthetic sandals like Chacos work great that have straps to hold them to your feet. No flip-flops. You can purchase river shirts, river hats, sunblock, sunglasses, and other items in our Boathouse Shop prior to your trip.

Q: What about bathrooms while we’re on the river?
A: Don’t worry, we have you covered. We follow “Leave No Trace” minimum impact camping and traveling etiquette on all river trips. The bathroom facility we use is called the River Bank Toilet System. During a break, we set up the toilet in a separate, private area, complete with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The guides will explain all of the details of how to use it.

Q: What advice do you have regarding keeping camera equipment dry?
A: If you want to bring your portable video camera and/or digital camera, we provide small dry bags that stay with you on the boat during the day. We also sell small hard-shell, water-tight, and padded Pelican cases in our Boathouse Shop.

Q: What kind of weather is typical on this trip?
A: During May, June, and July in Northeast Oregon the weather can range from warm and sunny to chilly and rainy. The best rule of thumb is that later in the season the weather will be warmer.

“(The Grande Ronde Day Trip was) an excellent introduction for us to whitewater! Could not fault the superb day and the professionalism of the staff. Well planned, beautiful scenery and good food too!” ~Collette and Chris, East Sussex, UK

“We enjoyed the Winding Waters guided raft/kayak trip on the Grande Ronde – a very nice class II river without any slow spots. Our guide, Tom, knew a lot about the river and the surrounding area.” ~Don, Sandpoint, Idaho

“Winding Waters is the way to go. Great food, knowledgeable staff, and lots of fun! Our group of 20 high schoolers dug it (Grande Ronde Day Trip)!” ~Sam, Molalla, OR

Need more convincing? Check our reviews on Trip Advisor. And check out more Winding Waters Testimonial Videos like the one below on our Youtube page.