Deschutes Bound US

Rafting the Deschutes
Joey Pauley

The Lower Deschutes River is a designated Federal Wild and Scenic River as well as Oregon Scenic Waterway.  Class I-III whitewater meanders through rolling hills and basalt cliffs in a beautiful and unique semi-arid desert ecoregion.  The watershed has a rich cultural history, providing sustenance for thousands of years for the Warm Springs and Wasco tribes.  The watershed is currently managed by multiple agencies, has a plethora of stakeholders and like many watersheds on earth is facing increasing challenges in water quality, quantity and overall sustainability. 

As students immerse themselves on a mult-day rafting trip on the Deschutes river, they will not only learn what it takes to be a part of a small river community, but also what it means to be a part of the larger ecological community on the river.  Through hands-on activities, students will gain insight into the components of a healthy watershed.

Students will learn how field and citizen scientists assess and monitor water quality through hands-on activity stations.  Stations include macroinvertebrate sampling through dip-net and kick-net techniques, temperature and PH testing and data recording.  These activities will deepen student understanding of the Deschutes River Watershed and provide real-world science application & data collection techniques.

Special Considerations

This Project Fulfills Outdoor ED Requirement

Overlake requires all participants of this travel project to be fully vaccinated prior to departure.  Additionally, on the Thursday before departure, Overlake will administer a PCR test to all participants. and leaders. To participate, the test must be negative, and students must be symptom-free from any illness.

Participants must be willing to follow King County and destination travel COVID guidelines.  If a participant, experiences any overlapping CDC symptoms of COVID during the project, the student will be isolated, and the student’s family will be required to pick up the student within 36 hours at their current location.  The family will bear all the costs associated with any travel to pick up their student and any costs for isolation or return travel. CDC possible symptoms of COVID can be found here.

By selecting the above project(s,) you and your family are accepting the financial responsibility for the cost of the projects.  This includes any unrecoverable expenses incurred if Overlake, or any federal, state or local government forces cancelation of the project, or if you or your family decide not to attend, or your student becomes symptomatic and has to be isolated.  

Project Week (2022-23)

Mar 27, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023


Chrissy Wakeling
Assistant Director of Experiential Education