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Experience the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival

05/09/2019 | Event, Food, Mt Hood Territory, Rafting, Waterplay


This May 18th and 19th, the 36th annual Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival will transform the river into one of the largest whitewater festivals in the Pacific Northwest. And there are a number of opportunities for you to get involved.

“Visitors can experience the event in different ways,” said Luke Spencer, event co-chair and owner of Clackamas River Outfitters. “They can compete, spectate, volunteer or just browse around and meet manufactures at the vendor booths, grab a bite to eat, listen to music and have a cold beer or cider at our beer garden!” The event also works to partner with many local and national businesses to help bring a positive economic impact to the surrounding areas.

“Local businesses benefit, as visitors purchase supplies for the weekend travel to the location or purchase from local and regional vendors at the event,” said Luke. “The event itself works with multiple organizations, agencies and business that require fees or costs to make the event happen. While also bringing in manufacturers and participants to the Northwest from different areas west of the Rockies including Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana and Canada showcasing Clackamas County, its towns (especially Estacada) and the Clackamas and surrounding rivers.”

While it may seem that the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is all about the competition, it is just one component of the weekend. The values included in the event mission are promoting river education, safety, competition, camaraderie, and river stewardship.

“We fulfill our missions by offering free safety and river education clinics, and on water demos,” said Luke. “The event boasts a variety of races taking place on our professionally designed course with eight gates at Carter Rapid. We fill the majority of the campgrounds in the area where folks mingle, meeting up with old and new friends alike, bringing them all together for the weekend.”

For more information on all the weekend events during the festival, visit their website.

If you can’t make it to the festival, but would still love to experience the rush of the rapids, check out one of the expert guide services in Mt. Hood Territory to help you get on the river safely and responsibly. Or find some local lodging and plan a weekend around the events. 


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