High Desert River Outfitters acquired by Tributary Whitewater Tours

High Desert River Outfitters has been a well trusted and family owned rafting outfit since 1990. The dream was started by brothers Gary and Larry out of Portland, Oregon. During the summers, they would spend their weekends in Maupin running rafts and excited clients down the Deschutes River.  Throughout the decades High Desert held permits & ran trips on many rivers including the Rogue, Owyhee, Deschutes, Mackenzie, North Santiam and more. 

In early 2021 High Desert was purchased by Tributary Whitewater Tours, another family owned western rafting outfit. Tributary Whitewater started in 1978, offering white water rafting trips in California. The list of permits now includes the forks of the American River, the North Yuba (original permit holder since 1981, only 3 permits exist!), both Upper and Lower Klamath Rivers, the Cal Salmon and many more unique rivers.

Tributary now offers over 16 rivers to explore on our rafting trips in Oregon and California, we enjoy the challenges and unique opportunities each river provides. In California our operations are run as raftcalifornia.com, as we merge High Desert into our family we will transition to the name raftoregon.com for our Oregon rafting trips.

Top 5 reasons we are stoked on our Oregon Rafting Operations

#1 –  We love wilderness rafting trips

Everyone at our company has a passion for rivers. Some were drawn by the tranquility, some grew up around them, others studied ecology, but we all crave the adventure that each river trip brings. Overnight wilderness river trips offer a unique opportunity for us to unplug, unwind and come out recharged, just from being out in nature. Multi-day trips on the Wild N Scenic Owyhee and Deschutes rivers offer the ability to explore these places like none other. 

#2 – Best operations outpost ever

Our meeting location / outpost on Elrod Ave in Maupin was constructed in 2017 and is a large warehouse with corrugated metal and light wood features. The space is well ventilated and air conditioned and offers our rafting guests a place to check in and purchase any rafting gear including:

We think the space is really inviting and after your trip we have your photos ready to view inside. There is also a courtyard with picnic tables if you would like bring your own snack or meal. 

#3 – Maupin is fantastic 

Our management took a road trip up to Maupin in December of 2020 to meet with the previous High Desert owners and for an R & D mission. We loved that the river flowed right thru town and rafts could just float under the iconic bridges. We enjoyed drinks and food at the Riverside Cafe and spent our evenings by their outdoor fire pit chatting with the locals.

#4 – Now introducing 50% off return rafting to Oregon

Since 2019, Tributary has offered a 50% off return rafters discount to guests when they return within the same season. With the addition of more rivers in Oregon, that opens up more opportunities to save on some amazing adventures. 

We know it sounds crazy, so some restrictions apply (usually peak weekends, but inquire with our reservations staff for availability). 

#5 – More opportunities for our staff

Yes, this is a job for us all, but our employees want to be spending their time on and around the rivers. Some river guides spend entire summers on the same section of river. We offer so many river trips, our guides could be running 5-20 rivers commercially in a summer. Not many outfitters offer that amount of diversity. Positions are available for our 2022 rafting season. 


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