John Day paddleboarding

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

There is a 40 mile section of the John Day river that is perfect for paddleboarding (if the weather cooperates) This section travels through high desert hills and deep basalt canyon wilderness. It stays in the wilderness and is filled with views and wildlife. For 3 days we paddled without seeing a road, house, or other signs of civilization.

This is the actually the third time I have paddle boarded this section. Two years ago, I took an early trip with a friend and loved it so much we decided to bring the kids back a few weeks later. Unfortunately, we we hit by a unprecedented flooding that made the trip a bit too “exciting”

This time (june 16th-19th), we kept a close eye on the forecast and water levels. 1000-1300 cubic feet per second is about the bare minimum I would want to paddle board. It was fun, but we did hit our fins a few times. Any lower would have been an issue.

Chart showing water levels

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