Hi Adventurers! I hope you’re all taking the time to have all different kinds of fun, and are being safe in the process. We had a great time at The Big Float last weekend. So much so that we were inspired to come back this week with another adventure that was aquatic in nature; A float on the Clackamas river! Some of you may have heard of these floats, as they are particularly popular, especially on hot summer weekends. Personally, I love the opportunity to get to splash into new people while adventuring, but if that’s not your thing I would recommend going on a weekday.
Where to go
There are a couple of options on where to go, so it just depends on what length of float you’re looking for. Floats vary from 3-5 hours. Here are some of your best options in order of length:
1. Barton State Park to Carver State Park, an estimated 2.5-3 hour float.
2. Milo McIver State Park to Barton State Park, an estimated 3-4 hour float.
3. Milo McIver State Park to Carver State Park, an estimated 5-6 hour float.
You can easily just float down the river and shorten your trip time, but there are quite a few fun places to stop and swim and have some extra fun. Just make sure that you are stopping in safe spots, and make sure to keep your personal flotation devices on.
All points are accessible by taking I-205 south to the the Clackamas highway. To get to each from Barton – McIver you just go further south down the Clackamas highway. No matter where you go, expect it to take at least 45 minutes to get there. So keep that in mind as you’re planning your trip as well, how much driving do you want to do? The most convenient way to make the trip back to the starting point is to take two cars and have one parked at each access point. If you don’t want to do this you can also bring a bike and have someone bike back to your car. Especially if you choose option 1, it is only 6 miles from Barton Park to Carver Park.
This river is seemingly safe, especially since it is often so crowded, but don’t let this fool you. People die here every summer because they don’t take their safety into enough consideration. Drinking while floating is not recommended, and you can get into legal trouble for doing so. Always wear a personal flotation device, I repeat, ALWAYS WEAR A PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE. And of course make sure that you bring and drink enough water and wear sunscreen.
What to bring
This entirely depends on what kind of trip you want to have. The basics include, water, personal flotation devices, sunscreen, inner tubes or raft(s), a cooler for water, and a sack lunch. Fun extra add-ons can include supplies to BBQ at Carver State Park with your friends after your float. Or water guns to attack pirates, extra sunscreen in case you meet people who don’t have some, a bike to bike back to your car at your launch point, or a frisbee to play a river version of ultimate frisbee, and maybe a dry bag so you can keep your phone and car keys with you and not worry about them getting wet.
Getting your gear
There are lots of great options for where to get your gear. Here at Campus Rec you can rent much, if not all, of the equipment you would need. Here is the pricing for Campus Rec members for 1-4 days:
12’ and 14’ Raft Package (good for up to 6 people) – $75
Personal Flotation Device – $4 each
Dry Bag – $6
Cooler – $8
River Inner Tube – $6 each
For a full list of things you can rent follow this link to the Outdoor Program’s website.
There are also many great places to buy gear. Popina Swimwear is my personal favorite. They are located on Sandy in NE, and have every swimsuit imaginable. As well as inner tubes, swim shoes, sun screen, and pretty much anything you would need to have an awesome day at any aquatic location. This link will take you to their website, and their suggestions for this float, as well as links to all of their gear and apparel.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @PSUcampusrec. And remember, If you go on this or any of our other adventures send us your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.