Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We know there’s a lot to consider when planning a rafting trip down the McKenzie River, but we’ve got you covered with all the answers we think you’ll need. If you still have questions, please call us: 541-726-5039.

Our advice: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

  • Dress to get wet: wear quick-dry fabrics, shorts and T-shirt; avoid wearing cotton.
  • Wear river sandals, water shoes or old sneakers.
  • If you’re prone to being cold, bring a fleece coat and rain gear.
  • Pack sunscreen, hat, sunglasses.
  • Bring a water bottle and any medication you might need.
  • Leave a towel and a full change of dry clothes in your vehicle.
  • Leave valuables at home.
Our usual boat launches and take-outs have portable or vault toilets. However, if we are meeting or launching from a landing that does not have toilets, we will let participants know in their information email and suggest the best rest stop to visit before the rafting trip begins. We always try to plan lunch and rest stops at sites with toilets; otherwise, we can stop elsewhere or along the way to accommodate bathroom needs.
  • Degree of difficulty: We’ll help you choose the experience that best fits the experience you’re looking for.
  • Gear: Each participant must wear a properly-fitted, provided life jacket; helmet, optional.
  • Mobility: Each participant must be able to get from the parking area to the raft staging area and into and out of the raft. Riverside terrain is rocky, uneven and often slippery.
  • We are often able to modify an experience to accommodate accessibility needs. Share those at the time of booking your trip, so we can discuss your situation in advance and accommodate appropriately.

Bring Your Own

  • We will provide a 43-quart cooler per raft. Best option for folks with dietary restrictions and to save costs.

Picnic Lunch

  • We provide fried chicken, homemade deviled eggs and coleslaw, fresh fruit, dessert, mints and lemonade; $20 per adult; $15 per youth ages 4-12; a 3-day notice is required for picnic lunch.

Order Big Town Hero™ Lunch

  • Customize your order to choose a 6-inch sandwich, bag of chips and a canned soda. $14 each. Submit an order form for each person. A 3-day notice is required for a Big Town Hero™ lunch order.

Order Lunch

McKenzie River Map

Full-Day Options

Paradise to Forest Glen
Forest Glen to EWEB

Half-Day Options

Paradise to Bruckart
Finn Rock to Helfrich

All participants must sign our Release, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. Participants may bring signed releases to the rafting trip starting site or sign them upon arrival. We will have release forms available.
Sign Release
There is always a chance that the launch site could change on the day of your trip due to closures and/or river hazards. We will communicate any changes with you via a phone call or text on the morning of your trip.
Led by Helfrich McKenzie Rafting’s owners and trip leaders, Leah and Jonnie Helfrich, our experienced river guides are fully trained and certified and are looking forward to guiding you down the river.

  • Leah Helfrich
  • Kenny Hill
  • Toby Snyder
  • Taylor Chocek
  • Brian Ward
  • Elijah Snyder
  • Matt Estes
  • Jonnie Helfrich

Meet Our Guides

Family-owned A Helfrich Outfitter, LLC, offers a variety of river-based adventures for fishing enthusiasts and rafting expeditions on several rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

For adventurers looking to stay overnight in the McKenzie River area, there are several places available, ranging from bed and breakfast lodgings to cabins on the river. Follow the links for more information.