Northwest Rafting Company has secured the first commercial outfitting permit granted for the Wild and Scenic Chetco River in more than a decade. With the new permit, Northwest Rafting Company will be the only outfitter able to lead kayaking trips down the federally protected waters and through sections of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area in the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest of Oregon. The outfitter’s first descent is planned for early June.
The owner of Northwest Rafting Company, Zach Collier, has pursued the permit on the Chetco for more than a year after a scouting trip in 2011.
“The Kalmiopsis Wilderness is a place we’ve always been in love with after many trips down the Illinois and Smith Rivers. After exploring the Chetco we became obsessed with leading groups there and I’m so proud to be able to offer this trip,” Collier said.
The Chetco is a river canyon very few people have seen due to its remoteness and challenging access. It is nestled between the better known Smith and Illinois Rivers, both renowned for their absolutely clear water and epic whitewater. The upper gorge of the Chetco is beautiful beyond belief. On the 5-day excursion, there are many places to stop, swim the crystal-clear pools and take a few side hikes up the creeks that feed the Chetco.
Northwest Rafting Company, www.nwrafting.com