ARTA River Trips - Image Art

The Illinois River

The wildest river we run.

For right-brained people:

Whitewater rafting the wild Illinois River in Southern OregonIf you are right-brained, (responsive to visual stimuli) you’ll love the Illinois River, (but of course, you won’t be able to verbalize your feelings about it afterwards). It is unbelievably beautiful, especially if you like to look at waterfalls and at every possible shade of green, (it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the only time you can’t see a waterfall is when you are asleep or to say that this is the greenest place on Earth). But the waterfalls and greenery aren’t the main attraction; they’re not even second place. The main attraction is the whitewater and it is the real thing, lots of challenging rapids, mostly in the middle section, mostly roaring, crooked, fast, blind slalom courses through, around and over big boulders. Even in the wealth of whitewater on the Illinois, Green Wall stands out: words don’t do it justice; you have to be there, quaking, to get a sense of it. And then there is the remoteness and isolation, which are a bit scary; the river is really the only way in or out – no roads, no trails, no escape routes. Far more than any other trip we offer, leaving the launch site on the Illinois feels like heading into the unknown. We can’t wait.

"This is the most beautiful place I have ever been"

Harold Burns

For left-brained people:

  • The Illinois River in one word:
  • Unpredictable
  • In another word:
  • Unforgettable
  • Best known for:
  • Waterfalls
  • No other trip has:
  • Carniverous plants
  • Expect to:
  • Overdose on endorphins
  • You can also:
  • Visit the Oregon coast
  • Signature Rapid:
  • Green Wall
  • Meeting Place:
  • Grants Pass, OR
  • Length in days: 4
  • Length in miles: 31
  • Overall difficulty: IV+
  • Highest difficulty (#): V (4)
  • Rapids/day: ~ 15
  • Gradient: 26 feet/mile
  • Rapids:spacer5 stars
  • Scenery:spacer5 stars
  • Wilderness: 5+ stars
  • Swimming:spacer1 stars
  • Hiking:spacer3 1/2 stars
  • Campsites:spacer4 stars
  • Wildlife:spacer3 stars
  • Fishing:spacer1 star



    Osprey -
    (Pandion haliaetus) - The name Osprey comes from the Latin Ossifragus which means “bone breaker”, (they’re only fish bones, of course, but still, cool etymology). They patrol almost every river we run, like our personal guardian angels, and they treat us to spectacular air shows, like our personal Blue Angels. They live in breath-taking, tree-top nests and they sometimes fly so low that we can see the keenness in their eyes; both of which make us hope for reincarnation.