• Paul Clark

John Day River

The John Day river in eastern Oregon flows freely from its source in the high desert to the Columbia River Gorge. It's a quiet and scenic river, and a perfect multi-day paddle board float for adventure SUP enthusiasts. I say this, but paddle boarders remain a rare sight on this river.

I first brought a paddle board to the John Day a few years ago. Since then I have paddled most of the main John Day, from Monument to the Columbia River Gorge. This February when temperatures and water levels were rising, I went for a couple nights on the section between Clarno and Cottonwood. This is my favorite section for its feelings of remotness and wilderness, and its canyon scenery.

On this trip I brought my Phantom3 Pro drone along, transported in an ActionPacker and 120L SeaToSummit drybag, and hauled on the back of the Hala Daze sup board. We joked calling the Daze our aircraft carrier. The Hala Daze turned out to be the perfect board on this trip, and I look forward to touring more rivers with it, and the drone.

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