When temperatures hit triple digits, folks here head to the river.
And it appears so far this year, more people than ever are floating the Deschutes.
“Even when it is super packed, I still think it is great because that means people are out having fun,” said Bend resident Kathryn Kendall.
According to Bend Park and Recreation, the river at Whitewater Park saw a lot more people floating this June than in previous years.
In fact, river use appears to be nearly double the numbers for the last three Junes.
The trail counter totaled 76,000 floaters or river users in June this year compared to 39,000 last year.
Sales at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe confirm the trend.
“It’s been a lot busier,” said Rental Lead at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe Aaron Duarte. “I know we have done a lot more sales than we have in the early season, in season’s past. Especially compared to last year when we didn’t do tubes at all. We’ve done a lot more rentals this year.”
Duarte says most of his customers have floated in from out of town.
He believes this is just the beginning, as they haven’t even reached peak season yet.
BPRD says in a typical year about 200,000 people float the river between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
“There’s certainly been a ton of people that have been coming through,” he said. “So, it’s not been overwhelming, but there has been a definite increase of a lot of people coming through.”