Dead River Rafting

New England’s Most Continuous Whitewater Rafting

Hayden’s Landing, Mile-Long, and Big Poplar are just a few of the rapids that come to greet you when rafting this 15-mile stretch of the Dead River. Beginning just below Grand Falls and ending in The Forks, whitewater rafting on the Dead River is a truly remote and wild Maine experience.



Make your plans to raft the Dead River and get ready to ride some seriously huge whitewater with thrilling class 3 and 4+ rapids! The dam-controlled Dead River has only 8 releases per season from below Grand Falls to the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead rivers, and it’s just a short shuttle drive from the Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort. Can’t make the listed dates? Don’t worry- the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers are always running, so there are plenty of opportunities for whitewater rafting!


Your Dead River trip builds in intensity with great warm-up rapids at the top, and culminates in the class 4+ Poplar Falls at the end. Prepare yourself for gorgeous scenery–especially when the leaves turn into vivid reds, oranges and yellows during Last Blast! The trip ends just 5 miles upstream from our Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, where you’ll enjoy a classic grilled lunch after the trip.  Also at our adventure resort? Craft beer from our very own Kennebec River Brewery! Not into HUGE whitewater? Book a lower-volume summer release at 3,500 CFS!

Choose from 3 Trip Options on the Dead River:


Standard Raft – Full-Day Trip (Standard-size rafts for 8 guests plus a guide)
Sport Raft – Full-Day Trip (Diablo high-adventure rafts for 4-6 guests plus a guide)
Sport Raft – Summer Flow Trip – 3500 CFS releases in the calendar to the right.

Need Help Choosing a Trip?


Ok, here’s a run-down. The Dead River at 5,000 CFS and higher is made for the adventurous souls. It’s high volume, with big waves, holes, and fun rapids all throughout the 16 mile river trip. 5,000 CFS and higher is made for folks that are game for a more “thrilling” ride.

The “summer flow” trip, at 3,500 CFS, is beautiful, remote, and serene. It’s slower-moving, a bit more low key, but still has some solid class III rapids. This trip is geared more toward first-time Dead River folks who want to dip their toes into this journey before committing to the big flow.

Two styles of rafting, two epic journeys…now, it’s time to choose! Check out the release dates to the right, and give us a call with any questions.

High Adventure Sport Rafts


High Adventure Sport Rafts available on ALL Dead River trips at no extra charge. Book early, limited supply. They intensify your whitewater experience!

Specially designed for a livelier ride, these rafts are shorter (13 ft vs 16 ft), narrower, and have a smaller tube diameter that puts you up close and personal with the river. Only 6 guests, plus a guide, fit in a high adventure sport raft (our normal-size rafts take 8 guests, plus a guide). Be sure to ask for this option when you make your reservation.


These sports rafts are recommended for experienced paddlers, minimum age of 14. In the event of epic high water (e.g., spring runoff), we require the normal 8-person larger rafts–trust us, you’ll want ’em!

Dead River Whitewater Rafting - 2020 Release Dates

Date Day Price Release Level
May 9th Saturday $89 6000+ CFS Book Now
May 16th Saturday $89 6000+ CFS Book Now
May 24th Sunday $89 6000 CFS Book Now
May 30th Saturday $89 6000 CFS Book Now
June 6th Saturday $69 4000 CFS Book Now
September 6th Sunday $119 5500 CFS Book Now
September 19th Saturday $79 3500 CFS Book Now
October 3rd Saturday $89 up to 6000 CFS Book Now

Availability Calendar
Prices do not include Maine Dead River Access Fee of $12.50 per person for 2020.


Every Northern Outdoors rafting trip concludes with a photo slideshow and video of you and your crew on the river. View and order photos from your rafting trip. For more photos of Dead River rafting and other awesome outdoor adventures in Maine follow @northernoutdoorsmaine on Instagram, and see our Maine Whitewater Rafting Videos playlist on YouTube.

Trip Details


Fun Posse, Explorer




Minimum Age

Trip Location

The Forks Maine rafting adventure resort map - Northern Outdoors

Meeting Time

8:30 AM

This is a full day trip with lunch included after the trip back at lodge.

Rapids Class

Maine registered guide - Northern Outdoors
Wetsuit rentals

Wetsuit rentals

Full Suit $20;
Farmer John $10;
Top Half or Paddle Jacket $5;
Booties $5

Trip Pricing

  • Trip

    Per Person



Awesome time on the rapids. First time rafting, went on the Dead river on the first trip of the season. Had a great time, Mary was the best guide. She was funny and also kept us safe. It was a great bachelor party trip.

David L.
Chelmsford, MA

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Prepare For Your Trip

Can you feel the white water? You’re only a few clicks away!

Check Dead River rafting availability with our live calendar:

Dead River Rafting Availability

Dead River rafting trips will be available for fall release dates. For more information on 2020 operating plans, please visit our COVID-19 response.