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Crooked River - Wild and Scenic River

Sections:

  1. Lone Pine Bridge to Crooked River Ranch, Class IV (one at V)
  2. Crooked River Ranch to Lake Billy Chinnok, Class III-IV (one portage around dam)
Length of Run:
  1. Day trip, 18 miles
  2. Day trip, 9 miles with 2 miles on lake
Location: Jefferson and Deschutes Counties, Oregon
Maps: USGS quads: Redmond, Opal City, Steelhead
Times Runnable: Section (1) is runnable in spring after dam releases from the Prineville Reservoir; Section (2) is runnable year-round.
Permit: None required.

Gauge: Crooked River, below Prineville Reservoir

Sources for Current Level information:

  • Ochoco Irrigation District, Prineville, Oregon; 503-447-6449.
  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666. (Stay on the line and ask for this one after the recording.)
How Reported: Cubic feet per second (cfs)
Interpretation of Levels: Minimum is about 250 cfs; medium is 2000-3500; high is over 3500 cfs.

Sources of More Information:

  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, PO Box 1062, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • Sundance Expeditions, 14894 Galice Rd., Merlin, OR 97532; 503-479-8508.
Best Guidebooks: Cassady, Cross, and Calhoun, Western Whitewater ; Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, Soggy Sneakers Guide .

Deschutes River - Wild and Scenic River

Sections:

  1. Wickiup Dam to Pringle Falls, Class I (one at IV)
  2. Pringle Falls to Big River Campground, Class I (one at II)
  3. Big River Campground to Benham Falls, Class I (one at V)
  4. Benham Falls to Dillon Falls, Class I (one at VI, Dillon Falls)
  5. Dillon Falls to Lava Island Falls,Class III
  6. Bend to Tumalo State Park, Class IV
  7. Highway 26 to Sherer's Falls, Class III
  8. Below Sherer's Falls to the confluence with the Columbia River, Class III
Length of Run:
  1. Day trip, 9 miles
  2. Day trip, 16 miles
  3. Day trip, 18 miles
  4. Day trip, 2.5 miles
  5. Day trip, 2.5 miles
  6. Day trip, 5.5 miles
  7. 2-3 days, 54 miles
  8. 2-3 days, 44 miles
Location: Deschutes County, Oregon; Deschutes National Forest
Maps: USGS quads: Wickiup Dam, La Pine, Pistol Butte, Anns Butte, Benham Falls, Shevlin Park, Bend Tumalo, Forked Horn Butte, Cline Falls, Redmond, Steelhead Falls
Times Runnable: Sections (1) to (6) are generally runnable from spring until fall; Wickiup Dam releases most days during this period. The flow on Sections (7) and (8) is controlled by Pelton Dam; these sections are runnable year-round.
Permit: A state of Oregon boater's pass is required for Sections (7) and (8). These are available from vendors throughout Oregon, including sporting goods stores and outfitters, for $1.75 per person, per day. The funds generated by the sale of these permits are used to benefit the Deschutes River. For more information, contact: Parks and Recreation Division, Department of Transportation, State of Oregon, 525 Trade St., SE, Salem, OR 97310; 503-378-6500.
Reservations: Not required
Restrictions: The Bureau of Land Management imposes the following restrictions: Open canoes are considered unsuitable craft. Fishing from floating craft is prohibited. Camping on islands is prohibited. From June 1 to October 1, charcoal fires and gas stoves are the only fires permitted. At other times, firepans are required, and you must bring your own wood. Burning of downed wood and driftwood is prohibited. Call 503-447-6845 for additional campfire information.

Gauge: For Sections (1) and (2), release from Wickiup
Sources for Current Level Information:

  • Oregon State Water Resources Department; 503-388-6669.
How Reported: Cfs

Additional Gauge: For Sections (3), (4), and (5), Deschutes River at Benham
Sources for Current Level Information:

  • Oregon State Water Resources Department; 503-388-6669.
How Reported: Cfs

Additional Gauge: For Section (6), Deschutes River at Bend
Sources for Current Level Information:

  • Oregon State Water Resources Department; 503-388-6669.
How Reported: Cfs

Additional Gauge: For Sections (7) and (8), Deschutes River at Moody
Sources for Current Level Information:

  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666.
How Reported: Cfs
Interpretation of Levels: For Sections (1), (2), and (3), 500 cfs is minimum; the flow is dam-regulated, and the flow from spring to fall is usually between 1500 and 2500 cfs. For Sections (4) and (5), about 1000 cfs is minimum, and 3000 is high. For Section (6), about 500 cfs is minimum, and 1500 is high. For Sections (7) and (8), about 3000 cfs is minimum, and 8000 is high.

Source of More Information:

  • District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, PO Box 550, Prineville, OR 97754; 503-447-4115.
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, PO Box 1062, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • Sundance Expeditions, 14894 Galice Rd., Merlin, OR 97532; 503-479-8508.
Best Guidebooks: Cassady, Cross, and Calhoun, Western Whitewater ; Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, Soggy Sneakers Guide ; Garren, Oregon River Tours ; Bureau of Land Management,"Deschutes River Scenic Waterway" map/guide. (from BLM, address above); Interagency Whitewater Committee, River Information Digest .

Grande Ronde River - Wild and Scenic River

Sections:

  1. Tony Vey Meadows to Red Bridge State Park, Class III (one at IV)
  2. Red Bridge State Park to Riverside City Park, Class II
  3. Hilgard State Park to Riverside City Park, Class II-III (I at IV)
  4. Riverside City Park to Elgin, Class I
  5. Elgin to Palmer, Class II (I at IV)
  6. Minam (on the Wallowa River) to the confluence with the Grande Ronde and continuing to Powwatka Bridge Class II
  7. Powwatka Bridge to Boggans Oasis, Class II
  8. Boggans Oasis to the confluence with the Snake River, and continuing to Hellers Bar, Class II (one at III, the Narrows)
Length of Run:
  1. 1-2 days, 17 miles
  2. Day trip, 8 miles
  3. Day trip, 9 miles
  4. 2 days, 29 miles
  5. Day trip, 13 miles
  6. 3 days, 37 miles
  7. 2 days, 26 miles
  8. 2 days, 26 miles
Location: Union and Wallowa Counties, Oregon; Asotin County, Washington; Umatilla National Forest
Maps: USGS quads: Fly Valley, Marley Creek, McIntyre Creek, Kamela SE, Hilgard, La Grande SE, Conley, Imbler, Elgin, Partridge Creek, Rondawa, Fry Meadow, Deep Creek, Elbow Creek, Promise, Eden, Troy, Sadde Butte, Mountain View, Field Spring, Black Butte, Limekiln Rapids
Times Runnable: Sections (1) through (4) are runnable in spring or early summer during runoff; the rest are runnable year-round.
Permit: None required.

Gauge: Grande Ronde River at Lagrande
Sources for Current Level Information:

  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666. Stay on the line and ask for this one; it's not on the recording.
  • How Reported: Cfs
    Additional Gauge: Grande Ronde River at Troy
    Sources for Current Level Information:
  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666, Idaho Department of Water Resources; 208-327-7865.
  • How Reported: Cfs
    Interpretation of Levels: For Section (1), extrapolate from the gauge at Lagrande; about 900 to 1100 cfs there should be enough. For Sections (2), (3), (4), and (5), also use the gauge at Lagrande. About 1000 cfs is minimum; 4000-5000 is medium; 8000 is high. For Sections (6), (7), and (8), use the gauge on the Grande Ronde at Troy. Minimum is 1200 to 1800 cfs; medium is 4000; high is 8000 to 12,000.

Sources of More Information:

  • Bureau of Land Management, Baker Resource Area, PO Box 987, Baker, OR 97814; 503-523-6391; ext. 281.
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, PO Box 1062, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • Sundance Expeditions, 14894 Galice Rd., Merlin, OR 97532; 503-479-8508.
Best Guidebooks: Willamette Canoe and Kayak Club, Soggy Sneakers Guide ; Garren, Oregon River Tours ; North, Washington Whitewater 2 .

John Day River - Wild and Scenic River

Sections:

  1. Service Creek to Clarno, Class I-II
  2. Clarno to Cottonwood, Class II-III
Length of Run:
  1. 2-3 days, 44 miles
  2. 2-3 days, 70 miles
Location: Wheeler, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties, Oregon
Maps: USGS quads: Painted Hills, Clarno (15'), Chimney Springs, Shoestring Ridge, Horseshoe Bend, Indian Cove, Harmony, Esau Canyon, Devils Backbone, Turner Butte, McDonald
Times Runnable: April to May or June
Permit: None required.

Gauge: John Day River, at Service Creek
Sources for Current Level Information:

Sources of More Information:

  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666.
  • How Reported: Cfs
    Interpretation of Levels: Minimum is about 1000 cfs; optimum is 2000 to 4000; high is 5000 to 6000.
  • Sources of More Information:
  • District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, PO Box 550, Prineville, OR 97754; 503-447-4115.
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, PO Box 1062, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • Sundance Expeditions, 14894 Galice Rd., Merlin, OR 97532; 503-479-8508.
Best Guidebooks: Cassady, Cross, and Calhoun, Western Whitewater ; Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, Soggy Sneakers Guide ; Garren, Oregon River Tours ; Interagency Whitewater Committee, River Information Digest .

Further Comments: While you're on the John Day, expect to enjoy an unmatched sense of isolated wilderness!

Owyhee River - Wild and Scenic River

Sections:

  1. Three Forks to Rome, Class IV (one at V)
  2. Rome to Leslie Gulch, Class III (one at IV)
Length of Run:
  1. 2-3 days, 35 miles
  2. 4-5 days, 63 miles
Location: Malheur County, Oregon
Maps: USGS quads: Three Forks, Whitehorse Butte, Skull Creek, Indian Fort, Little Grassy Mtn, Dry Creek Rim,
Scott Reservoir, Owyhee Butte, Lambert Rocks, Rinehart Canyon, The Hole in the Ground, Jordan Craters North, Diamond Butte
Times Runnable: Spring and early summer after snowmelt
Permit: You must register with the BLM before you put in. March 15 to June 15: Bureau of Land Management, Rome Launch Site, Box HC65, Jordan Valley, ID 97910; 503-586-2612.Year-round: Bureau of Land Management, PO Box 700, Vale, OR 97918; 503-473-3144.
Reservations: Not required.
Restrictions: The maximum party size is 15. Pack out your trash. Firepans are required. PFDs are required.

Gauge: Owyhee River, at Rome
Sources for Current Level Information:

Sources of More Information:

  • National Weather Service, Portland; 503-249-0666. Idaho Department of Water Resources; 208-327-7865.
  • How Reported: Cfs
    Interpretation of Levels: Minimum is 1200 cfs; medium is 3000 to 5000; high is 8000 cfs.
  • Sources of More Information:
  • For Section (1): Bureau of Land Management, PO Box 700, Vale, OR 97918; 503-473-3144.
  • For Sections (2) and (3): Bureau of Land Management, address and phone above. Or, from March 15 to June 15: Bureau of Land Management, Rome Launch Site, Jordan Valley, ID 97910; 503-586-2612.
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club, PO Box 1062, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • Sundance Expeditions, 14894 Galice Rd., Merlin, OR 97532; 503-479-8508.
Best Guidebooks: Cassady, Cross, and Calhoun, Western Whitewater; Willamette Canoe and Kayak Club, Soggy Sneakers Guide; BLM, "Owyhee River Boating Guide".
Further Comments: An isolated desert wilderness run, packed with fine whitewater.


© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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