Trip Reports

Trip Reports Sorted By River

Please submit trip reports to VicePresident-Newsletter(at) if you would like to add to our library.  

Clackamas River

01/01/2021 Lower Clackamas, Upper McIver Park to Barton Park, 3000 cfs I'm a glutton for punishment. I really, really wanted to go on the OWA’s New Year’s Day Sandy trip, but instead I went on the Clackamas River. Not that there is anything wrong…
In years past, the OWA has had a very fun camping weekend on the North Santiam River known as boating 101. It is a great mix of experienced boaters and new members/ boaters floating the river, followed by fellowship back at camp. As we adapt to…
Three Lynx to Memaloose - Progression

Colorado River - Grand Canyon

Colorado River, 6500-9000 cfs, 21 day trip: Our excited band of eight departed on October 7th for a 21-day float down the Grand Canyon. The river is normally emerald green this time of year but, alas, was closer to the color of a chocolate milkshake…
We’ll start this story at the Jewels on day 10 of our March 2021 Grand Canyon Trip. The crew of 11 departed Schist Camp on a clear but cool morning happy we didn’t have to get soaked right away. The boatmen all took the driest route Through Boucher…
October 2020, Grand Canyon - Lees Ferry to Pierce Ferry. I began whitewater boating 30 years ago. Right from the beginning I began hearing stories of the infamous Grand Canyon. It has been on my bucket list ever since. My opportunity finally came!…

Deschutes River

It was a dark and stormy night. Soon it would be the last day in April, the wettest April on record for the area. And it was getting wetter. This reporter, seeking adventure, had set up camp at the Oasis Campground, next to the raging waters of the Deschutes River earlier that day. The sun had made an extended appearance and warmed the region to a blistering 63 degrees. All was right with the world. But around midnight the floodgates opened, and a drenching rain continued for a couple of hours, with a few lingering showers adding a finishing
OWA 2014 President's Day Rogue Trip moved to the Deschutes, Mecca Flats to Sandy Beach 8,00-10,000 cfs
2019 Tax Relief Float - What could possibly go wrong?
Lower Deschutes Spring Break Trip. On the first weekend of Oregon spring break, OWA members embarked on the 10th Annual Lower Deschutes Spring Break Trip.
9th Annual Spring Break Lower Deschutes Trip

Hood River

Grande Ronde River

Minam Bar to Heller Bar. CFS 6,000 rising to 11,300 cfs. Annual OWA Grande Ronde Trip. The forecast was for lots of rain and wind gusts to 26 mph. I was expecting everyone to cancel, until I realized that people from the West (wet) side think this…
5/7/21 Minam to Heller Bar (90 miles), 6,500 to 7,500 cfs - submitted by Eric Ball
Ninety miles of the Grande Ronde River from Minam (on the Wallowa River) to Heller Bar (on the Snake River) in 3 days.

Klickitat River

12/22/2020 Hatchery to Leidl Campground 1500cfs - submitted by Alex Johnson Looking to explore a new river, try out what looked like a fairly close and simple day trip and shake off the quarantine rust, a group of five boaters (featuring 2 OWA…

Lower Salmon River

Main Salmon River

08/19/21 to 09/02/21, Corn Creek to Heller Bar, 209 miles. In starting a story about a river trip, where do you start? The conception of the idea? The day you apply for a permit? The day you launch? Well, I have a friend who drew a Main Salmon…
Main Salmon Fall Trip

McKenzie River

If you’ve ever tried to book the Horse Creek Group Site near the McKenzie River, you’ll know how difficult it is to do so, and how many mornings you get up the year before to try to submit, only to see it booked out for another week or two. So, in summer 2022 we decided to go for a full week in 2023 to try and get it – and WE FINALLY SUCCEDED!! For a full year Brenda Bunce and I were looking forward to spending the entire week of Aug. 13-20 in this fantastic campground – days spent rafting, hiking, cycling, sitting in hot springs, and enjoying the camaraderie of friends.
A Brown Ribbon Trip? Tales of the McKenzie - It was MLK Jr. Day weekend 2019 and all of the western Cascades rivers were pumping ...

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

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Molalla River

Molalla River (Three Bears) Log Hazards ~ If your plans this Winter or Spring include boating the Molalla river (Three Bears Section), be familiar with two potential log problems. There's a wedged log at Baby Bear Rapids that is blocking the left…
After many messages, scanning river gauges, and phone calls Saturday, a group of hardy boaters looking for some high water fun decided on the Molalla river for a Sunday funday. The river was coming back up and we estimated the flow to be 3500 CFS…

N Santiam River

North Santiam, Packsaddle to North Santiam Park, 2,650 cfs. The past month of October on the North Santiam River had been phenomenal this year with higher than normal water flows being released from the Detroit-Big Cliff Hydro Project and with record…
North Santiam River, Packsaddle to Mill City, 3810 cfs. Every year “the powers that be” dump water out of Detroit Reservoir on the North Santiam River. Because of the drought, I didn’t think they would this year. They fooled me and did! I saw the…
Trip report written by Norma Allensworth, photos by Norma Allensworth and Jo Wright Wilderness First Aid Class needed to happen the first Saturday of October -- traditionally the weekend for the North Santiam Fall Colors Float. Saturday, October 12,…

N Umpqua River

Owyhee River

The OWA Newsletter said John Day River, Stem to Stern, but it was not to be. After a very wet few weeks, the North Fork John Day was flooding, so our trip leader (Tom Riggs) decided to switch the first part of the trip to the lower Owyhee River. The…

Rogue River

This year was a rainy one, with around 1.5 inches accumulating across the region during our trip. With all that rain came higher water than most of us had seen on the Rogue. The Agnes gauge was at 14.7K at launch, dropping to 10K by the takeout.
10/13-16/2023, Almeda to Foster Bar, 1950 cfs. On October 13-16, 2023, our group of four persons and two dogs launched at Almeda Park on the Rogue River.  Permitted spaces became available approximately one week before the Friday launch.  We ran…
02/18/23 to 02/20/23, Alameda Bar to Foster Bar, 2700cfs. It's been a few years since we were able to run a President's Day Rogue trip.  Matt Saucy and Bruce Ripley led the trip. In total, there were 12 of us across 9 rafts and 1 kayak that were…
A self-support kayak/canoe trip. Almeda to Foster Bar, 1100 cfs. Courtney Wilton easily snagged a permit for the Wild and Scenic Rogue River late September, with the idea of a self-support kayak trip. Dale Davidson, Paul Norman and I, Bruce Eicher,…
A sweep boat is a large inflatable raft most commonly found in Idaho, and is viewed as the gear boat of choice by most outfitters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Just like an oar boat uses oars and a paddle boat uses paddles, the sweep boat driver…
(02/17/2021, Grave Creek to Foster Bar, rising to approximately 12,000 cfs)  Sometime in January, I got a text from my friend Pete about a Rogue river trip happening in February. Now Pete has been very consistent to invite this northern Oregon…
Watch the carnage here:
Equinox on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River

Sandy River

01/01/2022 Dodge to Oxbow, 2100 cfs. Skull Cap and Neoprene Gloves Type of Day best describes what was minimally needed for the chilly and brisk weather conditions to be encountered on this first day of “2022”. This trip almost didn’t get off the…
Dodge Park to Oxbow Park. On January 1st, OWA members rang in the New Year on the Sandy River as they usually do; however, with some differences this year due to Covid. Usually this New Year's Day run is a collaborative event with Team River Runner…
Two reports: 1) A Last Float with River Friends, Written by Crista Wakefield and 2) Floating the Sandy on No Sleep, Written by Kimberly Long
January 1st New Year's Float on the Sandy River

Snake River

Our crew of 14 launched below Hells Canyon dam on Saturday, August 26 on a 4 day trip, taking out at Pittsburg Landing, 32 miles downstream. I was invited by a friend from Salt Lake City and the TL and most of the others were scientists or professors associated with Oregon State University, past and present. When I first heard about the trip, I assumed we were going from the dam to Heller Bar in 4 days, and having floated the 20 flat miles from the confluence of the Salmon to Heller Bar a month prior, my first reaction was "no way!" As it was, we camped just above Granite rapids on night 1, then did a layover day at Pine Bar at about mile 20, before floating out to Pittsburg on day 4, at a very pleasant and relaxing pace.

SF Salmon River

South Fork Salmon 06/27/2020 3.9 ft (with a day run on the SF Payette). When I look back and think about our trip down the South Fork of the Salmon river, the first thing I remember is how loud it was. There was so much water moving though that…

Tieton River

Tieton River Rimrock Campground to "Bridge Two". Yakima Valley Drainage, Washington State. As many of you know each September while most of our favorite river runs have dried up, the dam keepers of Rimrock Lake open the gates.  From what I…
Sometime around 2010, I was running the Tieton dam on the right as I usually do (it's where the most fun ride is). I was running an Aire Ocelot at the time. As I reached the edge, I saw a boat bobbing in the wave at the bottom. There were no…
2019 was a very different year for the Tieton. Weeks before the flip-flop was expected, people were already asking whether it would happen at all. The reservoir was low, yet releases were higher than inflows ...

Trask River

“Hey Riggs, Cheryl and I want to talk to you”. It was Scott Harvey and he had me cornered at the OWA Christmas Party ...

Washougal River

Wintertime on the Washougal, Big Eddy to Hathaway Park at 7.5 feet. After a couple of days of good hard winter rains, numerous local rivers around the Portland/Vancouver area are normally roaring and pumping with life. One river in particular is…

Wind River

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White Salmon River

Other Rivers

Salt River, Arizona 2300-2050 cfs. Just go far right or far left at Rat Trap.  That is the rock that Dave Audet wrapped on in 2017”  How hard could it be with this experienced group?  After all we were a well seasoned group of rafters including Blair…
Desolation and Gray Canyons of the Green River, July 2022. They had said goodbye to their loved ones, written their wills, gotten their affairs in order, and checked their munitions and gear assignments. The long trek across the western half of the…
10/9/22, Foster Dam to Waterloo Parf, flow unknown. Seven boats carrying nine boaters ran the Foster Dam to Waterloo Park stretch of the South Santiam River on Sunday, Oct. 9. A larger group ran the North section of the river the day prior, and some…
Here in the Northwest, there are a handful of river’s that both rafters and cat-boater’s overlook in the Cascade mountain drainages and one of them that comes to mind is the Upper Cispus River. It’s located roughly 20 miles southeast of the community…
Lower Sacramento River, Balls Ferry to Bend Bridge. It was the middle of September and I wasn't ready to let go of summer yet so I headed to Northern California with my recreational kayak thinking I would paddle around some lakes and enjoy a week of…
Lake Creek, Alaska: Chelatna Lake to the Yentna River. 54 miles and a lot of fish! About five years ago I told Nate about this river I’d heard of in Alaska that is supposed to have rapids and be a great fishery. Class IV rapids mixed with all five…
A canoe trip from below the confluence of North and South Forks of the Coeur d'Alene River to river right just before the East Canyon Road bridge.
02/04/2021 5 miles upriver to Kilchis River Campground. When recruiting people for the Kilchis River most didn’t know it was a river and the others that had heard of it asked “Isn’t that a kayak run?”  Well, it is a kayak with an asterisk.  I’m an…
After several days of heavy rains back in January of this year, the Toutle River spiked to a monstrous flow of 20,000 cfs! At which point I was wondering, how high is actually too high for either rafting or cat-boating the Toutle. I’ve run the 10…
The first annual BoatSmith Whitewater Festival was, by and large, a raging success. Taking place over the course of four days, the event exemplified everything that makes our community of river folks so special. Despite the biting cold, unforeseen…
Grays River Trip Report
Exploratory trip on little-known Southwest Washington river in IKs. Turns out it is not runnable but the article is entertaining.
South Nahanni River, Northwest Territories, Canada
A remarkable 10-day trip down the San Juan River in Southeastern Utah, written in the 1950's.