Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beaver Creek


Stream:   Beaver Creek is a tiny little stream that drains the streets of Gresham, OR.   Near the end of it's course, before its confluence with the Sandy River, it enters a half mile long class III-IV gorge bounded by two neighborhoods.  Putting in at Troutdale Rd means you have some brush to contend with but directions are easier.  If you put in further up at Stark Street you will have two culverts to contend with, some may find those obstacles fun.

If you use the cul de sac put in, walk down the path to the river.  Put in and proceed cautiously.  When the left wall rises up, start looking for the right wall to do the same.  Just before it does is a spot you can walk up to the rim and walk through a field to scout the gorge.

Cul de Sac put in

Once past this point it's committing read and run, but the difficulty is only III-IV depending on the water level.  It's a unique section of stream that I always enjoy. In 2016 there was a log jam at the end of the gorge that could be portaged over the wood on the left.  Alex N reported in the comments below that the log jam was still there in January of 2017.

Typical scene in Beaver Creek gorge.

After the half mile long gorge the stream opens up and while there were no wood issues in 2015, there have been in past years.  There used to be a foot bridge marking the take out but that got blown out, so be on the look out for a place to hop out on the right, there is a trail that goes up to where you parked the take out vehicle.
Flows:  Beaver Creek flows only after significant rains.  Medium levels are 8'-9' on this gauge. 7' was the lowest we ran it and while that floats a boat, its definitely low.  This creek spikes and drops fast so if it's raining and you don't like the flow, grab a burger at the Wendy's down the street and wait an hour for it to change.

Access:  From the intersection of Troutdale Rd and Stark St in Gresham (there is a Dairy Queen here), head East on Stark St (West would take you up-hill).  Turn left at the next light onto Evans St. and stay the course for about 1 mile until you see this location, which is the take out.

Take out:  45.530068, -122.378283

There is access to an agricultural field from this neighborhood, and I like to walk along the edge of it and scout the gorge before gearing up, others may prefer to do this from the river though.

 To get to the put in, return to Stark St and head back towards the Dairy Queen.  Beaver Creek crosses under both Stark St and Troutdale Rd near here, but the put in I generally use has you turning right at the Dairy Queen onto Troutdale road, then right again in just over 1/4 mile onto Beaver Creek Ln.  After turning right, the access is through the first cul de sac on the right. 45.523693,-122.384203

There is a narrow path where the arrow is in the following photo that leads to what is sort of a park.

Original Write-up

This creek is a novelty, flowing through the town of Troutdale.  That being said, it is much more enjoyable that it has any right to be. The stream is impounded on the Mt. Hood Community College Campus, flows along through some class II, culverts and wood for a couple miles.  It then crossed under Troutdale road and enters a short class III-IV gorge.  To run this we would hike it in the summer and address any wood issues, then the day we were to run it we would scout the whole gorge from river right on the edge of an agricultural field.  Once you are in the gorge it is strikingly committing for flowing through a suburb.

The best rapids were the first and last in the gorge.  The final one being the trashiest with a barrel and other assorted garbage collected on the left, creating an obstacle.

 Priscilla near the beginning of the gorge.

 Once through the gorge there were a couple small rapids and usually an easy log portage before reaching a foot bridge.  The first few times we hiked out on a trail on the left, the last few times we took the trail to the right.  I would recommend the right side, the left was a mess of mud coming up the hill to Cherry Park when it had been raining enough for the creek to come in.  My dad and Val Shaul did the run down to the Sandy once and decided that walking out at the foot bridge is better.


 Put in either at Troutdale road or Stark street.  To cut to the chase, use these coordinates to avoid flat water and trees hanging into the stream.  45.523693,-122.384203

The trail to the put in is between these two houses. 
 To get to this cul de sac, turn right onto Beaver Creek Lane off of Troutdale road within a hundred yards of the point where Troutdale road crosses over Beaver Creek. After turning right, its the first cul de sac on the right.  The gorge starts within a hundred yards of this put in and the last point to get out and scout is on the right just before the first bedrock rapid. It is possible to get to the gorge rim and the agricultural field from that point.

Take out:  45.530068, -122.378283

This is the trail we came out on.  It is accessed from the first foot bridge to cross Beaver Creek below the gorge.  We headed downstream, then up on the trail to get to this point on Evans Ave.

For good whitewater, we would aim for 8'-9' on this gauge. 7' was the lowest we ran it and while that floats a boat, its definitely low.

The gorge drops 120 feet in .58 miles.



Alex N said...

Thank you for the awesome beta! I did this run at about 9' on the gauge today and really enjoyed the experience. Would never have thought about it if it wasn't for this write up. (The log jam is still there, the only portage)

Jacob said...

I'm glad you were able to get on it, it's a unique little run! Copy that on the logjam, seems like that one could be there for awhile.

JesseSend said...

How far down when you start the run is the log jam?

Jacob said...

It's at the end of the gorge, so 1/3 a mile from the cul de sac put in or so. Pretty close to this spot 45.526788, -122.381611