Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Drift Creek (Siletz Drainage)

Photos: Priscilla Macy

I expected this run to have only a handful of mediocre rapids separated by miles of flat water.  Lucas, Priscilla and I all wanted to see it anyway so went there on a sunny Monday after the 2015 Wind River Race.

Put-In for the guidebook run near North Creek.


 We found the run to be more enjoyable than expected at around 1,000 cfs with entertaining intermediate rapids in a nice gorge.  The run is described well at americanwhitewater.org complete with plenty of pictures.  The first gorge is the best, with bedrock rapids back to back, good scenery, and unique lines available.

First Gorge


The middle of the run doesn't have much going on, but it keeps moving.  Near the end of the run the whitewater picks back up and there are a few more rapids.

A nice boulder garden leads into this ledge that is larger than it may seem in the picture.

 Lucas scopes out a line.



 Once you see the pumping station on the left the run is over.  The two mile paddle out at the end isn't the greatest, but it can be tolerated.  I would say this run is worth doing at least once, preferably more if you live close by.  It is a great option when there is plenty of water in the coast range, but you are not feeling like a mission.  Access is easy to figure out and its bridge to bridge.  I'd say if you enjoy Jordan Creek in the Wilson drainage, you would also like this one.

The run went by much quicker than anticipated so Lucas and I hiked into Drift Creek Falls afterwords and paddled down to the normal put in.  This upper run wasn't full of wood as anticipated, but there were only two rapids so that was a one time thing for me.

Lucas runs the larger of the two rapids.


 The event of the day for me occurred on the upper run when I went to eddy out behind a rock and there was a bald eagle perched on a rock in the eddy.  I had to brace as I leaned away and he took flight, both of us caught off guard!

Directions are on the americanwhitewater page, but here is an overview map to show you where in Oregon the run is.




          -jacob

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