Thursday, July 6, 2017

East Fork Eagle Creek (Wallowa's)

Michael Freeman and I checked this out in the Spring of 2014.

We hiked 6 miles to this point 45.1404, -117.3032, camped, then hiked up and scouted some more.

We didn't find anything we wanted to run that high up so returned to a meadow and floated down from there.  If I went back I'd put in here: 45.0869, -117.3067 where a short 2.5 mile hike puts you in right at the top of the worthwhile whitewater.

To get there, drive to the East Eagle Trailhead.  Hike the trail on river left a little under 2.5 miles.  The spot to put in is obvious:  Its right where the trail crosses over Curtis Creek.  There will be another small tributary coming into East Eagle from the other side of the creek.  Finally, there will be a large class V-VI rapid on East Eagle.  Scramble down to the creek and put in just below this rapid.

Right around the corner the creek narrows, you won't have far to go before you will want to scout a pretty sweet looking triple cascade.  There was an unfortunate log in the final tier when we were there in 2014 so we portaged the set on the left via the trail.

Downstream was a fun section of whitewater with a handful of unique bedrock rapids in the class IV-V range.

Below the bedrock the creek looses character and runs through boulder channels that appear to change year to year.  The creek still has gradient so it kept us focused and we had a good time splashing down it.  We had one short log portage in this section in 2014.

At the very end was a bridge that had been destroyed by high water, we floated over it but its definitely worth a scout at the beginning of the day on your way up.

I lost all the footage, so I guess if someone wants to see what's in there, their going to have to check it out for themselves.  I wouldn't recommend driving a long distance for this stream alone, but if you live nearby or are making a boating trip to the area/passing through its worth the easy hike.  That triple cascade would be really something to run, but being there is worth the effort on its own.  Not a lot of big granite walls in Oregon, this drainage has a couple of impressive ones.   The main stem of Eagle has two whitewater sections as well, one gnarly and one intermediate.

If my memory serves, we had about 1,000 cfs give or take on the Imnaha gauge from snowmelt when we ran the EF of Eagle Creek.

Click to enlarge map


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