Thursday, July 6, 2017

East Fork Eagle Creek (Wallowa's)

 Photo: Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman and I checked this out in the Spring of 2013.

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

Camping in a drizzle.
 Photo: Michael Freeman

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 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 notable:  For one, it is where the trail crosses over Curtis Creek.  Second, there will be another small tributary sliding down the mountainside 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, which pinches down and drops 20+ feet.

Right around the corner the creek narrows, you won't have far to go before you will want to scout a  triple cascade.  There was an unfortunate log in the final tier when we were there in 2013 so we portaged the set on the left via the trail.

 Returning to the creek via a short glissade.
Photo: Michael Freeman

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

 Photo: Michael Freeman

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.

If you wanted a long day of boating you could combine this section with the main stem of Eagle Creek.

We had 940 cfs on the Eagle Creek Nr New Bridge gauge (which can be found here).

The Imnaha gauge was also fluctuating between 1200 and 1400 cfs from snowmelt when we ran the EF of Eagle Creek.

Click to enlarge map


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