Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little North Fork Wilson

Pete brought Andrew and I along on an adventurous trip into the Wilson river drainage Thanksgiving weekend, 2011.  It was a fun adventure, and I'd go back if using a lower put in.  Here is Pete's account of the trip.


Stream: The Little NF Wilson enters the main stem about 1 mile before the Wilson enters the Tillamook Valley.  The upper reaches are steep and wood ridden, only seek this out if you enjoy adventure boating as you will spend time problem solving on the banks.  There are some steep boulder piles that have some futuristic lines in them up there.

Lower down, near the confluence with Shadow Creek the stream matures and starts to become quality from a whitewater sense.  The best of the rapids are class IV, and there is a healthy dose of these class IV's.  The access situation isn't ideal, but the road-less nature of the stream is a big part of it's charm.
Flows:  We were there on Nov 27, 2011.  This was a good first time flow (low, but still worth doing at that flow).


There is another gauge to look at that is more similarly sized to the LNF Wilson than the Wilson and not too far away.  However, it's not in the same drainage so it is there to compliment the Wilson gauge, not replace it for guessing whether the Little North Fork Wilson is in.  This would be the Scoggins Creek gauge, and it was at 120 cfs the day we ran the LNF Wilson.


Access:  Take out at the Mills Bridge Drift Boat Launch along Hwy 6, at the confluence of the LNF and mainstem Wilson Rivers.  45.4718, -123.7391

To get to headwaters we drove 12 miles up Hwy 6 from the take out and crossed the Wilson on Cedar Butte Rd, which we followed for 2.2 miles, then veered left.  1/4 mile later we turned right, and followed this road to a bridge over the stream 45.5611, -123.6386.  It was tiny up here, and the first few miles were enjoyable in the sense of adventure.  There were a few engaging rapids, but also a healthy dose of portaging. 

If I were to do the run again, I'd drive 6 miles upstream from the take out and turn left on Coast Range Rd.  I'd take that 4.7 miles and use an old spur to walk down as close as I could get to the creek, then schwack the rest of the way to the creek 45.5253, -123.6855.

I recommend anyone doing this run take a look at a map and find the way that looks best to them.

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