McKenzie - 3. Olallie Campground to Leaburg Dam


McKenzie, Oregon, US

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3. Olallie Campground to Leaburg Dam

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)

C2 through Marten Rapid


C2 through Marten Rapid
Photo of Bob Lee and Megi Morishita by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 09/30/06 @ 2430 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
MCKENZIE RIVER NEAR VIDA, OR
usgs-14162500 600 - 3500 cfs II-III 01h22m 2540 cfs (running)


River Description

This section of the McKenzie River is typically divided into three separate runs but several different access points provide for a variety of options. This river is one of the most popular whitewater runs in the state.
 
Olallie to Paradise, 9 miles, class III
 
 This is a beatiful run with consistent gradient on the Wild and Scenic Section of the McKenzie River.
 
Paradise to Finn Rock, 18 miles, class II
 
 This section is a good run for those learning whitewater. Redsides is a classic playspot on this section.
 

Finn Rock to Leaburg Dam, 15 miles, class II(III)

 

With a long season, convenient access to Eugene, great scenery, and a couple great playspots this is the most popular section of the river. It's a great river to learn on as those new to the sport can follow a guide down more conservative lines while experienced paddlers can enjoy a number of fund playspots.

 

The run from Finn Rock down to Prince Helfrich Landing is a great day trip. Several access points provide a diversity of options including park and play at Clover Point. Many kayakers enjoy the Mom's Pies run which starts at the informal access at Mom's Pies just above Clover Point and takes in the best playspots on the run. The most challenging rapid on this section is Marten Rapid which is a solid class III at medium flows and the most challenging drop on the run. You can always take-out above this rapid at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. Prince Helfrich Landing is located just after this rapid.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-07-27 19:42:06

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-80.0Ollalie Campground LaunchAccess Photo
-71.7Paradise Campground LaunchAccess Photo
-54.0Finn Rock Boat LandingAccess Photo
-51.9Mom's Pies AccessAccess
-51.6Clover Point PlayspotII+Playspot Photo
-51.0Eagle Rock RapidII
-50.6Nells RapidsII
-49.9Silver Creek Boat RampAccess Photo
-47.9Rennie Boat RampAccess Photo
-46.6Brown's HoleII+
-45.0Ben and Kay Dorris Boat RampAccess Photo
-44.8Marten RapidIII+Photo
-44.1Prince Helfrich LandingAccess Photo
-39.5Leaburg Reservoir Boat RampTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Ollalie Campground Launch

Ollalie Campground Access

Ollalie Campground Access
Photo of Jim Reed by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 11/11/07

Ollalie Campground has a designated river access with a raft launch just downstream of the main camping area. It is at Highway 126 mile 13.0 (7.6 miles up the road from Paradise). Once you turn into the campground it's 0.5 mile down the launch area.



Paradise Campground Launch

Paradise Campground Access

Paradise Campground Access
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 11/11/07

Paradise Campground has a designated launch area suitable for rafts. It is reached by heading up Highway 126 to mile 54.1 just upstream of McKenzie Bridge.



Finn Rock Boat Landing

Finn Rock Boat Landing

Finn Rock Boat Landing
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 08/31/06 @ 2430 cfs

Finn Rock is a popular access point for a day trip on the McKenzie. The access works well for rafts. To reach this access head to Highway 126 mile 37.9 and turn onto Quartz Creek Road which takes you across the bridge to river left. A good ramp is available on the upstream river left side of the bridge.



Mom's Pies Access

This informal access is used by kayakers who want to put-in just upstream of Clover Point. It can be used for park and play or you can do a short run to one of the access points downstream.



Clover Point Playspot (Class II+, Mile -51.6)

Clover Point

Clover Point
Photo of Steve by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 08/31/06 @ 2430 cfs

A fun little playspot just downstream of the informal put-in at Mom's Pies. It is just upstream of the Nimrod Bridge.



Eagle Rock Rapid (Class II, Mile -51.0)

A fun class II down the left side.



Nells Rapids (Class II, Mile -50.6)

Waves down the left through Nells.



Silver Creek Boat Ramp

Silver Creek Boat Landing

Silver Creek Boat Landing
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 08/31/06 @ 2430 cfs

Silver Creek boat ramp is located at Highway 126 mile 33.9.



Rennie Boat Ramp

Rennie Public Boat Landing

Rennie Public Boat Landing
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 08/31/06 @ 2430 cfs

This access is at a Highway 126 mile 32.2.



Brown's Hole (Class II+, Mile -46.6)

Run the easy line to the right and avoid it or run the meat down the left.



Ben and Kay Dorris Boat Ramp

Ben and Kay Dorris State Park Boat Ramp

Ben and Kay Dorris State Park Boat Ramp
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 08/31/06 @ 2430 cfs

This access can be used as a take-out if you don't want to run Marten Rapid which is the biggest rapid on this lower section of the McKenzie. It is located at Highway 126 mile 29.1.



Marten Rapid (Class III+, Mile -44.8)

C2 through Marten Rapid

C2 through Marten Rapid
Photo of Bob Lee and Megi Morishita by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 09/30/06 @ 2430 cfs

This is a great class III rapid that is the highlight of the run for those with skills to do so safely. An alternative take-out for those who don't want to run this drop is available just upstream at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park.



Prince Helfrich Landing

Prince Helfrich Landing

Prince Helfrich Landing
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 10/02/06

This is a popular take-out for one of the better whitewater sections on the McKenzie and is just below Marten Rapid. It is reached by driving to Highway 126 mile 38.5 and then turning onto Thomson Ln. which heads down to the river. You can recognize it from the river by the suspension bridge across the river.



Leaburg Reservoir Boat Ramp

At Highway 126 mile 24.7 there is an access at the upstream end of the Leaburg Reservoir.




User Comments


2013-05-28 01:56:12 (422 days ago)
T4eresa (153294)
New log blocking the middle and right channels in Fishladder rapid, approximately 2 miles below
Olallie. The hazard is difficult to see until you are committed. The only line remaining is a far
left entrance and stay left. Scout fishladder rapid from the high bank on river right. It is also
possible to scout from road. These directions are not clear to me but if you are there they might
make sense: Locate the pull-off where most raft trips launch: ~3/4 mile up the gravel road after
crossing the bridge at mile post 17 (north of the McKenzie pass highway turn off) on highway 126 to
a locked gate, then walk up the road another 200 feet and head for the river. Source: Gerry Orr on
PDX kayaker, May 27, 2013.
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