Wilson, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (varies with level)|
|WILSON RIVER NEAR TILLAMOOK, OR|
|usgs-14301500||900 - 7000 cfs||II+(III)||00h22m||811 cfs (too low)|
There are some beautiful rivers along the Oregon Coast and the Wilson is one of the signature runs that makes the region such an incredible boating destination. With high walls of moss-covered rock, forests that extend up into the persistent cloud layer, and beautiful water that flows over bedrock ledges sculpted by centuries of flow, the Wilson is a special place.
The first half of the run contains the two most challenging drops on the run. The first is the Narrows that comes up within about half a mile of the put-in. Turbulent hydraulics form as the river enters a narrows bedrock canyon. A couple hundred yards below the entrance rapid the river carves through a narrow 6' slot (be alert for wood hazards). A short distance downstream where the river bends to the right you will find some beautiful surf waves. Continuing on the river drops through one more challenging rapid before you hit the Highway 6 bridge which can be used as an alternate access point. From this point on the river is mostly class II with one rapid that is slightly more challenging than the others where a narrow bedrock-lined channel creates a fun rapid.
Logistics: Highway 6, a major state highway between Portland and Tillamook, parallels the river and although you can't easily see the most challenging rapids from the highway you can get an idea of the general character of the run. While there are several private homes along the river they only have a minimal impact on the visual characteristics of the run.
The take-out is at mile post 8. The access off the highway to Siskey Boat Launch looks like a driveway and is easy to miss but there is a slide for drift boats that use this as a put-in for fishing trips that head on downstream. There is an alternate take-out at mile post 7 where a short drive and fisherman's trail head down to the river.
The main put-in for this section is at mile post 15. Park in the pullout along the river side of the road and carry down the bank and across the rock ledges to launch. You can avoid the two biggest rapids on the run by putting in at the highway bridge downstream at milepost 12. The trail to the river is on the upstream river left side of the bridge.