Tributary of the Illinois that flows thru the same geologic feature of the North Fork Smith (Josephine Ophiolite) with a lot of the same features--long shallow boulder gardens and bedrock ledge drops with amazingly clear water and some good surf waves at higher flows.
Hazards: Be aware of the low head dam towards the end of the run which has been the site of a boating fatality. The dam's location is easy to spot by the pool backed up behind it. Eddy out and portage/scout left. A far left or right line is possible but stay out of the center.
Video of whitewater on Rough and Ready Creek: http://vimeo.com/18314475
Lowhead dam presents a hazard.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Rough and Ready whitewater
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
International mining companies have sought to develop nickel strip mines within the Kalmiopsis region of SW Oregon and NW California for years, threatening the stunningly pure waters of cherished whitewater rivers, including the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith and Illinois. This month, we have an unique opportunity to protect these and other rivers in the region, and paddler's voices from across the country are important to making this happen. Submit your comments by September 28th!
On January 12, 2017, the BLM and Forest Service announced a 20-year halt to new mining activities in the watersheds of the North Fork Smith, Illinois, Pistol River and Hunter Creek in Oregon. American Whitewater celebrates this important milestone with the conservation and recreation partners that we've worked with, and thanks Representatives DeFazio and Huffman and Senators Wyden and Merkley for their dedication to protecting this place. And we thank YOU too for standing up for these wild rivers!
The Department of Agriculture recently announced that it will not review a 20-year prohibition on new mining development (i.e., a “mineral withdrawal) for over 101,000 acres of public lands in SW Oregon. The protection, which was implemented in late 2016, covers rivers cherished by the whitewater community including the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith and Illinois Rivers and their headwaters.
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