Luckiamute, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|LUCKIAMUTE RIVER NEAR SUVER, OR|
|usgs-14190500||400 - 7000 cfs||III-IV||01h37m||874 cfs (running)|
The Upper Luckiamute is a nice stretch if you happen to live close by. Those in the Corvallis, Monmouth, Newport area, etc sometimes do it after work or between classes. The first mile is continuous intermediate whitewater with a mix of bedrock and boulders. There is one stand out ledge (~5' tall) that can be tough to boat scout, but can be seen on the drive up. It is best run aboout 10' off the right bank. At the end of this mile is a scenic waterfall coming in on the left that is split into two channels. The Luckiamute slides over shallow bedrock here, making a potential surf wave at higher flows and a good lunch spot at lower flows. There is unconvenient access to the road here if you don't mind walking through the woods for a bit. After this spot its about 2 miles of class I-II with wood here and there before things pick back up as the stream goes under a bridge to a spur road. The largest ledge in this section, about 1/4 mile below the bridge, is safest on the far left (it can be hard to scout). In 2012ish an alternate channel was created just upstream of this ledge on river left, it appeared runnable. In the pool below the ledge is a convenient take out on the left, below here there are reminents of three long gone bridges that tend to collect wood. No portages in 2014. There is at least one more sliding rapid before things settle down until the next take out option where Wildwood road crosses the Luckiamute. Below here the run does not reach the class III mark again before reaching Kings Valley Hwy (Hwy 223).
Advanced boaters will find that this run can be done with lots of water, a run at 5,000 cfs led us to believe it could be done higher without becoming class V. It is worth noting the shuttle is on logging roads, the trucks are sometimes present on weekends and nearly always during the week. For the upper mile, 1,000 cfs is minimal.
Directions: The lower take out for the whitewater part is where Wildwood Rd crosses the Little Luckiamute, about 4.5 miles upstream of Hoskins. From the Kings Valley Highway, take Hoskins Rd > Luckiamute Rd > Wildwood Rd.
From there, locate the intersection of Gage Road and Wildwood Rd 0.7 miles upstream from the Wildwood bridge. From the intersection with Gage Rd, head upstream (quickly passing through a gate and onto Weyerhaeuser land) 3/4 of a mile to a pull out on the left, historically this road has been open to the public, even during the week but as Weyerhaeuser tightens their restrictions this may change. The final ledge is visible if you look upstream from river level. This is the recommended take out if you don't want to deal with the decommissioned bridges downstream (they often collect wood).
To get to the put in, continue upstream 3 3/4 miles (always taking the road closest to the river, but never crossing it) past this pull out to a bridge over Rock Pit Creek. This is the put in, the view of the river adjacent and upstream should be flat. Some of the whitewater should be visible from the road near the end of the shuttle.