Donner and Blitzen - Blitzen Crossing to Page Springs

Donner and Blitzen, Oregon, US


Blitzen Crossing to Page Springs

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 17.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 49 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-10396000 500 - 800 cfs III 00h48m 37.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

This designated Wild and Scenic River flows through a deep basalt canyon in the remote desert country of southeast Oregon. 

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-02-27 05:28:53


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Steens Mountain Loop GateN/AAccess Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Steens Mountain Loop Gate (Class N/A)


Photo by Zach Collier taken 05/08/16 @ 0 cfs

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 15 2011 (2864 days ago)
Mike PurcellDetails
The Donner Und Blitzen River is a remote, seldom paddled run in a scenic canyon. The first
challenge is familiarizing yourself with Steens Mountain. Not many people get out here. The second
is timing the run-off. This is a small river with a small window. Don't let that slow you down
though-- it's fun, scenic, and in a very interesting area. The description in Soggy Sneakers is
pretty spot-on. If you don't have a copy of that, try this: As of 5/08, there is a short portage due to wood
about 1/4 mile down from the put-in. The river split around a small island. The left is
willow-choked and the right is blocked by a toppled tree. You can portage on either side or right
down the island and get back in on the tail end of the island. We did an overnight run and camped
at Tombstone Canyon. There are a few other areas that would be big enough for camping as well.
Other than that, Cramer and Hodges description is pretty accurate. The rapids at the top are
technical, steep and fun. In general, the lower on the run you get, the less technical the rapids
are. I would not recommend this as a run for people who have not done much technical paddling. It
is remote and there are plenty of opportunites for broaches and pins. There isn't much room for
rolls, either. But if you have solid creek skills, give it a try. Use the Steens Mountain Resort
people for your shuttle. They can help you with access if needed and willingly share information of
the area. They'll take care of you. The hotel in Frenchglen has food and good beer after the run