Deschutes, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV+ (for normal flows)|
|Deschutes At Benham Falls|
|dream-168||1600 - 2300 cfs||III-IV+||18h17m||675 cfs (too low)|
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
PLAYTIME is a long rapid with excellent eddy hopping to get you ready for the action downstream. There are 3 distinct drops in this rapid. As you approach a horizon line, go for an S turn move on the far left around the two center holes, or go down the right. If you take the right line, be aware there is a pretty nasty sieve over there. The water does not push into it, but I have seen one paddler end up in there. Luckily, he was upright, but it still took a few minutes for him to get himself out.The second drop can be run center or left, and there are several fun eddys and moves to try. The final ledge in playtime is a riverwide hole. Either run the easy tongue on the right, or boof next to the rock on the left. Either way, make sure to catch an eddy on the left, because Dammit is just downstream.
DAMMIT is the biggest rapid on the run and lies about 50 yards below the last hole in Playtime. A diversion Dam on the right diverts water into a canal. The canal intake is a major hazard that has caused several close calls in the past. Scout left or portage right. Dammit starts with a river wide four foot pourover, followed by a fast slide. Boof either edge of the middle chute. After the slide, its best to catch the large eddy on the left to set up for the bottom half of the rapid, the Pipe.
In the bottom half of Dammit, a pipe shoots water back into the river on river right. The pipe creates a large diagonal wave that pushes toward a catcher's mitt on the left, referred to by local boaters as "the room of doom". The room of doom is really just the bottom of an eddy. Its not fun to be in there upside down, but I have watched several boaters swim in there without any major issues. The line on the pipe is to drive across the diagonal right where the water from the pipe hits the river. It can be a tricky move the first couple times. If you do end up in the room, just go with it and paddle back to the top of the eddy. The ferry out is intimidating, but if you just take a couple good strokes and sit on your downstream edge, it is surprisingly smooth.
After Dammit, is about half a mile of read and run class III. When the river takes a dramatic turn to the right, you have arrived at AMAZING. Start by sliding over the left edge of a log that spans the entire right channel. Run the lead in down the middle, and then move right as the river speeds up and turns the corner to the right. There are multiple lines through the main ledge. It is a powerful but not really retentive hole. Anywhere but left is fine.
After Amazing, the river slows up, with a couple easy Class III- rapids before you get to MARIOLAND. This rapid is created by a massive log jam. At flows over 1800, marioland is pretty straightforward. At lower flows, it's really manky. The line stays the same at all flows. Enter center, and find a route down the far right. There is also a far left line that may be runnable depending on the flow and the current wood situation. There isn't really a way to check, so stick to the right line unless you know for sure the left line is clear. When the channels come back together, there is a short section of class III+ read and run with lots of eddys and a few good boof spots. A half mile of class II brings you to the final rapid of the Meadowcamp run.
ONE HUNDRED PERCENT is a great rapid that can be recognized by a cliff on the right and an obvious horizon line. Drive left to right over the diagonal wave at the entry and hold on as you careen down through a slalom of boulders and holes. There is a large hole on the right at the bottom of the rapid that can be avoided on the left, or boofed on the far right. This hole isn't sticky until the level gets above 2,000cfs, but there is a barely submerged rock about 10 feet downstream of it, and if you flip here, the saying goes, you will hit your head 100% of the time.
A short flatwater float brings you to the takeout on the right.