Butte Creek, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV(V+) (for normal flows)|
|BUTTE CREEK AT MONITOR, OR|
|usgs-14201500||200 - 1500 cfs||IV(V+)||00h25m||233 cfs (running)|
A park and huck not far from Salem, people often go here to work on their waterfall technique. There are three waterfalls, the first is the most commonly run and is a clean 20-25' drop, the second an 80 footer with only one decent as of 2016 and the lowest is a split 30 footer with a tricky lip.
Upper Butte Creek Falls (20-25'): At low flow the line is off the left side where the deepest channel is. At higher flows more lines open up in the center of the falls. Most people do laps on this drop, then hike the trail back up to their cars.
Middle Butte Creek Falls (80'): This drop has been run once, by Chris Korbulic, via the freefall route along the left wall. Aside from it being a very large drop the walls in the landing are of concern, but the pool appears deep. This drop needs more water than the upper falls, likely a minimum of 1,000 cfs.
Lower Butte Creek Falls (30'): This drop splits around a bedrock protrusion and has no documented decents as of 2016. The right side is narrow with a tricky lip and there are rumors of a shelf in the landing. The left side only has water when the levels are up, and has a tree blocking the line as of 2016.
There is a good trail network at these falls along river left. Only the first drop is recommended, expert waterfall runners can make up their mind about the lower two drops.
Of note, a paddler broke his back off the first drop when he was thrown against his back deck by the force of the landing. Remember to tuck.
Directions: From the town of Scotts Mills, drive SE on Crooked Finger Rd. In about 9.5 miles it turns to gravel. 2 miles further there will be a left turn, take it (there has historically been a "2" painted on a tree at this point). Follow this spur road for another 2 miles, no turns, to a pull out on the left with a bathroom. This is the parking area and trailhead to the falls. Most people carry their boats down from here, and back up at the end.
It is possible to continue up the road past the trailhead to a bridge over Butte Creek for a short 1/2 mile warm up. Or if flow are high run the Wilson Rd stretch and finish at the falls.