Difficulty IV(V+)
Length 0 Miles
Flow Range 200 - 1500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 day ago 673 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/08/2019 8:26 pm

River Description

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.




Here are the new directions, from ODF:

- Drive to Scotts Mills, Oregon

- In downtown Scotts Mills, near the post office, turn left (east) onto Maple Grove Road

- From Maple Grove Road, turn south onto Sawtell Road until you reach the end of the pavement which will then turn briefly to Family Camp Road and then to the Butte Creek Mainline

- From the Butte Creek Mainline, turn right onto the Butte Creek 500 and then right onto the Crooked Finger 400 Road which will lead you down to the Butte Creek Campground and Butte Creek Falls.

Coordinates: N44 55.257, W122 30.671

Then walk down the trail to the falls, and return the same way when you are done.  Or consider sorting out the logistics for continuing through this section.


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.


Rapid Descriptions


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Oregon Waterway Access Bill Set to Become Law

Priscilla Macy

This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.


Jacob Cruser


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