Cow Creek, WF, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||50 fpm|
|WEST FORK COW CREEK NEAR GLENDALE, OR|
|usgs-14309500||500 - 1500 cfs||I-IV||00h24m||9.82 cfs (too low)|
Lots of easy floating, with some quality class III-IV rapids mixed in and unique scenery in places. Shuttle is straight forward, and not far off I-5 for people passing through and wanting to break up a drive.
This run has a river feel to it. While it can be run at "creek flows", the rapids don't fill in until levels approach 1,000 cfs which is about the perfect flow. At low levels you float between boulders that make nice features when the water is up.
There are two put ins
Rock Quarry put in: about 6 miles upstream of the normal bridge put in, this upper put in includes Dothan Falls, the largest ledge on the whole stream, but also includes a lot of class II and many brushy rapids. The brush is more abundant this high up and can produce hazards.
Bridge put in: The section below this bridge has less brush and more rapids. There is a couple of neat gorge sections with good rapids. The rapids tend to be bouldery, so its worth taking a peak at a couple your first time down to locate the safest lines as the boulders can block the view downstream.
If you are looking for a long day, but don't like the sound of the upper put in, you can continue down to the confluence with Cow Creek or even further for more class II and III action.
The brush can be an issue on this run, but was all passible in 2017.
Directions: From the confluence with Cow Creek (about 20 road miles West of I-5 from Either Glendale or Riddle), drive upstream 3.8 miles and turn left on a road that leads to a bridge to reach the regular take out. The standard bridge put in is another 4.5 miles on the river left road that parallels Cow Creek (WF Rd).
To reach the upper put in continue past the bridge 5.6 miles (stay right at 1.7) to a rock quarry.