Williamson - Kirk to Williamson River Campground

Williamson, Oregon, US


Kirk to Williamson River Campground

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 7 Miles

Williamson Canyon

Williamson Canyon
Photo by Pmacy taken 03/20/18

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-11493500 300 - 900 cfs IV-V 01h29m 0 cfs (too low)

River Description


FLOWS: This run doesn't have water all that often, so data is limited.  It only runs during large snow years when the Klamath Marsh fills and spills.  When that happens the run can be consistenly in for days or weeks.

From 2 trips in 2017 we gathered what a likely minimum range is. The low limit of 300 cfs is not set in stone, but the boaters who ran the stream in 2017 felt they wouldn't want to go in there with all that much less water than they had. The two trips (photos in the photos tab) at 400 and 375 cfs were fun flows, but both groups felt the stream would be even more enjoyable with more water.  How much more water?  We are not sure yet.  If you do a run in there, let us know the flow and what you thought of it in the comments. 


STREAM: A unique run on the dry side of the Cascades.  The water is tannin-colored, possibly the only whitewater run in Oregon of this palette?

Flat water near the top and bottom, railroad on the left side of the canyon and arterial roads high on the right.  These are the things that bound a rugged gorge with fun rapids, straight forward scouting and portaging, all in a unique and scenic setting.  The first set of two ledges is called Root Beer Falls by the locals.  Most of the rapids on this run feature fun ledges from 5-10' tall.  The pool depth situation on this run is a bit dubious, but there is a fun and runnable part of every rapid save possibly one, scout thoroughly.

The crux of the run comes near the end as paddlers enter The Brewery, a series of 4 large rapids.  Three of these have been run for sure, the tallest vertical drop (~20') will probably get run some day but an uncertain depth on top of other hazards has kept anyone from probing as far as has been recorded. It's the kind of drop that if the probe had a good line, others would likely follow.  A summertime scout might solve the depth question.

There is also a known climbing wall on river left during the flat water paddle out, or at an alternate take out where camping is available, allowing the option for a multisport weekend.

Navigationally savvy boaters can cut off the flat water at both the beginning and end. 


Trip Report from Into the Outside.



StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-03-20 23:51:54


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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