This is a great road access run in the Wallowa Mountain Range. Just below the placid put in near Williamson Campground the stream starts dropping away through ever-steepening boulder gardens.
Watch for wood, and also Tailspin, the first big rapid. Tailspin occurs on a sharp right bend, and if you are boating aggresively might find yourself reading and running this fun and long rapid. You will know Tailspin is approaching when the barrage of read and run that starts near the beginning eases to class II for a short bit. If you are looking carefully downstream, you may see the river bend right ahead of you with high granite cliffs downstream on river left. Eddy out early on the right amongst the branches, the eddy situation is poor.
More read and run boulder gardens continue to a bend to the right at Condemnation Corner, again if you are boating aggresively you might be running this shorter, but steeper and sometimes portaged rapid blind.
Yet more fun boulder gardens continue to the Pole Bridge Gorge, a series of fun bedrock rapids ending just above the bridge. There is a fun ledge, then a log jam that can be ducked if levels are not too high (1,000 cfs is too high). Then the final twisting rapid, it's best to scout this last rapid from the take out before running shuttle, as its not practical to scout from the river.
The Lostine runs from snowmelt, so sunny skies make it easy to motivate for a second lap before heading to Terminal Gravity in the town with the same name as the river.
Lostine River gauge
500-600 is a good first time flow, 350 is runnable but lesser quality, and 800 is getting high while 900 is a hard cut off even if you know the run due to the log jam duck in the Last Delight Gorge.
June 27, 2018 we ran the Lostine at 450 cfs. This felt like a friendly, enjoyable flow. There was a fair bit of wood in the warm up stretch, but there is a way to miss most of it.
If I went back with the current wood configuration, I would park at the unmarked campsite here: 45.359022,-117.419909
From there a short nose of land leads down to tailspin, putting in halfway down this rapid misses the majority (but not all) of the wood portages.
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Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
on Lostine @Williamson Campground to Pole Bridge
Last Delight Gorge
Log Jam Duck
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