Difficulty IV-V(V+)
Length 23 Miles
Flow Range 2500 - 8000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 22 minutes ago 20.6 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 09/24/2019 3:25 pm

River Description

Flows: There is not a good gauge for this section.  Confirmed runs took place at 3,000 and 8,000 cfs on the Illinois gauge.  3,000 cfs from rain was reported as a friendly medium/low (March 25-26, 2016) and 8,000 from rain as medium/high (October 18, 2016).  The run has been done other times in the past (a few times by the Knapp brothers), but flows from those trips are not known at this time.

A challenging and rewarding tributary to the Illinois River in SW Oregon, with remarkable scenery and fantastic whitewater this is one of the best adventure runs Oregon has to offer. 

The run starts on the NF of Silver Creek with a handful of runnable waterfalls in the 10-20' range mixed in with loads of good whitewater and some portaging.  The run is best done in two days, but has more commonly been done in one very long day (the camping option are limited).  The crux waterfall (Prisoner Falls, 40') would be tricky to portage at high water and has been run by accident by people trying to do the run in one day.  It can be portaged carefully on the left to a throw and go platform at medium flows. A short way downstream, on a left bend just after a wall of pitcher plants is a rocky campsite that has been used on the left.  There are no waterfalls below this point, but there are still a few tricky spots to negotiate.  Of note are a series of vertical walled gorges with mostly class IV whitewater in them, though there are a couple class V spots below the waterfalls.  Be wary of the possibility of wood hazards, any portages were done at river-level in 2016.

After almost 10 miles on the NF, the confluence with the main steam is reached.  Once on the main stem of Silver Creek, the options open up and it's mostly read and run class IV-IV+ with a couple scouts and maybe a log portage or two for 7 miles until the confluence with the Illinois.  There is one final gorge leading into the Illinois with a powerful ledge at the top, a center boof was the friendliest option in 2016.

Once on the Illinois it's 6 miles of class II-III down to the take out, which goes by fast.

Here is a trip report from a run in 2016.

When you can spare the concentration on this run, look up, on top of remarkable scenery the vegetation is unique including pitcher plants.  Treat any run down this section of stream as the adventure that it is and expect changing conditions year to year. 

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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