A quality roadside section of scenic class 3/4, well off the beaten path that can be combined with the next run downstream.
Easy floating broken by sections of class IV with large boulders.
All rapids can be scouted from the river, and most can be scouted from the road.
I just got back from my dream weekend (Elk/SF Coquille) and thought I'd add a bit while it's still fresh in my mind. First the hazards; this run is a bit more hazardous than your typical NW class 4, as the bedrock is sandstone that calves off the canyon walls in giant boulders in places. These soft sandstone boulders are then undercut by the current adding up to a large collection of sieves & siphons. This is no place to be swimming. If you find yourself swimming here steer clear of the upstream sides of these boulders if at all possible. (For example; I watched a friends carelessly dropped paddle head down the current then stop onto the upstream side of one of these boulders only to be sucked down and out of sight in a matter of seconds, not to be seen again.) Now the good news; this run is better and more beautiful than I remember it and worth every bit of the long drive. Also of note; with low snow levels we weren't able to investigate the short cut route to the Elk, next time.
This run is in the middle of nowhere...if you find yourself here you're either lost or you're going boating. I hope it's the latter because this is a very good and very scenic class 3/4 run. I would add the 3 or so miles of the next run and get out at Coal Creek. That way your getting in the best class 4 stuff and avoiding the dangerous class 5 below Coal Creek. Just over a low divide to the west (I have never driven this road, so I can vouch for it's condition) is the Elk River another scenic and fun class 3/4 river. I've often thought that combining the two would make for a great weekend of class 3/4 boating and camping.
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A fun one on the SF Coquille
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