McKenzie, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||II(III) (varies with level)|
|MCKENZIE RIVER NEAR VIDA, OR|
|usgs-14162500||600 - 12000 cfs||II-III||01h04m||5780 cfs (running)|
|GREAT big wave playboat range|
With a long season, convenient access to Eugene, great scenery, and a couple great playspots this is the most popular section of the river. It's a great river to learn on as those new to the sport can follow a guide down more conservative lines while experienced paddlers can enjoy a number of fun playspots.
2.4-2.9 ft is ideal for Neil's Wave, it can be caught on the fly higher, but tends to wash out, and eddy service gets lost.
The very top hole in Clover is fun when low, other waves come in below the main river right wave as the level comes up. 3.5+ always has something surfable there.
The run from Finn Rock down to Prince Helfrich Landing is a great day trip. Several access points provide a diversity of options including park and play at Clover Point. Many kayakers enjoy the Mom's Pies run which starts at the informal access at Mom's Pies just above Clover Point and takes in the best playspots on the run. The most challenging rapid on this section is Marten Rapid which is a solid class III at medium flows and the most challenging drop on the run. You can always take-out above this rapid at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. Prince Helfrich Landing is located just after this rapid.
Access: Finn Rock is the main put-in and works well for rafts. To reach this access head to Highway 126 mile 37.9 and turn onto Quartz Creek Road which takes you across the bridge to river left. A good ramp is available on the upstream river left side of the bridge.
The take-out just below Marten Rapid is Prince Helfrich Landing. It is reached by driving to Highway 126 mile 38.5 and then turning onto Thomson Ln. which heads down to the river. You can recognize it from the river by the suspension bridge across the river.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-54.0||Finn Rock Boat Landing|
|-51.9||Mom's Pies Access|
|-51.6||Clover Point Playspot||II+|
|-51.0||Eagle Rock Rapid||II|
|-49.9||Silver Creek Boat Ramp|
|-47.9||Rennie Boat Ramp|
|-45.0||Ben and Kay Dorris Boat Ramp|
|-44.1||Prince Helfrich Landing|
|-39.5||Leaburg Reservoir Boat Ramp|
Finn Rock is a popular access point for a day trip on the McKenzie. The access works well for rafts. To reach this access head to Highway 126 mile 37.9 and turn onto Quartz Creek Road which takes you across the bridge to river left. A good ramp is available on the upstream river left side of the bridge.
This informal access is used by kayakers who want to put-in just upstream of Clover Point. It can be used for park and play or you can do a short run to one of the access points downstream.
A fun little playspot just downstream of the informal put-in at Mom's Pies. It is just upstream of the Nimrod Bridge.
A fun class II down the left side.
Waves down the left through Nells.
Silver Creek boat ramp is located at Highway 126 mile 33.9.
This access is at a Highway 126 mile 32.2.
Run the easy line to the right and avoid it or run the meat down the left.
This access can be used as a take-out if you don't want to run Marten Rapid which is the biggest rapid on this lower section of the McKenzie. It is located at Highway 126 mile 29.1.
This is a great class III rapid that is the highlight of the run for those with skills to do so safely. An alternative take-out for those who don't want to run this drop is available just upstream at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park.
This is a popular take-out for one of the better whitewater sections on the McKenzie and is just below Marten Rapid. It is reached by driving to Highway 126 mile 38.5 and then turning onto Thomson Ln. which heads down to the river. You can recognize it from the river by the suspension bridge across the river.
At Highway 126 mile 24.7 there is an access at the upstream end of the Leaburg Reservoir.