Quartzville Creek, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|QUARTZVILLE CREEK NEAR CASCADIA, OR|
|usgs-14185900||1000 - 5000 cfs||IV-V||01h43m||384 cfs (too low)|
Upper Section (bridge downstream of Minniece Creek to the Wrapped Bridge near Green Creek): This section is high quality, solid class IV. Lots of rapids, if you are following someone who knows it you can do a lap in about an hour without needing to get out of your boat. If no one knows the run it can take a fair bit longer, though confident boaters can usually boat scout most of it with a bit of faith. The most common Quartzville experience is doing laps on this fun section.
Middle Section (Wrapped bridge to Yellowbottom): Between the wrapped bridge and the next bridge downstream are two rapids that stand out from anything else on the run. The first is Pick Up sticks, which is an easy portage on the right or a more involved portage on the left. Some years the wood distribution allows for a run of this rapid, but that is not usually the case. Half a mile further, and a couple fun rapids later is Double Dip, the most serious rapid on the roadside section of the creek. This drop can be scouted on the drive up, its worth scouting the portage eddies too, as walking along the road from a ways upstream is the safest course of action.
People not coming down from the Upper, who are running the middle usually put in just below Double Dip to avoid the two likely portages mentioned above. Not far below Double Dip is a steep, blind and fun rapid above a bridge that is best run along the right side. Between this bridge and Yellowbottom are a number of large ledges that contain powerful holes. A couple of the large ledges can be a bit tricky to scout, be sure to stay away from the middle on all of them. Between these ledges fun class III rapids exist, some have class IV features when the water is up.
Lower Section (Yellowbottom to Green Peter Reservoir): Quartzville Creek rolls along through many fun rapids below Yellowbottom. They can all be read and ran by experienced boaters, and intermediate boaters will have a good time figuring it out using a combination of boat, shore, and car scouting (on the drive up). Below 3,000 cfs there are some slow sections, while in contrast experienced locals consider this a good high water run (up to 10,000 cfs and beyond). Most, but not all of the run can be seen from the road. In a couple places large holes form, but are usually easy to see coming and avoid. The exception is the rapid just below the gauge, which should be run along the right wall, as should the island just downstream.
Combining the Upper, Middle, and Lower is an exceptional 15 mile day of kayaking for those able to boat efficiently. For the class IV-V boater 3,000-4,000 cfs is ideal for that endeavour.
Check out the description of the Upper Quartzville Creek run at Oregon Kayaking.