Difficulty III-IV(V)
Length 15.5 Miles
Flow Range 3.00 - 6.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 31 minutes ago 1.69 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/27/2020 10:58 pm

River Description

Gauge:  The gauge only reads in feet, and this section is not commonly done so data points are few.  That said, after a handful of recent trips the consensus seems to be 4-4.5 feet is the goldilocks level, not too high, not too low.  Runs just under 4' were still considered worthwhile, and a run at 3.5' and dropping slowly was considered worth doing if you've not done it before.   If you do the run please report in the comments. If flows are below 3.5' use the lower put in unless you are ok with scraping.   A group who camped at the put in bailed when they woke to flows spiking over 5' and there were no eddies to be seen.


Here is a link showing inflow to Green Peter Reservoir, if you subtract the Quarztville flow it is possible to get a ballpark on what is flowing down the Middle Santiam.  


This is a unique and remote wilderness run in the heart of Oregon's Cascades.  The first day is short, with a creeky feel and a few scouts.  The second day has long stretches of fantastic read and run class III/IV rapids separated by easy floating.  The scenery is an interesting contrast between old growth wilderness and clear cuts exposing massive cliff walls. 

Paddling this run as an overnight trip should be on the bucket list of any Oregonian paddler.  It would be a classic if snow did not block the put in road for most of the season.

There is a shelter early on in the run that opens up the run to foul weather overnights.  The better camping is near Donaca Creek, on big open gravel and moss bars.

Detailed information in a Trip Report from Into the Outside.

Take Out:  Whitcomb Creek Park.  This park has a boat ramp that is the conventional take out.  It is six miles of paddling along the reservoir to reach this take out.  
Put In:  Return to Hwy 20 and drive east about 24 miles to NF 2047/Sheep Creek Rd where you turn left.  Follow this road 8.7 miles to a bridge over the Middle Santiam (stay right at 0.3, left at 0.4, center/main at 2.3, right but not hard right at 3.6, then stay left just after, right at 5.9, 7.9 and 8.4).


A shorter section requiring a hike in is described here.

The directions for putting in lower are described here, both options described on that page work for boating.  The first option puts you in near Shedd Camp Shelter and the second further downstream near the confluence with Pyramid Creek.

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

Gauge referenced is S.Santiam below Cascadia. Flow here will generally be 100-200cfs less.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




Jacob Cruser


Thomas O'Keefe


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1206754 08/02/16 Jacob Cruser links
1206903 10/10/16 Jacob Cruser
1206902 10/10/16 Jacob Cruser
1206904 10/10/16 Jacob Cruser
1214780 04/27/20 Jacob Cruser updated image position
1214781 04/27/20 Jacob Cruser updated image position
1214782 04/27/20 Jacob Cruser updated description
1199321 02/26/11 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits
1204115 02/07/15 Jacob Cruser added trip report
1207561 05/17/17 Jacob Cruser
1213154 07/02/19 Jacob Cruser updated image position
1191342 07/06/02 n/a n/a
1213162 07/02/19 Jacob Cruser updated image position
1207560 05/17/17 Jacob Cruser
1206907 10/12/16 Jacob Cruser directions
1207573 05/22/17 Jacob Cruser
1206901 10/10/16 Jacob Cruser