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Difficulty III-IV
Length 5.2 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 612 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 03/01/2019 9:27 pm

River Description

This run is a classic intro to creeking run.  The run is comprised of sustained class III-IV, high quality rapids.  A couple of the rapids near the end are more exciting than the rest.  Paddlers will be plenty warmed up by the time they get there though.   Advanced boaters may be interested in starting a couple miles above the standard put in for a bit more spice including a 30 foot falls.



Gauge:  The gauge is on river right on the downstream end of where Hwy 226 crosses Thomas Creek near Shindler Bridge Rd.  Because the stream can rise and fall so quickly, it's worth taking a quick peak on your way to the stream.  6' is minimal, 7' is a good flow for the falls and all of it can be run a fair bit higher


Because you can check out the gauge on the way up, the foot gauge is more useful.  Because boaters relate better to cfs the relationship is posted below.  If you collect data, post a comment.


Staff Gauge                                          CFS

12                         -------------------           ?

11.5                      -------------------           ?

11                         -------------------           ?

10.4                      -------------------           3,000

10                         -------------------           2,800

9.5                         -------------------           2,400

9                           -------------------           HIGH 2,000 cfs

8.5                        -------------------           1,800 Med/High, pushy IV+

8                           -------------------           1,400   Medium+

7.5                        -------------------           1,100 Perfect Medium


                         Ideal range for falls


6.5                        -------------------          640    Friendly Low

6                           -------------------          450     Scrapy Runnable

5.5                        -------------------          275     Too low

5                           -------------------          150

4.5                        -------------------           70

4                           -------------------           25




Access is restricted by Weyerhaeuser and the run is currently only open during the hunting season.  There has been talk of restricting access even further.  American Whitewater works hard to protect boaters access to runs like this, by you signing petitions like these, it helps American Whitewater do their part.

There is a trip report with directions for both the standard run and upper put in at Into the Outside

And a high water Upper Thomas description and photos at Oregon Kayaking.

Likely run back in the hey-day of Oregon exploration by Eric Brown or Dan Coyle, the falls wasn't run during the media age until Matt King probed the right side in 2010: view the video.

The falls has seen a few more modern descents since that run by Matt.  Here is a video showing the falls and some of the rapids below: View Video

Directions:  The take out is located less than 15 miles East of Scio, OR.  Take Hwy 226 to Thomas Creek Dr, following until it turns to gravel which is where the gate is.  If it is Cascade Deer or Elk hunting season, the gate has historically been open (call this number to be sure 888-741-5403). 

Assuming the gate is open, continue along Thomas Creek Drive 2.2 miles (past the Sheriff's posse) and make a right turn down to the take out bridge.


Directions to the standard put in are provided here by Anthony Boesen.

To get to the upper put in from the take out return to Thomas Creek drive and continue the way you were going 3.8 miles (stay right at 2 and 2.9 miles) where you will meet up with a more heavily travelled road, merge right.  2.9 miles past this merge (stay straight at 1 mile, drive through a yellow gate shortly after, then pass the road leading down to Thomas Creek Falls at 1.8 miles) you will cross over Thomas Creek, there will be notably less water than at the take out. Stay left on the road along the creek, 3/4 of a mile past this bridge you will reach another bridge over a tributary where you park.  Walk down the nose of land to the creek to put in.

There is a map of the shuttle roads in the photos tab.


Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

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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 Cruiser


Matt Muir


Thomas O'Keefe