This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-IV
Length 5.2 Miles
Gauge THOMAS CREEK NEAR SCIO, OR
Flow Range 400 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 98.8 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/22/2019 5:35 am

River Description


This run is a classic intro-to-creeking run with quality class III-IV rapids.  One early rapid with a wall on the right can get interesting, and there are a few bigger rapids near the end.  Large logs lurk in and around the river, just like on every other creek in the PNW.

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 with a huge log in it.

GAUGE
The gauge is downstream river right at the Highway 226 bridge over Thomas Creek near Shindler Bridge Road.  It's worth taking a peek on your way up.  Six inches in minimal, 7 inches is a good flow for the falls, and all of it can be run a fair bit higher.   Below is a start at determining correlations between feet and cfs on the Scio gage.  If you collect this kind of data (feet to cfs comparisons), please share it by posting a comment.  Thanks.

Foot 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

GATED ROAD
Access is restricted by Weyerhaeuser and the gate is only open during the fall hunting season.  It is possible to run a super-long shuttle and drive around some back route to the put-in, but few boaters have the time.  There has been talk of restricting access even further.  

American Whitewater works hard to protect boaters access to runs like this, and we appreciate your help.

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.

Thomas was 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 easy to find.  It 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.  One possible takeout is here at the gate, and there is another one a short distance upstream at a bridge.  If it is Cascade Deer or Elk hunting season, the gate has historically been open (call this number to be sure 888-741-5403). 

STANDARD PUT-IN
Finding the put-in can be trickier as the area is perforated by logging roads.  Expect to do some backtracking and exploring, as most maps are wrong and most directions are inadequate.  Roads can be blocked by fallen trees so bring your chainsaw!

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.

UPPER PUT-IN
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

Mini-gorge

Class - N/A Mile - 0.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The river constricts against a wall on the right and pours past a boulder, then piles over a drop into a deep pool below.  At higher flows this makes a throbbing hole with a long backwash.  At medium flows the rapid is characterized by funny water in the mid section making it harder to nail the exit.

Comments

default user thumbnail
Teresa Gryder
|
1 month ago

April 2019 The standard run was passable without portages for wood, though there were a few pieces requiring accurate lines to avoid. Good clean fun at 1370 cfs.

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Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1206946 10/26/16 Jacob Cruiser wording
1206815 09/07/16 Jacob Cruiser put in location
1211986 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1211987 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1211988 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1211990 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1211991 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1211992 04/22/19 Teresa Gryder updated description
1208382 10/19/17 Jacob Cruiser Legacy Update
1204094 01/30/15 Jacob Cruiser Added video link
1206829 09/09/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206942 10/25/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206906 10/12/16 Jacob Cruiser added directions
1191352 01/30/02 n/a n/a
1206943 10/25/16 Jacob Cruiser directions
1199313 02/26/11 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits
1211346 03/01/19 Jacob Cruiser updated name
1199061 12/18/10 Jacob Cruiser updated description
1199314 02/26/11 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits
1199562 03/08/11 Thomas O'Keefe link added
1206944 10/25/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206905 10/10/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206908 10/13/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206915 10/17/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206945 10/25/16 Jacob Cruiser directions
1206909 10/13/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206910 10/13/16 Jacob Cruiser micro
1206832 09/09/16 Jacob Cruiser gauge updates
1206831 09/09/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206911 10/13/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206912 10/13/16 Jacob Cruiser
1206913 10/14/16 Jacob Cruiser