This is a neat little section of stream that locals like to check out when other runs in the area are too high. The rapids are not harder than class III, but the stream is moving so fast it keeps paddlers on their toes and creates some interesting features that can be challenged or avoided.
The Jordan Dam has been run numerous times, but is a recommended portage.
Here is a report that appeared in the Statesman Journal (one of Salem's local newspapers) about kayaking this stretch of river.
There is also an upper stretch that used to be a go-to intermediate run for the local paddling community, however Weyerhaeuser restricted access and it is only available now during hunting season. Some years the flows and access line up, some years they don't.
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 put in. 6' is minimal, 8' is a good flow and it can be run a fair bit higher.
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This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.
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