This is a great section for open canoeists, beginner kayakers/rafters, and drift boats. The river maintains gradient of about 11 fpm providing lots of class II and a few class IIIs for novice boaters. The river flows by grassy green hills with oak forests interspersed by farms, ranches, and private homes.
Approximately 2 miles downstream of Idleyld Park there is an alternate access at Lone Rock Park near Glide, OR along Lone Park Road on the south side of the river. Drift boats use the steep ramp and the small dirt parking area here. A few miles downstream from here is Colliding Rivers, the most interesting rapid on the run. There are two channels here with the left channel being visible from the National Forest turnout in Glide. Drift boats and novice paddlers prefer the left channel to the steeper drop on the right.
More class II continues interspersed by sections of calm water until Whistlers Bend. Here the river turns north into a class III set of standing waves at higher flows and a more technical rapid at lower flows. There is an option to camp here and make an overnight trip out of this section or access the river at Whistlers Bend County Park (sites 9 and 11 are next to the river) as the river comes back around the bend to the south.
The next class III is Dixon Falls on the right side of an island about 4 miles downstream from Whistlers Bend. At higher flows around 5000cfs a large wave hole forms with a straightforward line down the channel. Beyond Dixon Falls the private homes lessen and the river has a bit more of a wilderness feel. Class II continues to the river left take-out about 1 mile before the town of Winchester, OR. Be sure to find the small dirt ramp access site beforehand as downstream lies the Winchester Dam and fish ladder.
Below the dam there is access at the John P Amacher Park. There are 6.6 miles of class II remaining to the confluence with the South Umpqua.
While this section can be run very high in the spring, at flows above 3000-4000cfs the current becomes stronger and eddies less frequent, making it less ideal for beginner kayakers while still a nice float trip for rafts.
Full description in Soggy Sneakers.
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on Umpqua, N. @2. Idleyld Park to confluence with S. Umpqua
Lone Rock Park Access
Colliding Rivers 8' raft
Oak forest on N. Umpqua
River bend at Whistler's Bend
Near Winchester, OR
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