Willamette, Middle Fork - 1) Hills Creek Dam to Black canyon campground

Willamette, Middle Fork, Oregon, US


1) Hills Creek Dam to Black canyon campground

Usual Difficulty II (varies with level)
Length 12.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 18 fpm

M.fork of Willamette. Devils Kitchen

M.fork of Willamette. Devils Kitchen
Photo taken 07/13/16

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-14145500 450 - 6000 cfs I-II 06h49m 831 cfs (running)

River Description



        This upper Willamette strech is a fun summer run. Its easy access, predictable flows, and beginner friendly character make it a worthwhile trip. Hills Creek Dam to Black Canyon Campground is generally divided into two sections.

     Hills Creek Dam - Ferrin (highway 58 bridge) 

          This section has most of the action along with the best scenery. From the put in bridge to Greenwaters Park you'll find some good class II action in a forested setting. The remaining rapids are spread out along the urban shoreline.  

     Ferrin - Black Canyon Campground. 

      Below Ferrin bridge you'll have a mile or two of flat water before reaching "Devils Kitchen"- easly identifiable by the green bridge just before the rapid. Below that the river gains in volume from the North Fork of the Willamette on river right. Another 5-6 miles of navigable class II remain. With some good side hikes such as: Bridge creek & Tire creek. 


The guage mesures the outflow of Hills Creek Dam. The minimum outflow of the dam is 400, which is still enough for a raft or drift boat (in my opnion). Generally the objective of the release is to control temperature downstream, so as the weather gets hotter and dryer the Army Corps will release more and more water.


The Lower:

Take-out: From Interstate 5 take Higway 58 East toward Oakridge. At mile 27 you will reach Black Canyon Campground, which is the take-out for the lower. Fee's apply

Put-In: Continue upriver (east) on Highway 58. After mile marker 33, you'll cross the river (Ferrin bridge). On the left side after a bridge is a small dirt road with river access.

The Upper:

Take-out: Going East on highway 58, between mile marker 33 & 34 you'll cross the river on Ferrin bridge. On the East side of the bridge is a dirt road with river access.  

Put-In: Get back on 58 Eastbound. 5.4 miles turn right on Kitson Springs road. 1/2 mile turn right on Diamond drive or FS road 21. Just before the bridge (1/4 mile) is river access with boat ramp. 



Additional References

Full description in Soggy Sneakers. Write up #78. Page 114

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-08-28 05:43:01


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Salmon Creek SlipperIIPhoto
0.0Devils Kitchen IIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Salmon Creek Slipper (Class II)

Salmon Creek Slipper

Salmon Creek Slipper
Photo taken 07/11/16

Devils Kitchen (Class II)

Devils Kitchen

Devils Kitchen
Photo taken 07/11/16

Greenwaters (Class N/A)


Photo taken 07/11/16

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