A continuous class 3 run that pushes class 4 at higher flows. Fun boulder gardens at lower flows and continuous crashing holes and huge wave trains at higher flows. Powerdale Dam was removed in the summer of 2010 opening up this river for navigation and eliminating the need for a portage.
You can put in at the old dam site to skip the dam rapids which makes this stretch easier.
Take-out: Powerdale is the most popular take out to reduce crowding at the Museum or Marina at the confluence with the Columbia. Hood River Marina also has parking which can be reached by taking I-84 exit 64 and heading north towards the Columbia River. Before crossing the river turn into the Port Marina Park and follow the signs to the Beach which is the take-out.
Put-in: To reach the put-in head back out of the park and head south under I-84 and up towards Mt. Hood on Highway 35. In 6.8 miles turn right towards Odell. Follow the road 0.7 mile and turn right, continue another 0.4 mile and turn right again, then continue 2.3 miles down to the Tucker Bridge across the Hood River where you will find a put-in under the bridge on river right. Note that parking is very limited here. Please ask for permission if you want to park at the Country Store.
An alternative is to head a short distance upstream to Tucker Park (camping available) where you can put in on river right (a trail from the picnic area leads down to the river). Tucker Park put-in option adds two Class IV rapids to the run. When the park is closed boaters often park alongside the road, not blocking the gate, and walk boats down to the park. Recently, No Parking signs were nailed to the trees along the road where boaters usually park shuttle. When Tucker Park closes this continues to be an access issue for both boaters and anglers; we have no reports of boaters being towed or ticketed here but park at your own risk. Road scout the 1st rapid below Tucker Park and check for wood. There are two channels around an island, both runnable. Historically wood can pile up at the top or bottom of either channel. You can also put in at the far end of the park which adds a few more Class III+ rapids.
There is a river wide log at the bottom of the right channel below Tucker Park. Passable at high flows. Scout from the road.
Teresa...glad you posted this...i should have read this in advance.
I can speak on how this feels from the swimming side after two long exhausting swims Friday due to simple mistakes and inexperience. The swims were terrifying, very fast for low levels, and brutal on my entire body. I am very fortunate I had n incredible local guide who managed to find me an eddy after a particularly rough 2nd swim that has bruises up and down my legs, a big toe injury, and plenty of anxiety about getting back in my kayak.
Though I know this isnt a hard stretch for experienced kayakers, I would advise that the speed, lack of swimming outlets, and boulders everywhere makes for a very dangerous swim. Had I been knocked out when I was sent backwards going over a boulder, I would have ended up likely in the accidents page due to the very rough portage areas.
A tragic drowning of a young man after getting caught in a hole at ex-Dam rapid last weekend has the local boating community talking about the actual risks and hazards of this run. It may be class III-IV as long as you are in your boat, but the moment you are not in your boat it seems more like class V. It's extremely fast and rocky with no pools and few slow spots or eddies where a swimmer can get out.
John Lechmanik posted this information regarding access on lccc listserv April 23, 2017:
Lower Hood takeout.
For those of you who insist on taking out at the museum please note it is posted "Museum parking only". So by parking there you are risking a tow, ticket or at the least offending a local business to kayakers. Please don't. There is a takeout down by the windsurfing shacks that is legal. Or some take out at powerdale. Please use those. Feel free to ask me for details.
The Apple Valley store does not allow ANY parking or river access from their property. This is a change from a year or so ago. Park across the street and access the river there. Limited parking. Some are now putting in at Tucker Park. This means running the last 3 rapids of Dee to Tucker with no real warmup and are a little harder than the rest of the lower Hood IMHO.
Dee put in.
It appears this is no more. I spoke with some paddlers who know the landowner and he does NOT allow river access from his property. There are new signs saying no river acces along with the multiple no tresspassing signs. Paddlers have been cited. This means the only legal access is from Punchbowl park on the west fork. This means missing Cyclops and confluence rapid but not much else.
Please be aware of these changes and try not to offend any other property owners at the access points. Our river access to a great river is dwindling....
I took a beginner down this run and it was quite a challenge. Awkward drops, continuous rapids, a riverwide log partway down, and a scary looking fish trap/ huge hole made this run very intimidating for a beginner. Class III with some Class IV maneuvering recommended.
It was so cool to run this without the dam for the first time. They did a great job both getting rid of the dam and creating a new Class 3 rapid!
There are a few trees in in the Lower Hood right now (11/21/11). Please be careful!
Here's the view of the new rapid from shore at 3.3ft (really too low to run this section of river). http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=327731&id=659863101&l=9ae90f3389
We ran the new rapid on 11/2/10 at 4.8 feet. At that level, it's III+ to IV. I swam it, and don't recommend doing it that way. =)
Powerdale Dam is out!!! Check out the new rapid where the Powerdale Dam used to be: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2080899&id=1033541317&l=c91014397d
Fact sheet on dam removals scheduled for the Pacific Northwest.
USGS Hood River at Tucker Bridge gives both feet and cfs in real time.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Powerdale Dam Site
Powerdale Dam Rapid
Fall on the Lower Hood
River Left where the Dam was. Top of "Dam Rapid"
Horizon Line of "Dam Rapid"
Looking up from the bottom of Dam Rapid
Water Intake for powerplant
Looking up from base of "Dam Rapid"
Bottom of "Lake Rapid", just before "Dam Rapid"
Former Portage take out
Middle of "Lake Rapid"
Temira and Scott at base of Lake Rapid
Temira and Scott on Lake Rapid
Entry to Lake Rapid
Temira enjoying her first trip down the Hood
Temira with Tucker Bridge as a backdrop
Scott putting on the Lower Hood
Hood River looking towards Columbia
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