Not often run because it is thought to be "wood choked" this is a gem with consistent water from rain in the winter and snowmelt in the spring, good water quality, and lots of amusing rapids. Yes, you can expect to dodge a lot of big logs and portage a few, but it is not out of the ordinary for a smaller stream in the Pacific Northwest.
From the launch at McCredie's newly developed parking area the floating is technical class II down to Blue Pool and past it by .02 miles, and then the whitewater ramps up to III+ to IV depending on flow. Soggy Sneakers mentions two class IV rapids (Luggage Inspector and Unclaimed Baggage) but it is hard to tell which part of the whitewater is those named. There is a long (2+ mile) section of steep and technical class III+ whitewater with occasional lulls. After this section the gradient ramps down a little but it does not flatten, rather it becomes continuous class II+ to III with wood obstacles and occasional steep drops to keep you on your toes.
The run has a wilderness feel in spite of the fact that it runs parallel to Highway 58. The highway becomes obvious when the river and road are both steep enough that truckers are using their air brakes, and when you cross under the highway.
The description and photos offered at Oregon Kayaking is from 2000---the wood has moved.
Complex class III-IV boulder garden.
A drop that forms a retentive hole at higher flows. Scout or portage on the right.
Flows must be estimated. Soggy sneakers explains a formula for deducing flow using data on Hills Creek inflows and outflows, gathered by telephone. Pat Welch's WKCC flow page offers a flow estimate for Salmon Creek of 1/3 of the NFMF Willamette, which is a neighboring drainage with similar (same?) flow patterns. I will suggest that we can assume that if Salmon Creek is running, Salt Creek is probably running too. Flow ranges specified here are based on a single run at the low end of runnable flows after a week of sunshine in the spring. High end flow limits are TBD.
Put-in: McCredie Hotsprings Parking area on Highway 58. It's 9 road miles (slightly farther by river) from here to Oakridge Green Waters Park.
Possible put-in: Blue Pool Campground on Hwy 58 cuts off 0.7 miles of class II water but is gated when closed.
Possible takeout: Campsite at Milepost 42. There is no pullout from the highway so you will have to slow down in the road to make the turn. Watch for the mudhole.
Possible takeout: Kitson Springs Road aka Hills Creek Road bridge, just before the confluence with the MF Willamette.
Takeout: Green Waters Park in Oakridge, accessible from Highway 58. This takeout is less than a mile downstream from the confluence with the Middle Fork, river right just after a footbridge marking a popular riverside hangout.
One of many rapids on Salt Creek
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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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