This river is really a creek up at the top, small and fast and sparkling. In the 12 miles you travel through a biome transition between a wet mountain forest and a ponderosa/oak grassland. The road down to Keep's Mill is steep and sometimes rough: suitable vehicles are helpful. The water is fast and clean and the whitewater fairly continuous class II and III for the entire length of the run. There are usually some wood obstacles to navigate and at least a couple or portages (if not more).
The gauge is estimated but we've found it helpful, just to know when the snowmelt is really coming in. http://levels.wkcc.org/?f=z31
See the description of the Upper White at Oregon Kayaking.
We made this run last Sunday, April 28, 2013. Continuous class II-III for the majority of its length, with a few sections bordering on fourish but no class IV moves.
Wood update: There were 5-7 log portages in the first four miles, and four log hops. The class IV mentioned in Soggy Sneakers (at 1.5 miles in) occurs when the river turns continuous class III at a right bend and through a straightaway, then steepens at the next right bend. Eddy right to scout. The log jam immediately below the rapid means swims are not allowed. That log jam was passable on the right without getting out of your boat.
Flow: 500 cfs was a friendly first time flow.
Environmental Assessment of the White River Management Plan.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
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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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