Calapooya, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||III+(IV) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||51 fpm|
|Elk creek near Drain|
|noaa-ecdo3||2.00 - 7.00 ft||III+(IV)||03h10m||0.6 ft (too low)|
This is a nice run only 15 minutes off I-5 near Sutherlin. It makes a nice stop to break up a drive. The shuttle is easy, the run is unique, and there is enough class III-IV action to keep paddlers engaged. The run flows through agricultural land and the first part of this run is level with the fields and pastures. This first mile has a number of small ledges. Eventually the stream turns left and bores down into a gorge. The rapid at the head of this gorge is the most pronounced of the run. At low flows we scouted on the left and the line was straight forward. The guidebook mentions a portage route on the right. The next couple of miles feature many class III-IV rapids in the small gorge. There were not any wood issues as of February, 2015. Eventually the run flattens out and its a short float to the take out bridge.
The Elk Creek @ Drain gauge estimate was about 200 cfs when we ran the Calapooya. We estimated we had about 200 cfs in the Calapooya as well. This was minimal floatable flows, enough to see the canyon and make a nice stop on our drive, but more would be needed to really feel like it was "in". I would think 300 or maybe even 400 is a better minimum. We returned at about 500 cfs and that was a nice medium-low level. Previous knowledge of the run or class IV-V skills recommended if flows are in excess of 1,000 cfs.
Put In: Nonpareil Road upstream of Long Valley Creek.
Take out: Drivers Valley Road in Fair Oaks.