Little River - 1. Upper

Little River, Oregon, US


1. Upper (FS Road 165 to White Creek Campground)

Usual Difficulty IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 120 fpm

Black Creek Put In Ledge

Black Creek Put In Ledge
Photo by Pmacy taken 02/15/17 @ 1100 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-14318000 675 - 2500 cfs IV(V) 00h40m 1210 cfs (running)

River Description

FS Rd 165 to Black Creek:  Read the Trip Report from Oregonkayaking (this is what Jason refers to as the "Upper Three Miles") and decide if it sounds right for you.  If this section looks low, the next section (below Black Creek) might still have enough water.  The part above Black Creek is probably too low if the gauge is much below 1,000 cfs.

Black Creek to White Creek Campground:  Arguably the most classic section of the Little River is from Black Creek to White Creek Campground.  If using this put in and flows are not low, it makes the most sense to put in on Black Creek (as opposed to the Little River).  You can start the day with a narrow chute into the Little River, or portage on the left and put in just above a nice ledge below the confluence.  Scout the situation from the bridges and the nose of land between the streams.

This part of the Little River consists of nice bedrock class IV rapids seperated by class II-III rapids and short pools at medium flows.  There are plenty of eddies where needed, but the vertical walls give a more serious feel than runs of similar difficulty (i.e. Classic Opal, Copeland Creek, or Brice Creek).  It might be nice to have someone along who knows the run or is comfortable with boat scouting if the group is apprehensive.  Though it is possible to shore scout your way down.  This nature keeps up for the majority of this section and makes for good kayaking.

The finale is a gorge with a clean 10 falls followed by a ramp with a diagonal hole at the base.  The ten footer is straight forward, but has a hole that becomes serious as the flow increases. Scout, set safety and portage on the left.  Just downstream of the falls is a walled in ramp that can be scouted on the left, but not easily portaged.  The diagonal hole at the base pushes strongly into the right wall, running middle with a strong right stroke at the bottom worked well at medium flows (1,100 cfs).

As you exit this gorge, the stream eases off and its a short bit of floating down to the take out bridge at White Creek Campground.

In early 2017 there was wood present, but only three quick portages that were easy with obvious and generous eddies.  One of these was early on, one was in the middle, and one in the final 1/4 mile of gravel bars.

Description and photos at Oregon Kayaking.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-08-18 20:31:35

Rapid Descriptions

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