Currently the reach from Pioneer Park to JC Boyle Dam is inundated beneath the waters of a reservoir. From JC Boyle Dam to the Powerhouse the river is regularly dewatered with flows bypassed through a canal and penstock as part of the hydropower project. You'll be lucky to catch this run with water in it as it only
happens when the reservoir is spilling. When that occurs, this run
makes a great five mile run with more challenging whitewater and
dramatic scenery than the Hell's Corner downstream. When it has
water, this rarely-boated upper section makes a great extension to the
Hell's Corner run.
There are nine distinct Class IV rapids in this section, some of which
are as much as a half mile in length. At the higher flows of 1300 and 1600
cfs you can enjoy numerous play features to catch on the fly as well as several
play spots with eddy service. The long rapids with steep horizon lines
provide plenty of entertainment for river runners. Overall, this reach has a
creek-like appearance in a basalt canyon with ponderosa pines.
American Whitewater worked with PacifiCorp, local boaters, and
outfitters to coordinate a flow release study on this reach
during summer 2002 and again in 2020. Hopefully we'll see the day when the river once
again provides boating opportunities and improved conditions for the
A River Runner’s Guide to a Free-Flowing Upper Klamath
Planning and Priorities for Dam Removal
Written comments on dam removal November 5th, 2018. Includes appendices.
Written comments on dam removal March 31st, 2019
PacifiCorp's proposed Recreation Plan assuming relicensing of Klamath Hydroelectric Project.
A whitewater guidebook to the Pacific Coast of the United States from the Rogue River to the Salinas Valley in California.
Visual, when spilling. Look for
1000 to 3000 cfs. Flows around 1500
cfs are optimal. Flow can be
determined by the difference between
Copco Reservoir Inflow and JC Boyle
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.
JC Boyle Powerhouse
JC Boyle Powerhouse and Switchyard
JC Boyle Power Canal
Rapid in Big Bend
Heart of the Boyle
Rapid Below Sidecast
Sidecast Slide Portage
Put-in at the base of JC Boyle Dam
JC Boyle Dam
JC Boyle Penstock
JC Boyle bypass
Rapid on the Klamath
Manslide, low water
Manslide, lower section
Manslide, upper section
Horizon Line, Manslide
JC Boyle Dam spill
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
On Thursday, April 4th, the Department of Interior recommended removing four dams on the Klamath River, listing the action as the Preferred Alternative for a long-term solution to address native fishery and water resource issues in the Klamath Basin. The recommendation was set forth in the Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which provides a comprehensive review of whether partially or fulling removing four dams owned and operated by PacifCorp will help to restore salmon runs to the Klamath River.
A public comment period is now open for the restoration of the Klamath River through November 21st. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced in late September that the federal government has completed numerous peer-reviewed scientific and technical studies providing new and detailed information about the environmental and economic impacts of removing four Klamath River hydroelectric dams.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!