A good roadside creeking run. The river is continuous and bouldery in nature. The top couple miles are the steepest, but its really five miles of class fun read and run. There is often wood present, so it's best to do a cautious lap to suss out the situation, followed by a fast second lap.
It has been described as a class IV version of the NF Payette when the flows are good.
Good flows at the take out gauge are 4.5'-5.5' for most boaters. It can be run both higher and lower than that based on your taste.
Find out more about flows here.
See another description and more photos at Oregon Kayaking.
Flows notes. There's a new gauge on the West Fork, here: http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/river/station/flowplot/flowplot.cgi?id=WFHO3. It reads lower than the Tucker gauge by something less than a foot. The flows in the East fork increase all day long on hot (over 80 in Portland) and sunny days, esp if there's an east wind. When the AW site says it's too low at Tucker (under 5 feet but close), go late in the day.
Wood update. Two new pieces in the bottom section, for a total of three cross-river obstacles, all in the bottom mile. Specifics: one portage right, one duck right, and one hop in the middle, I believe in that order. We've started taking out at Rouston Park which is 3/4 of the run mentioned above and misses the worst wood. There are still trees to avoid but they are visible with routes around. Rouston is gated so if the gate is closed you are still going to the bridge.
If you run bridge to bridge there are currently two logs to portage. If you put in at the trailhead you miss one, and if you takeout at the first pullout on the right above the takeout bridge, you will miss the other log. It is worth doing. Scout the takeout though, because you have to beat through a thicket and it sucks to do it with a boat when you don't know if you're in the right place.
The first half of the run is more technical and steeper. It is continuous class IV within 1/4 mile of the launch. If you blow one move you better make the next one! The whole thing is read-and-runnable for suitably skilled boaters. Lost boats go a long way even at low water. There is not a single pool but there are eddies. There's more brush/alders on the 2nd half of the run but it's all currently passable. Locals tell me that the rocks and wood shift every year. Low water is a good option for a first run. Apparently some of the holes are wicked at high water.
Usually not runnable in July! We had a late melt this year. The East Fork runs later on high snowmelt, the West Fork has a lower and smaller snowfield and runs more from rainfall. The Tucker gauge shows both forks combined and does not tell you which fork has the water.
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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.
on Hood, E. Fork @Sherwood Campground to Hwy 35 Bridge
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