Umatilla - Hwy 11 to Pendleton Roundup Grounds

Umatilla, Oregon, US


Hwy 11 to Pendleton Roundup Grounds (Pendleton Town Run)

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles


Photo of Whitman College Outdoor Program by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 03/01/06 @ 1320 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-14033500 200 - 10000 cfs II 00h55m 441 cfs (running)
Uncertain of best range for boating. Please help your fellow boaters! Add a comment or report.

River Description

This is a good beginner training run with a couple of fun rapids and plenty of places to practice eddy turns and ferries.


The put-in is located on the downstream river left side of the Hwy 11 Bridge on the east side of town. Park at the baseball fields and walk up the levee trail to access the river. For the take-out head downstream through town to the Pendleton Roundup Grounds. Roy Raley Park is along the river here just downstream of the 10th St Bridge. Access the river off the levee trail on river left. This trail parallels the run.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-04-15 20:25:15

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 28 2011 (2790 days ago)
benmurray4u (151928)
Ran today at about 3,600. Water was pushy and felt more like a class 3 or 3-. Few big waves, and
the water was up in the trees in most places. It took just about 25 min on the water to run, so it
was moving quick. We took a line down the left side and that was clear for the most part. Overall
really fun run and their is a great bike path next to road that made an easy 1 car shuttle.
Directions above were still accurate and easy to follow, (Thanks Ben). If you like a quick run this
might be a good one to do.
April 24 2010 (3189 days ago)
Ben HayesDetails
The Umatilla is the backyard run for much of SE Washington and NE Oregon. It flows right through
downtown Pendleton, past the rodeo grounds, and offers a great early morning or after-work run with
a bit of surfing, a bit of floating, and some waving to the people on the bridges. The river is
generally runnable down to 600 CFS and is fun up to about 2,000 CFS, but we did find it runnable
with a huge bouncy wave / hole at the takeout at a it over 8,000 CFS. This last week the run came
up to just over 1,000 CFS on the Oregon Levels gauge (,
so we headed out for a quick friday morning run. To reach the put-in, take 17th St. (by the
hospital), from Court Ave (the main st.). Go north to at T intersection. Take a right at the T,
pass the baseball fields, and you'll find a dead-end with parking right by a paved walking trail.
If you walk upstream to the end of the paved trail, you'll find a nice spot to access the river.
The put-in has some wood near it, so be careful, probably not the best spot to practice eddy-turns.
There is a major hazard of wood throughout the entire run, so be very careful, especially around
the bridges. As you head downstream you'll find lots of nice waves. Right after the first bridge
there will be a trailer park on the right bank, and some of the best waves are in this section.
Just downstream is a broken down weir. Run on the left (don't try to run over the weir, it's got
rebar in it). You can eddy out safely behind the weir and play on a great wave that is just off the
end of the weir where it has fallen down. The next stretch has a lot of fun waves and eddies, and
the river is flowing adjacent to downtown. The biggest rapids are just below downtown. You'll be
able to see the roofs of the rodeo-stadium and there is a gauging station of the left in the
biggest rapid. Run down the middle and punch some holes. Not a great place to play as there is lots
of rip-rap in the river (a grocery cart spend most of last winter in this rapid). Continue
downstream to the take-out which is a park on river left under two really big overpasses.To reach
the takeout from the put-in continue down Court Ave through downtown, until it takes a gradual
right onto Westgate. Just before the road heads up onto a bridge, take a right into the Sears
parking lot. If you stay to the left, you'll end up at a dead-end with a city park and bathroom
with river-access. Another option is to use the paved trail that runs the length of the run to
either walk, run, or bike the shuttle. This is a fun, and quite short run (just under 3 miles).
Watch for wood and crap that people have thrown in the river, and have fun on all the fast little
waves! Pictures can be found at