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
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.
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 (http://www.wkcc.org/levels/?P=Oregon.html), 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 www.cohophotography.com/2010/umatilla
A dependable spring run.
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.
Wavetrain on the Umatilla
Umatilla, Pendleton take-out
Umatilla, Pendleton put-in
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