Molalla, Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|MOLALLA RIVER NEAR CANBY, OR|
|usgs-14200000||1000 - 4000 cfs||II||00h42m||88.9 cfs (too low)|
It turns out 1100 cfs is perfectly passable, but not quite enough water for the play waves to be "in". One person told me the play is best at 1400. Another said there are some large play features that come in between 3000 and 4000 cfs. In any case this is an easy stretch of water with only one horizon line to speak of. The bedrock here is duff, which is hardened volcanic ash. Duff turns rubbery when wet so when you whack your paddle on a rock it bounces of instead of clanging.
There's a lot of wood and brush in the river and along the banks, including a couple of major log jams and many individual logs hung up here and there. Because of the way the current undercuts the banks and generates strainers on the outsides of bends, it is not a good beginner run. The rapids are only class II but the wood hazards are class III or more in difficulty. I would not bring beginners here unless you scout the run without them first, and have a plan for getting them around the dangerous spots.
Most of the property along the banks is privately owned. Some of it is forested and there are many run down shacks, plus a few upscale dwellings.
It is possible to shorten the run by putting in at any of the fishermen's pull outs along the river right road to the put-in. We ran the bottom 5.4 miles and there was plenty of play.
No permit required.