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.
3 years ago
by William Young
There's a foot gauge at Feyrer park, on the bridge piling. At 1100 cfs on the Molalla at Canby internet gauge, the foot gauge read less than 2 feet.
From the east end of Molalla turn south on South Mathias Road (at the Methodist Church) and then take an immediate left on Feyrer Road to the boat ramp on the upstream river left side of the bridge across the river (1.8 miles). To reach the put-in cross the river and turn right headed upstream on South Dickey Prairie Road. In 5.3 miles from the take-out and shortly after crossing the North Fork you will see the Glen Avon bridge to your right. The put-in is approximately 0.2 upstream of the bridge on river right at a pullout along the road.
typical small rapid
foot gauge at Feyrer park
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