Clackamas River, North Fork - Upper Bridge to North Fork Reservoir

Estacada, Oregon

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The North Fork Clackamas River is one of the more difficult and intense rivers in the Portland area. Don't put on without Class V boating skills, good judgment, rescue equipment, and adaptability. The river canyon, heavily wooded with poison oak and blackberries, is incredibly steep; attempts to hike out will never be forgotten. The river consists of very long, continuous Class III and IV+ boulder gardens, interspersed with 4-to 6-foot ledges; some even have pools after them. There is one great 20-foot waterfall just beyond the mandatory portage around Dead End. The last mile of Class III water is relaxing compared to what happens upstream.
Paddling Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Oregon

by Robb Keller (Falcon Guides)

The North Fork Clackamas River is one of the more difficult and intense rivers in the Portland area. Don't put on without Class V boating skills, good judgment, rescue equipment, and adaptability. The river canyon, heavily wooded with poison oak and blackberries, is incredibly steep; attempts to hike out will never be forgotten.

The river consists of very long, continuous Class III and IV+ boulder gardens, interspersed with 4-to 6-foot ledges; some even have pools after them. There is one great 20-foot waterfall just beyond the mandatory portage around Dead End. The last mile of Class III water is relaxing compared to what happens upstream.

©  Robb Keller/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Estacada
Distance: 8
Elevation Loss: 1,400 feet
Skill Level: Difficult
Class: Class IV-V
Local Contacts: Oregon Bureau of Land Management, 503-952-6001; Oregon River Levels, 503-261-9246
Driving Directions: Directions to Clackamas River, North Fork - Upper Bridge to North Fork Reservoir

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May 2018