Middle Fork Smith River Oregon Hole Gorge

Gasquet, Oregon

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The only thing wrong with this gorge is that it is over too soon. The character of the run changes dramatically with the water level. At low water, the drops are steep but distinct, requiring some tricky moves around big boulders. At high water, the gorge becomes an awesome, turbulent flush in which eddies are hard to find. Oregon Hole Gorge is also known as Middle Fork Gorge. Character: gorge; clear water. Most of the gorge is visible from US 199, but the road is several hundred vertical feet above the river, luring the unsuspecting paddler into an inappropriate complacency. Be sure to take the time and effort to scramble down to river level and scout carefully; the water is bigger and faster than it appears from above. The last major rapid in the gorge is just barely visible downstream; it can be scouted from river left.
Soggy Sneakers: A Paddler's Guide to Oregon's Rivers

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Soggy Sneakers: A Paddler's Guide to Oregon's Rivers

by Pete Giordano & the Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club (The Mountaineers Books)

The only thing wrong with this gorge is that it is over too soon. The character of the run changes dramatically with the water level. At low water, the drops are steep but distinct, requiring some tricky moves around big boulders. At high water, the gorge becomes an awesome, turbulent flush in which eddies are hard to find. Oregon Hole Gorge is also known as Middle Fork Gorge. Character: gorge; clear water.

Most of the gorge is visible from US 199, but the road is several hundred vertical feet above the river, luring the unsuspecting paddler into an inappropriate complacency. Be sure to take the time and effort to scramble down to river
level and scout carefully; the water is bigger and faster than it appears from above. The last major rapid in the gorge is just barely visible downstream; it can be scouted from river left.

©  Pete Giordano & the Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Gasquet
Distance: 1.5
Class: Class IV-V
Season: Best in rainy season; Flow: 500 cfs; 22,000 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to Middle Fork Smith River: Oregon Hole Gorge

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May 2018