Grande Ronde River Hilgard Junction State Park to Riverside City Park

la Grande, Oregon

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This is a favorite conditioning and play run for local boaters. Raft races on this stretch attract a flurry of floaters in every imaginable type of craft. The river is wide and gentle at first. After a few miles of warm-up, a ledge called Snoose Falls nearly spans the river to form a good surfing wave. It also marks the beginning of intermittent rapids. The first significant rapids begin when the tall Interstate 84 bridge comes into view. Below the bridge is a series of splendid standing waves as the river veers to the right. Two bridges beyond is Vortex Rapid, a fine play spot and well-known spectator vantage for watching rafters and others get “eaten” in the curl. The last rapids, Riverside rapid, is the most difficult on this run. Take out on the left immediately below the rapids. To avoid Riverside Rapid, take out just before the Spruce Street bridge. Character: road.
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)

This is a favorite conditioning and play run for local boaters. Raft races on this stretch attract a flurry of floaters in every imaginable type of craft. The river is wide and gentle at first. After a few miles of warm-up, a ledge called Snoose Falls nearly spans the river to form a good surfing wave. It also marks the beginning of intermittent rapids.

The first significant rapids begin when the tall Interstate 84 bridge comes into view. Below the bridge is a series of splendid standing waves as the river veers to the right. Two bridges beyond is Vortex Rapid, a fine play spot and well-known spectator vantage for watching rafters and others get “eaten” in the curl. The last rapids, Riverside rapid, is the most difficult on this run. Take out on the left immediately below the rapids. To avoid Riverside Rapid, take out just before the Spruce Street bridge. Character: road.

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

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: la Grande
Distance: 9
Class: Class II-IV
Season: Best in rainy/snowmelt season; Flow: 300–700 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to Grande Ronde River: Hilgard Junction State Park to Riverside City Park

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May 2018