Metolius River Headwaters to Lake Billy Chinook

Madras, Oregon

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The designated Wild and Scenic Metolius River originates from headwater springs. Filtering through lava rock, the clear blue water flows to where it meets the whitewater River, clouded by glacial silt, snowmelt, and mud during summer months. Spring colors are brilliant here, and the light-colored trunks of ponderosa pine add to the dazzling scenery. Red-cedar, lodgepole, and ponderosa grow tall and straight close to the river, attesting to low rainfall in the area. Despite the low precipitation the Metolius flows at consistent levels year-round.

Metolius River: Headwaters to Lake Billy Chinook Professional Review and Guide

"The designated Wild and Scenic Metolius River originates from headwater springs. Filtering through lava rock, the clear blue water flows to where it meets the whitewater River, clouded by glacial silt, snowmelt, and mud during summer months.

Spring colors are brilliant here, and the light-colored trunks of ponderosa pine add to the dazzling scenery. Red-cedar, lodgepole, and ponderosa grow tall and straight close to the river, attesting to low rainfall in the area. Despite the low precipitation the Metolius flows at consistent levels year-round."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Madras
Distance: 27
Elevation Loss: 1,200 feet
Skill Level: Moderate
Class: Class III
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Oregon Bureau of Land Management, 503-952-6001; Oregon River Levels, 503-261-9246
Driving Directions: Directions to Metolius River: Headwaters to Lake Billy Chinook

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May 2018