Mill Creek Triple Drop to South Yamhill River

Salem, Oregon

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Mill Creek is a great run to try after it has been raining cats and dogs for several days. When the south Yamhill River is at or near flood stage, Mill Creek usually has the right amount of water to make a fun run. The creek is divided into two sections due to an unrunnable gorge in the upper half of the creek. The top portion invites advanced boaters looking for Class III to IV technical water, while the lower creek offers steady Class II water with several large surfing waves. Beware of sharp bends with brushy banks that can cause trouble in Section 2. Logging has completely decimated the eastern slope of the mountains along the upper stretch of this creek, and clearcuts now replace the once-scenic slopes. Luckily the cuts do not extend to Mill Creek Recreation Area, where the banks once again are lined with unlogged forest. The lower creek passes through wooded farmland, rolling hills, and open fields. Runoff muddies the creek and can wash droppings from nearby livestock into the water.

Mill Creek: Triple Drop to South Yamhill River Professional Review and Guide

"Mill Creek is a great run to try after it has been raining cats and dogs for several days. When the south Yamhill River is at or near flood stage, Mill Creek usually has the right amount of water to make a fun run. The creek is divided into two sections due to an unrunnable gorge in the upper half of the creek. The top portion invites advanced boaters looking for Class III to IV technical water, while the lower creek offers steady Class II water with several large surfing waves. Beware of sharp bends with brushy banks that can cause trouble in Section 2.

Logging has completely decimated the eastern slope of the mountains along the upper stretch of this creek, and clearcuts now replace the once-scenic slopes. Luckily the cuts do not extend to Mill Creek Recreation Area, where the banks once again are lined with unlogged forest. The lower creek passes through wooded farmland, rolling hills, and open fields. Runoff muddies the creek and can wash droppings from nearby livestock into the water."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Salem
Distance: 18
Elevation Loss: 800 feet
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Class: Class I-IV
Season: December to February
Local Contacts: Oregon Bureau of Land Management, 503-952-6001; Oregon River Levels, 503-261-9246
Driving Directions: Directions to Mill Creek: Triple Drop to South Yamhill River

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May 2018