Mill Creek Upper Bridge to Mill Creek County Park

Salem, Oregon

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At least five Mill Creeks are named in Oregon; this one flows from the Coast Range northeastward to the South Fork Yamhill River. The stream is quite narrow and gives one a more intimate feeling with the water than does any other river the authors know. From the put-in at the upper bridge, the water is fairly gentle for about 1 mile. Then comes the class 4 Triple Drop, which should be scouted on the drive to the put-in. This rapid has been run at estimated flows of 500 to 700 cfs; at lower flows, it appears too steep and rocky. Just below Triple Drop, the river slows on a 90-degree curve to the left, then begins a 0.2-mile accelerating drop through The Gorge, with a dynamic class 4 ending. Once a boater enters this fast water in The Gorge, there is almost no turning back or getting out. Only a few small eddies can be used for stopping, and the rock walls are too steep to allow one to climb. To scout, first look upstream from the road for the whitewater at the lower end of The Gorge. Check for logs.

Mill Creek: Upper Bridge to Mill Creek County Park Professional Review and Guide

"At least five Mill Creeks are named in Oregon; this one flows from the Coast Range northeastward to the South Fork Yamhill River. The stream is quite narrow and gives one a more intimate feeling with the water than does any other river the authors know. From the put-in at the upper bridge, the water is fairly gentle for about 1 mile. Then comes the class 4 Triple Drop, which should be scouted on the drive to the put-in. This rapid has been run at estimated flows of 500 to 700 cfs; at lower flows, it appears too steep and rocky. Just below Triple Drop, the river slows on a 90-degree curve to the left, then begins a 0.2-mile accelerating drop through The Gorge, with a dynamic class 4 ending.

Once a boater enters this fast water in The Gorge, there is almost no turning back or getting out. Only a few small eddies can be used for stopping, and the rock walls are too steep to allow one to climb. To scout, first look upstream from the road for the whitewater at the lower end of The Gorge. Check for logs."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Salem
Distance: 5.5
Class: Class III-IV
Season: Best in rainy season; Flow: 400–1000 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to Mill Creek: Upper Bridge to Mill Creek County Park

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May 2018