South Fork McKenzie River Above French Pete Campground to Cougar Reservoir

Springfield, Oregon

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For most McKenzie River boaters, the South Fork is just another tributary that enters the main river unnoticed somewhere between Rainbow and Blue River. Above Cougar Reservoir, however, lies the free-flowing South Fork McKenzie River, one of the more interesting rivers of the Upper Willamette system. At flows above 2500 cfs, the South Fork is a superb experts-only run. At flows below 2000 cfs, the long rapids are no longer continuous and the South Fork is suitable for paddlers with a dependable roll. Character: forested.

South Fork McKenzie River: Above French Pete Campground to Cougar Reservoir Professional Review and Guide

"For most McKenzie River boaters, the South Fork is just another tributary that enters the main river unnoticed somewhere between Rainbow and Blue River. Above Cougar Reservoir, however, lies the free-flowing South Fork McKenzie River, one of the more interesting rivers of the Upper Willamette system.

At flows above 2500 cfs, the South Fork is a superb experts-only run. At flows below 2000 cfs, the long rapids are no longer continuous and the South Fork is suitable for paddlers with a dependable roll. Character: forested."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Springfield
Distance: 8.5
Class: Class III-IV
Season: Best in rainy season; Flow: 1500 cfs; 3000–4000 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to South Fork McKenzie River: Above French Pete Campground to Cougar Reservoir

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May 2018