Drift Creek Alsea River Tributary Meadow Creek to Lower Bridge

Waldport, Oregon

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Drift Creek flows through the Drift Creek Wilderness Area in one of the most remote regions of the Siuslaw National Forest. It is a rare experience to paddle through a magnificent wilderness surrounded by the hush of an old-growth forest and to return home the same day. Farmland is found only along the last 5 miles. Because the gradient is continuous and low, no real surprises occur, but there are steady class 2 rock gardens within the first 12 miles. These become easier at higher water, especially for open canoes. From the put-in at Meadow Creek, the next 5 miles are totally within the wilderness area. One sees evidence of logging several decades ago, including several log bridges that threaten to become part of the stream structure in the near future and one that already has done so, requiring a portage. Around mile 11, a fairly straightforward class 3 drop goes through a narrows that looks worse than it is. Shortly thereafter, the river flows under a private bridge at which the owners are unwilling to allow a take-out. The allowable take-out is at the next bridge, a flat 5 miles downstream. Character: wilderness.

Drift Creek (Alsea River Tributary): Meadow Creek to Lower Bridge Professional Review and Guide

"Drift Creek flows through the Drift Creek Wilderness Area in one of the most remote regions of the Siuslaw National Forest. It is a rare experience to paddle through a magnificent wilderness surrounded by the hush of an old-growth forest and to return home the same day. Farmland is found only along the last 5 miles. Because the gradient is continuous and low, no real surprises occur, but there are steady class 2 rock gardens within the first 12 miles.

These become easier at higher water, especially for open canoes. From the put-in at Meadow Creek, the next 5 miles are totally within the wilderness area. One sees evidence of logging several decades ago, including several log bridges that threaten to become part of the stream structure in the near future and one that already has done so, requiring a portage. Around mile 11, a fairly straightforward class 3 drop goes through a narrows that looks worse than it is. Shortly thereafter, the river flows under a private bridge at which the owners are unwilling to allow a take-out. The allowable take-out is at the next bridge, a flat 5 miles downstream. Character: wilderness."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Waldport
Distance: 17
Class: Class II-III
Season: Best in rainy season; Flow: 700 cfs
Driving Directions: Directions to Drift Creek (Alsea River Tributary): Meadow Creek to Lower Bridge

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May 2018