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Canyon Creeks

Having fled the rain and coming snow in Idaho (they got 3 more feet in the mountains), we headed to Oregon to check out some creeks that usually only run during winter. We hit both Canyon Creek Oregon and Canyon Creek Washington, and also went to the wedding of our friends Allen and Jess near Hood River.


Canyon Creek, Oregon
As we drove through the desert towards the mountains, we called up our friend Nicolas Zegre who lives in Corvallis to see what was going on. We arranged to meet up at Canyon Creek to get a feel for some Oregon creeking. Canyon Creek has two sections. Due to a landslide between the two, the class V upper section is a bit of an ordeal, so we put on the class IV lower stretch for some Oregon fun. In a bizarre turn of events, it was bright sunny and in the '80s out - quite rare weather for creeking in this area. The crew consisted of Nicolas and his fiancee Sera, as well as a fellow named Richard, and myself and Andria.


Richard and Nicolas putting in for lower Canyon Creek, Oregon.


Sera in the put-in rapid.


A little ways downstream, we came across the first of many class IV ledge drops.

About half way through the run you reach Osprey - the big class V drop. Osprey has a tricky lead in and a few holes to punch, with sieves and undercuts lining the sides if you mess up. Nicolas showed us how it's done, firing off a really nice line.


Nicolas running Osprey.

Below Osprey, Canyon Creek continued with fun little ledges and beautiful mossy gorges - a great intro to Oregon creeking!


Andria boofing into a pretty little canyon.


Typical between-rapid scenery in the lower gorge.


The second-to-last rapid of note.

The next day Andria and I got a run on Upper Quartzville Creek, having another fun taste of the area's whitewater. Unfortunately, it was a bit rainy that day so I didn't pull out the camera. The following day we met Nicolas and his friend Casey for a run on a true classic - Opal Creek. Opal was a phenomenal run, but it was a very Oregon day out there. The precip started with sleet in the middle of the night, and turned to rain and went right through the morning. The temperature dropped to the 40s and hovered there. When we got to the put in, we got some freezing mix as we started the walk up the trail. The whole time we were on the river it was raining and in the low 40s, and the rain kept right on going after we took out. I'm super bummed that I didn't get any pictures of this run. If you're ever in Oregon for creeking, Opal Creek is the one to do. Bring your drysuit, though, because the weather is like December there even in June!

Click to read the next part - Canyon Creek, Washington!