Metolius Wood! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Metolius Wood!

I'm planning a trip to Bend, OR for the fourth and I'm looking for some class III+ runs and I was wondering if the Metolius was a good option ( I keep reading that it has a lot of wood so I wanted to check before driving all the way out there.

Also, what other runs are good near bend below IV? I found this other one (Big Eddy -, but it seems too short...


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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 367
metolious wood...

You might get more info if you contact the Northwest rafting assocc. if this group still exists or one of the many boating sites around OR. Someone here could chime in with contact details?
When I lived in OR I also went on the Met. one July or August wknd, and spent most of the day portaging around wood. We had some experienced rafters on the river that day and that helped a lot, but we still did not get back to Portland till after midnight. So yes, get as much info as you can before putting on. It is a really beautiful river though.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Bisters, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 405
I just kayaked the Metolius on 6/18 for the first time at a little over 1800 cfs. Its a very special river that is absolutely worth experiencing. High lights were the many nesting Ospreys and Bald Eagles, a big Black Bear waltzing around on shore, and after the river flows away from the road- that feeling you get on a wild remote stretch of fast crystal clear water. The rapids do have a more continuous feel to them as there aren't really pools between them and the eddies are often small and the riverside vegetation is thick. For this river our flow was on the higher end which was actually nice for the wood situation. We only had one short portage around a very obvious log jam. There were at least 4 or 5 logs that (at these flows) are just under the surface so we were able to boof over them. The logs were easy enough to see coming and we could boat scout the logs that we had to be extra careful about. In addition, there are countless trees that extend into the current to some degree, but don't completely span the whole channel. I would not recommend rafting this run unless you don't mind portaging quite a bit. I could see a small paddle crew doing fine if they have strong river running skills. At a lower flow there would likely be portages in 5-6 places. Not that big of a deal in a kayak but I was very glad to have the extra water to slide over all those logs. Due to the wood hazards, cold water, and remoteness, the Metolius is a good mission for intermediate or stronger boaters. I say mission because the shuttle is an adventure also, plan 3-4 hours round trip. I could also see doing a self support overnighter to make the most of the place and the long shuttle. I tracked the shuttle and run on Gaia and took waypoints at potential camps, and the portage. Send me a PM if you're interested in those notes. I'm new around these parts so I don't have all the nearby runs figured out yet. The Meadowcamp run on the D has been low but is still boating harder than Class 3. Im looking forward to seeing the lower D, it's 2-3, but haven't gotten over there yet. Good luck!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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the grove, citizen of the planet
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,380
Jmacn, sounds like you are fairly new to the area. Way to go, snagging the Metoliuous run.

The reason there is all that wood, it is stable and rarely moves much because the stream is maintained by giant springs that run fairly constant. There is no high flow events that move wood around. There is extremely little flow variation from season to season. At the USGS gage near where it flows into Lake Billy Chinook, you can see that typical summer median flows are around 1400 to 1600 cfs. Just slightly less than you had on your run. It rarely gets lower than 1350 cfs. Minimum flows in the summer (lowest ever recorded since 1912)are still over 1100 cfs. Maximum summer daily flows ever recorded in summer since 1912 are only slightly over 2000 cfs.

So all being said typical daily flow variation from normal low flow to normal high flow is about 1100 to 2200 cfs over an entire year - Wow. There are some instantaneous recorded flows that briefly spike up typically during rain on snow events that occur within a days time. Only five of these events have recorded instantaneous flow measurements over 5000 cfs since 1912.

The highest instantaneous flow of a little over 8000 cfs occurred during the big rain on snow flood event in Feb 1996 that hit the Pacific Northwest with furry. And even after that highest flow on record, the river was back down near 2000 cfs in about 2 days.

Cold is no joke, summer average temps near its mouth are about 49F (9.5C). Definite dry suite territory even in summer. This is major bull trout water yo! Coooold
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Plus its on the label of one of my favorite beers, the Metolious originates from some big springs near the base of Black Butte.

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