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Old 01-19-2012   #1
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Where ever the water is...., Colorado
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Washington & Oregon best month to visit to paddle?

What is the best month the visit Washington & Oregon for a sampling of classic white water runs. Is there one period that typically most of the rivers are running at good levels? I'd love to do a trip out there and just sample as many classic runs as possible.

When to go? What runs to do?


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Old 01-19-2012   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
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they usually have 2 peaks when a lot of smaller awesome options come in in december which is the rainiest season and like colorado late may and juneish is snowmelt season. That being said rain events can come in all winter, and even if they don't you can always run the green truss (farmlands will be in in colorado terms too). I could be wrong but late spring seems to be little white season. canyon creek/ ef lewis should be in and out most of the winter and spring. upper wind is fun class IV if water is aplenty and lower wind is fun huckfest if there is no water. I boated every day from Beginning of Feb to the end of april before I came back to the drylands. Tons of runs that would be classic in colorado but are next to THE classics in the NW.

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Old 01-20-2012   #3
roseburg, Oregon
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I live in southern Oregon. We do have a few nice rivers around. The best month to come down is from May to September I would say. Rogue river North and South Umpqua river are all very scenic and challenging. I myself want to do the same as you, but I just started getting hooked up with paddling. So I am very cautious of running on any section of the river. I love to check google satelite map of the rivers before I go, so i have some ideas of how the river curves and how are the rapids situations are. This is very helpful for me to decide if the run is doable or not. Welcome to Oregon!
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Old 01-20-2012   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
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A few years back we went end of April/early May. A fair amount of stuff was running with good flows and it doesn't cut into the Colorado season.

I think you'd like these runs that are uniquely Pacific NW:
- Farmlands (White Salmon)
- Green Truss (White Salmon) - harder than Farmlands so gauge from doing the run above
- Canyon Creek
- East Fork of Lewis ("waterfall run")

We did some other runs that were less notable. Of course there are also harder classics like the Little White and Eagle Creek that were running around that time as well.
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Old 01-20-2012   #5
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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The lower wind is worth checking out any time of year, some section is almost always running.
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Old 01-20-2012   #6
ashland, Oregon
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This 2nd hand info so keep that in mind but...If you're looking at the Class 5 "Classics"; Ohanepecosh, Clear Fork of the Cowlitz, LWS, Upper Upper Cispus and the White Salmon I think the normal season would be mid to late June thru the middle of July depending on snowpack and warmth.
Or a better idea is go to 'professor paddle' or the Yahoo group PDX Kayaker for some first hand info
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Old 01-21-2012   #7
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The High Ground, Colorado
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We went at Thanksgiving. Good rains and high water. Hooked up with some PDX kayakers for some days. Next time we meet up I'll show you where we went and a great place rent boats if you fly in to PDX
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 01-21-2012   #8
North Bend, Washington
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Depends if you're looking for day trips or multi day trips. Not a lot of multi options besides OR. Also, if you're looking for big water- spring melt late May to early June is usually your best bet.
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Old 01-22-2012   #9
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Thanks everyone! Lots of ideas in here.

I was thinking about hitting up classic runs. This could be creeking to river running but I'd also be into some play-boating. I was thinking more about doing day trips or things we could do in a few days self support in creek boats.

A long trip like the Rogue is great but I thought it would be fun to just hit up a lot of variety of really quality day runs on different rivers. All the stuff that the locals do all the time and really love. I'd like to see as many rivers by there best sections as possible.

Keep up with the rivers and runs recommendations. What is the best guide book for WA & OR?
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Old 01-22-2012   #10
North Bend, Washington
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Tons of options for day trips. Just depends on skill level and if you want to drive 20 or 2 hours to get there. Check out Benett's book for river options. NRS Guide to Washington Whitewater (9780962984372): Sports & Outdoors

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