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Old 04-09-2014   #1
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 61
Looking for NW river suggestions

My boyfriend and I are headed to Bellingham, WA for the summer and are looking for a good river trip the first week of May on the way up there (it can be out of the way too, just not somewhere like, say... Utah). We've thought about Hell's Canyon, the Rogue, and the Deschutes. We don't have permits (Hell's/Rogue are pre-permit season anyway). It'll probably just be the two of us in our little 12' raft (once I fix the mysterious mating Aire bladder issue!). I feel comfortable rowing up to class 3 if we're on our own. We'd like to do a 5-7 day trip if possible and would definitely be interested in joining other folks if anyone has a trip.

Any suggestions on other rivers or beta on what sections to do would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-09-2014   #2
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
John Day and/or Grand Rhonde are both slightly out of the way. We're headed to the JD or both in early June but unfortunately not early May. We've been on the JD, nothing major, a couple class III depending on flows and which stretch. I haven't been on the GR, but it sounds spectactular and no big rapids either. Something to think about?

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Old 04-09-2014   #3
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La Grande, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 67
The GR would be a perfect float for what you're looking for. Minam to the Snake is 91 miles and a great 5-7 day trip. Minam to Troy is 40 miles and there are enough camps to stretch to 5 days if you want and it's the prettiest section anyway. Have fun!
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Old 04-09-2014   #4
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
We do the Rogue the first weekend of May each year, the Wild & Scenic is about 34 miles but can be stretched out by putting in higher up. Weather is never guaranteed but it was in the mid-80s everyday on the trip last year.

Grande Ronde is great as well but not as action packed.
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Old 04-09-2014   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
The lower Klamath is also also a good option for a multi day. Or you may want to consider doing day trips on the cal salmon, scott and other creeks in that area. There is a festival down there that time of year and would be a good place meet people to run some bigger stuff. Let me know your dates and we may be able to hook up for a trip as we live in the Rogue valley. The illinois could also be an option at lower water in your little boat. We are going to try it again this weekend if the flows stay in the 500 range. Send me a PM if you want more info.
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Old 04-09-2014   #6
seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 90
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 355
Stopped reading at "boyfriend", but the sauk is a great multi/day trip.
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Old 04-10-2014   #7
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
I'd pick either the wilderness section of the Rogue or the Grand Rhonde, Minam to Troy, and stretch it out with a couple layover days. They're some of the best of Oregon this time of year for scenery and nice camping. Another nice float worth considering is the North Fork John Day, Dale to Monument. It's similar to the GR but less seldom run. A normal water year I'd check out the Owyhee, but slim pickins on that this year.

The NFJD or GR would be a nice trip in a 12' boat. Especially if you end up doing it on your own.
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Old 04-25-2014   #8
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Southern, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
We're going on the Grande Ronde, Minam to Boggan's on memorial day weekend, (5 days) Pm me for details.
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." ~ Will Rogers
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Old 04-25-2014   #9
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
You might also look at the North Umpqua, crystal clear water and easy to to do a self shuttle. There are different sections. Cal Salmon has some Class Vs so know that if you head that direction.
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Old 04-25-2014   #10
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Southern, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
OP stated they wanted a 5-7 day trip. I certainly wish we could get that much time on the N Umpqua continuously. That would be awesome!

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." ~ Will Rogers
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