Originally Posted by flite
Hi everybody. I'll be in the Columbia River valley for the month of april. I'm headed from CO to check out the area and take some classes with wet planet. The classes are during the weekend so I'm wanting to do some boating on my down time. Does anyone have suggestions for that area in april? I know its still early but hoping to find some good water. I have a 9'5" raft i've done overnights in and its also fun to R2. Thanks for any advice!
Don't forget the Hood River...this is just across the bridge in Hood River, Oregon. The East fork is a fun CLASS III- Run and should be running in April. There are also a lot of people running this stretch, so its likely you can get a group.
The West Fork of the Hood is one of the most beautiful gorges that I have ever seen, and is a solid Class IV run and can creep up to CLass V in places depending on flow. It gets pretty big and pushy at high water. If you are running the West Fork, chat with Todd or Gianni @ Wet planet to get flow information and Beta. There is a waterfall at the end of the normal run (middle fork confluence to punchbowl falls) that you DO NOT want to run. The takeout is terrible unless you line your boat over punchbowl and continue down to the take outs that are on the East Fork.
I assume the classes that you are talking about are Wet Planet's Guide school? If so, you will likely run several rivers in the area including the Middle White Salmon, Lower Lower White Salmon, East Fork Hood, West Fork Hood, Klickitat, and the Wind...all depending on flow. Also, let the instructors know that you are looking for pickup runs, they will have a lot more beta than the buzzards here.
If you don't mind a bit of a drive a bit farther west, and the river is running I've heard that the Toutle is fun as well. Never run it, don't know much about it.
Lastly, the Upper Clackamas River is about 1.5 hours away and is a very fun class III+ to IV run depending on flow. The Sandy River is about 2 hours away and has a number of runs, including a Class III (Revenue Bridge) and class IV (Sandy Gorge) run. The gorge run actually runs directly into the revenue bridge run if you want a longer run.
Some relevant info...
West Fork Hood
East Fork Hood