John Day Clarno to Cottonwood Questions - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 51
Thanks for the replies. The kids are 14. They have farmer johns and paddle jackets. I figured the flows were going to be high. Not sure how difficult it would be to portage Clarno rapid as I've never been there. Also, my oar frame boat is a 12 footer. Not sure how big Clarno holes are at spring flows. The family wasn't to keen on the upper section cattle country idea. Still deciding.....

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,781
Well hell, if they are 14 and have some prior whitewater experience paddling the Grande Ronde, have wetsuits etc. I would say go for it. Take a scout and pick a line. With the higher water there are various lines to be had.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
 
Stumptown, Oregon
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 24
We go every year. I've done it at 8000+ cfs and Clarno was completely blown out - just big water moving through and you could be anywhere on the river since there was nothing to dodge. My boys (older teenager and young 20-something) were in a tandem IK and got through fine. The next day though they went swimming in Basalt. Both were fine but they were dressed for cool weather and the extra water made it take longer to get warm. Nothing a hot drink couldn't fix. Walking around Clarno is cake - there is a well worn path. I walked my young daughter around for a few years (ages 3-8 ) until she got her moxie up to try it and now loves it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by trialsize View Post
We go every year. I've done it at 8000+ cfs and Clarno was completely blown out - just big water moving through and you could be anywhere on the river since there was nothing to dodge. My boys (older teenager and young 20-something) were in a tandem IK and got through fine. The next day though they went swimming in Basalt. Both were fine but they were dressed for cool weather and the extra water made it take longer to get warm. Nothing a hot drink couldn't fix. Walking around Clarno is cake - there is a well worn path. I walked my young daughter around for a few years (ages 3-8 ) until she got her moxie up to try it and now loves it.
So our plan is to either do Service Creek to Clarno or Clarno to Cottonwood depending on flows. We will be putting on June 4th on one of those two sections. Just going to wait and see what the water is doing.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
 
Stumptown, Oregon
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 24
If you have the time I'd take an extra day (or two!) and do Clarno to Cottonwood. You can scout the rapids and walk around them if you need to. The remoteness, scenery, and wildlife of that section are worth it IMO. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
 
, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 17
We are going to do a Clarno to Cottonwood trip in June. Due to schedules, we will not be getting to Clarno until early evening. I understand that camping is not allowed at the put-in, is there any camping nearby?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
 
Hillsboro, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 62
Not really close. Iíve heard of people camping in the parking lot... get there late, sleep and get up before anyone notices...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
 
CRG, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 27
True. Nothing close. Closest public land is at John Day Fossil Beds and they don't allow camping there. Parking lot at Clarno tends to be pretty jam packed this time of year, squatter camping there would be unpleasant. Closest actual public campground that I am aware of is county campground few miles south of Fossil, Bull Hollow Camp, probably 25 miles away, looks pretty serviceable driving by but have never checked it out. If you are coming from the east and taking Hiway 26 there are several other options approaching Service Creek, along the upper john day river but not worth driving to if you are coming from the north
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
 
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by fumehood View Post
We are going to do a Clarno to Cottonwood trip in June. Due to schedules, we will not be getting to Clarno until early evening. I understand that camping is not allowed at the put-in, is there any camping nearby?
It was long time ago, but several times we launched and rowed 50 yards upstream and to the other side of the river and camped on a nice sand bar while our group did the shuttle.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
 
, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 17
Thanks for all of the intel, it is greatly appreciated.
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