John Day Clarno to Cottonwood Questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
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John Day Clarno to Cottonwood Questions

My family usually does The Grande Ronde every year. I have a 12 foot Oar Frame and kids in duckies. Talking to the Minam Store, they thought the flows were too high for the kids in the duckies this year. I am wondering what the flows would be on the John Day this year for the first week in June. Would this be a safer alternative? Or is there another option for a multi day Class II/III the first week in June?

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Sisters, Oregon
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The water will be pretty high also. 5k plus. I wouldn't send my kids thru clarno rapids at that level. Could be scary. But service creek to clarno could be a better run. Class 2.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
 
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Big Sky, Montana
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We did that section last year, launching around June 7. The flow was not super high and the rapids were very manageable, but definitely rocky. You can easily have the kids portage Clarno and run it yourself in the ducky--my sister did the same thing with her kids. The kids did run Basalt with no problem. It's a great trip, we hardly saw anyone and the camping and scenery were top notch. It can get windy, though, so be prepared for that. We were in a 15-foot raft and it suited us just fine.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campnfloat View Post
We did that section last year, launching around June 7. The flow was not super high and the rapids were very manageable, but definitely rocky. You can easily have the kids portage Clarno and run it yourself in the ducky--my sister did the same thing with her kids. The kids did run Basalt with no problem. It's a great trip, we hardly saw anyone and the camping and scenery were top notch. It can get windy, though, so be prepared for that. We were in a 15-foot raft and it suited us just fine.
Just to clarify this "advice". Flow in the first week of June this year will probably be at least 4x higher than this guy had at least, and the water will be a lot colder for those in duckies.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
 
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Big Sky, Montana
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My post wasn't really intended as "advice," but just a description of our trip. However, depending on how old your kids are, I think portaging the two rapids is doable and worth it. If you've done the Grande Ronde (not sure what section you do) at the same time of the year, I think overall you'll find this an easier float even at high flows. We put in at around 1,300 CFS. With the exception of the two rapids, there's not much else to it. And, of course, check the flow and the weather. It does look like it will be pretty high this year!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Sisters, Oregon
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I believe there is a you tube video at clarno around 5 or 6 k. And I think it was the top of rapid. There are a couple big holes at that level and if u swim there is quite a few rocks and waves down below. The run from service creek to clarno has some great scenery also and those rapids level out with high water. Whatever u do have fun and be careful with the kids
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
 
Los Anchorage, Alaska
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A quick question... where can I see river temps for the service creek guage?
Also... here’s that Clarno at 5500k vid.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Originally Posted by wfinley View Post
A quick question... where can I see river temps for the service creek guage?
There is no publicly available real time temperature monitoring data available for the lower John Day to my knowledge, but there has been a lot of research done and a temperature model developed. suffice it to say, you wouldn't want to be swimming long when the river is at 5500 cfs in the first week in June or paddling an IK without at least a farmer john and paddle jacket , but if it was around 1000 cfs you might take a dip on a warm sunny day.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Los Anchorage, Alaska
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Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
There is no publicly available real time temperature monitoring data available for the lower John Day to my knowledge, but there has been a lot of research done and a temperature model developed.
Where can I find this info? Heading that way next week and would like to know what temps to expect.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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The temperature model was developed as part of the TMDL, unless you do that sort of thing for a living, it would be of no use to you. Next week, the water will be cold enough that you would not want to hang your nut sack in the water for any length of time - guaranteed

Anyone in a Kayak would want a drysuit or wetsuits and paddle jacket.
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