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4 of us hiked in from Buck Creek trailhead last July 8. ~11 mile hike IIRC, over Burger Pass, under China Cap. Lots of gorgeous granite up high. Still lots of snowfields to cross when we went.

Plant Sky Mountain Ecoregion Snow


Diurnal swing was 1000-1100 for us. I wouldn't want more. It was moving really fast, and there was wood everywhere. We did lots of creative ducking and limboing, and probably had to get out to portage 6-7 times.

Water Plant community Watercraft Plant Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies


Above Red's Ranch there was lots of fast III, a fair bit of legit read and run IV, and a few that maybe even pushed into IV+ at these flows. No V.

Water Water resources Fluvial landforms of streams Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies


I would imagine that at ~600cfs everything would feel a grade easier.

There is one bedrock gorge that I cannot imagine it being possible to stumble into. Riverwide ledge/horizon line at the entrance. Easy scout.

Water Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Fluvial landforms of streams Watercraft


Below Red's it was fast, continuous II-II+ all the way into Minam.

Fantastic trip.
 

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I've never floated that stretch, but was lucky enough to be flown into Red's Ranch by chartered plane several years ago on a work trip. That could be a good option if you wanted to avoid hiking a boat all the way in, and the float could also be turned into a much longer trip by continuing down the Grande Ronde and having your car dropped at Troy or even further downriver. An added bonus is that you get a scenic flight over the Wallowas during the flight in.

No argument really -- but my $.06 is that what's special about this trip is what's above Red's.

Comparatively anyone can see what's below there, and literally anyone can see what's below the road crossing.
 
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