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Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Located in:
Bend, OR

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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Oregon  :: McKenzie River Oregon  :: Blue River to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip

Blue River to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip on the McKenzie River

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Blue River to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Forest Glen Boat Landing
Take Out:  Prince Helfirch Boat Landing
Difficulty:  Class II , Class III
Gradient:  18 ft/mi
Run Length:  13 miles
Current Streamflow:  5450 cfs @ 12/14/2016 10:00 AM - MCKENZIE RIVER NEAR VIDA, OR, reading taken from USGS
Flow Information (phone):  503-261-9246. McKenzie River at Vida.
Good Level:  900 - 5,000 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 

Certain winter levels offer the some of the best play spots in Oregon.

Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Primary Season: 

During summer this is a great strecth to raft. In the winter certain levels offer great playboating.

Permit:  None requiered.
Hazards:  Browns Hole and Marten Rapids. Very cold water.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan,raft
Land Ownership:  Mixed public and private.
Wilderness:  No
Camping on River:  US Forest Service and public campgrounds along the river.
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), 75 miles South of Portland
Shuttle Logistics: 

Put In: East of Eugene, Oregon Highway 126 follows the McKenzie River providing several accesses. Blue River access, also known as Forest Glen Boat Landing, is located just off Hwy 126 about 1/3 of a mile upstream of the confluence with the Blue River at the east end of the town of Blue River.

Take Out: About 2 miles east of the town of Vida on Hwy 126 turn south onto Thompson Lane and continue to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing.

Blue River to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing on the McKenzie River

In the summer time this is a great stretch for beginning boaters. For the first few miles there are many fun wave trains separated by long calm pools. A great place to stop for lunch is Finn Rock, the second half of the day offers the best rapids on the run.

A few miles below Finn Rock is a rapid called Mom’s Pie, class III. This is the biggest wave of the run, paddle straight down the middle to go through the 6 foot tall wave train. At some flows you can catch an eddy on river right to get a bouncy surf in the first wave.

Just below Mom’s Pie is Clover Point Wave, at levels above 6,000 this is a great wave to catch some air. At lower flows, during summer, a fun hole is created that is great for side surfing and flat spins. All year long this wave has great eddy service. Don’t step out of your boat on river right because the land owner at the wave does not like trespassers.

Below Clover after a nice long pool, look up on river left and admire Eagle Rock before you drop into the next class II wave train called Eagle Rock Rapid. After this get ready for another one of Oregon’s best play spots. During summer Neil’s Wave is a shallow and steep wave with great eddy service. In the rainy season, above 2.4ft, Neil’s becomes a fun standing wave with a big fluffy pile for all day park and play.

After Neil’s Wave, float one more class II rapid until you reach Silver Creek Boat launch. This is a great place to take out if you don’t want to run the two last class III rapids of the run. A few miles down stream is Browns Hole, one of the most famous holes on the run. After a long straight stretch look for a large cliff on river left to mark this rapid. Stay right of the hole, or for a real thrill kayakers can punch through the center of the hole.

Marten Rapids are located about 3 miles below Browns Hole, just past the boat ramp at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. Run this rapid right of the large boulder in the center of the river, and watch out for the hole on river right at the bottom. This is the hardest rapid on the run, scout this rapid for wood.

Take out .5 miles below at Prince Helfrich Boat Landing on river right.

Last Edited by josho on 4/26/2011

Towns near Blue River to Prince Helfrich Boat Landing Kayaking

Albany Oregon
Bend Oregon
Eugene Oregon
Gresham Oregon
Lebanon Oregon
Redmond Oregon
Salem Oregon
Sisters Oregon
Springfield Oregon

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Rogue Riverkeeper
  • Water Watch
  • Pacific Coast Kayak Clubs
  • Lower Columbia Canoe Club
  • Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club
  • Oregon Whitewater Association
  • POCO - Paddlers Of Central Oregon
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Oregon Vacation & Travel Planner