Other Whitewater Trips on the Breitenbush River

 »  Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir
 »  Review this trip
 »  Post Alert for this trip
Lodging in Oregon

 »  Oregon Bed & Breakfasts
 »  Oregon Cabins, Condos, and Vacation Rentals
 »  Oregon Campgrounds
 »  Oregon Guest Ranches & Dude Ranches
 »  Oregon Hotels & Motels
 »  Oregon Youth Hostels

 Find a Rafting Trip

 Link to Us
 Email This Page to a Friend
 Business Login
 Add a Listing

  Follow Us On Twitter
  Visit Us On Facebook

Paddlesports Shops:

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Located in:
Bend, OR

More Details
Our Website
Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe has the largest selection of whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, paddleboards and can (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Oregon  :: Breitenbush River Oregon  :: Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Breitenbush River

Wu-Man-Chu, the last big rapid at 750 cfs
Luke running the Slot Rapid just right of center at 750 cfs Alan setting up to run the slot at 750 cfs Log Jam downstream of Sharon's Rapid, portage necessary, 5/22/05 at 750 cfs Downstream of the same logjam, 5/22/05 at 750 cfs Downstream of the Slot Rapid at 750 cfs

View larger map of Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!

Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir Video

The Slot Rapid
Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Cleator Bend Campground
Take Out:  Detroit Reservoir
Gradient:  75 ft/mi
Run Length:  8 miles
Current Streamflow:  468 cfs @ 12/14/2016 09:15 AM - BREITENBUSH R ABV FRENCH CR NR DETROIT, OR., reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  500-2,000 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 
Primary Season: 


Permit:  None presently required
Character/Similar To:  The Breitenbush River runs through a beautiful, narrow canyon with crystal clear water. Its a pool and drop run and most of the rapids can be boat scouted. The road follows the river for most of the run. The Breitenbush has lots of Class III and IV.
Hazards:  Logs are always a concern on the Breitenbush River. The water is cold and fast. There are many rapids but the main ones to know about are The Slot, Barbell, and Woo-Man-Chew.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan
Camping on River:  Yes at Cleator Bend Campground
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), 53 miles Southeast of Salem, OR
Shuttle Logistics: 

Take-out: From Salem go east on Hwy 22 to Detroit Lake. Turn on Hwy 46 toward Breitenbush Hot Springs and proceed to a turn out on the left side of the road. The only distinguishing marker is a green government gate blocking vehicle access to the river. Upper Arm Campground further downstream but as of 5/05, was closed to the public.

Put-in: Continue on Hwy 46 toward Breitenbush Hot Springs and proceed to Cleator Bend Campground.

Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir on the Breitenbush River

The Breitenbush River is a beautiful gem in Central Oregon. It's tight canyon and steep drops are spectacularly pitted against the lush vegetation and moss covered rocks.

The action starts immediately from the put-in with the first rapid, 'The Slot', coming at about a mile downstream of Cleator Bend Campground. The Slot, a 6-8' drop, contains a large rock slab in the middle causing a river wide hole at higher water. At lower water the rock splits the current into a left side hole and a right side hole...both very sticky. There is boof potential over the rock however boiling water and tricky currents tend to slide boaters off to either side of the rock.

Many technical rapids and potential log hazards continue for the next 5 miles to the OR 46 bridge. 'S-Turn Rapid' is a long rapid with large holes and waves. The river snakes through the canyon here and forms an S.

'Sharon's rapid' is a steep drop with a large log spanning the river that you must duck under before going over the drop. The drop itself is about an 8 footer with a smooth runout and calm eddies waiting downstream.

Class III boogy water continues to the OR 46 bridge. There is always lots of wood in the river. Care must be taken to scout every drop and eddy out frequently. Many of the wood hazards can be manuevred, but never hesitate to portage bad looking logs.

At the bridge, a steep short hike leads to the road for an alternate access point. This run continues another 1.5 miles where the river widens a bit. You'll find two more class IV rapids called Barbell and Woo-Man-Chew.

About a mile after the bridge, Barbell Rapid is difficult to scout and/or portage. At normal flows there is a rocky slide into a pool on the left side of the rapid. The right side is a very sticky hole.

Another .5 mile below Barbell is Woo-Man-Chew Rapid. A sticky hole on the left hole is the usual line. At some flows a rocky slide on the right side is possible. There is a smaller, easier drop just upstream of Woo-Man-Chew that sometimes fools paddlers.

The take-out is on river left a short distance after this last rapid. A trail leads up to a turnout with a grean government gate blocking vehicle access to the river.

When Detroit Reservoir is low, you can continue to or past the town of Detroit. The river continues its steep and fast descent the entire way.

---Brad Goettemoeller

Last Edited by josho on 4/26/2011

Towns near Cleator Bend Campground to Detroit Reservoir Kayaking

Albany Oregon
Bend Oregon
Clackamas Oregon
Eugene Oregon
Gresham Oregon
Hood River Oregon
Lebanon Oregon
Portland Oregon
Redmond Oregon
Salem Oregon
Sandy 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