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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  :: Metolius River Oregon  :: Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip

Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip on the Metolius River

Rafters enjoying the scenery on the Metolius at 1,400 cfs
Kricet enjoying the fresh spring water at 1,400 cfs Steven after one of many class II rapids at 1,400 cfs

View larger map of Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge & get directions
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Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Gorge Campround
Take Out:  Lower Bridge
Difficulty:  Class II , Class III
Gradient:  25 ft/mi
Run Length:  6.6 miles
Current Streamflow:  1360 cfs @ 12/14/2016 10:00 AM - METOLIUS RIVER NEAR GRANDVIEW, OR, reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  1000 - 3,000 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 

Spring-fed; almost always running 1,100-2,500 cfs.

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

Because of springs that feed the Metolius, it can be boated year round. However, the winters near Sisters, OR can be very cold and snowy.

Permit:  None required at this time.
Hazards:  Watch for trees blocking the river.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan
Land Ownership:  Mixed public and private.
Camping on River:  There are several public campgrounds along the river.
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), 180 miles Southeast of Portland
Area Name:  Pacific West
Shuttle Logistics: 

Put In: Between Santiam Pass and the town of Sisters on US Highway 20 turn north onto the Metolius/Camp Sherman Road and drive for about 2.5 miles then bear right at the intersection. Proceed on USFS Road 14 (paved) and turn left at the sign that says US Hwy 20 Campgrounds and Forest Campgrounds. Continue for about 1 mile to the Gorge Campground.

Take Out: From the Gorge Campground return to FS 14, turn left and proceed downstream to the Lower Bridge.

Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge on the Metolius River

This run is a great beginner to intermediate trip. Experts will enjoy the scenery and there are some waves to surf as well. The water is fast and cold and the river is narrow. There aren't many good eddies either. So this isn't a good run for newbies with a weak roll who are likely to swim.

The first couple of miles are mellow but with fast moving water. You will pass a private resort and a low bridge. After the bridge, the river widens and the walls subside. You'll see a pretty pasture with great views of Mt. Jefferson.

Soon after the meadow there is a sign warning of the dangerous rapids coming up. For kayakers they are not so dangerous, just class II and III. These rapids are read and run which is good because scouting is difficult. The banks are overgrown and there aren't many good rapids.

Not long after the sign you'll encounter your first rapid that could be considered class III. The next class III rapid is about a mile downstream. The final class III rapid is Wizard Falls. It consists of several ledges of lava rock that cinch the river channel down from about 15 feet wide to about 4 feet wide. The bridge to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery ends the rapid. From here to the takeout is farely mellow water with no rapids of any significant difficulty.

Last Edited by josho on 4/26/2011

Towns near Gorge Campround to Lower Bridge Kayaking

Bend Oregon
Camp Sherman Oregon
Eugene Oregon
Madras Oregon
Prineville Oregon
Redmond Oregon
Sisters Oregon
Sunriver Oregon

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Bend Paddle Trail Alliance
  • 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