Other Whitewater Trips on the Clackamas River

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River Shuttle Services:

Hells Canyon Shuttle, Inc
Located in:
Oxbow, OR

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Hell’s Canyon Shuttle, Inc. is a family owned business and has been providing the rafting community of Hell’s Canyon dependable sh (more...)

Paddlesports Shops:

Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Located in:
Bend, OR

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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  :: Clackamas River Oregon  :: Killer Fang Run Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Killer Fang Run Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Clackamas River

View larger map of Killer Fang Run & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!
Killer Fang Run Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Collawash River
Take Out:  Sandstone Bridge
Difficulty:  Class IV , Portage Class VI rapid
Gradient:  41 ft/mi
Run Length:  8.5 miles
Current Streamflow:  1520 cfs @ 12/14/2016 09:00 AM - CLACKAMAS RIVER ABOVE THREE LYNX CREEK, OR, reading taken from USGS
Flow Information (phone):  503-261-9246. Clackamas River at Three Lynx.
Good Level:  1,000 - 4,000 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 
Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, October, November, December
Primary Season: 

Rain fed, and runs during snowmelt

Permit:  None required.
Character/Similar To:  Remote, forested, rocky canyon. Mostly pool-drop.
Hazards:  Scout every rapid on this run. New Fang Rapid, log hazards, cold water.
Land Ownership:  National Forest.
Wilderness:  Yes
Camping on River:  USFS campgrounds along the river.
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), 45 miles Southeast of Portland
Shuttle Logistics: 

Put In: Oregon Highway 224 and USFS Road 46 follow the river providing alternate access points to customize your run. To reach the confluence with the Collawash River take Hwy 224 southeast out of the town of Estacada to Three Lynx power station and then continue about another 8 miles on USFS 46 to the confluence.

Take Out: To reach Sandstone Road Bridge drive about 1/4 of a mile southeast of Three Lynx power station on Hwy 224 to where Sandstone Road intersects with Hwy 224. Take out on river left just upstream of the bridge.

Killer Fang Run on the Clackamas River

This section of the Clackamas River can be a very long 9 miles of a paddler’s life. Don’t attempt to paddle this section unless you are with someone that knows the run very well. In between rapids this section offers great scenery but don’t get caught looking around for to long because the next big rapid could be right around the corner. In the first 2 miles take time to get a solid warm up. This run starts as class II/III with some fun play spots and a few good rapids. After this, the next 2.5 miles pick up and offer some difficult class IV white water.

Mile 2-4.5(Gates Rapid and Hole in the River Rapid): Gates rapid is the first significant drop; look for a line of boulders blocking the flow of the river. Below this is Hole in the River, scout for a large hole on river left. For the next little bit the river makes many sharp turns, scout around these corners for wood.

Mile 4.5(Rocky’s Rapid): This rapid is marked by a sharp right turn were the river crashes into the rock wall, scout this rapid. Below this is Alder Flat Campground, this is a great place to take out if the upper portion of this run is too much for your paddling ability. Beyond the campground the river becomes more difficult. There is also a pay phone a mile down the trail at Ripplebrook Ranger Station in the event of an emergency.

Mile 4.6(Drop Stopper Rapid): This rapid gets its name from a large boulder at the bottom of the rapid in the center. Scout this drop. In the half mile below Dropper Stopper the river makes two sharp turns and crashes into the tall rock walls. Below the second sharp bend is a rapid that goes by the name Prelude. Scout Prelude and the short section below this drop, because after this drop is class VI Killer Fang. Take out and portage Killer Fang on river right, do not attempt this drop because almost all of the water disappears under the rocks.

Below Killer Fang there are two more class IV boulder gardens, Sieve and Rivers Revenge, both should be scouted. There are multiple lines through each but they may contain logs. Beyond this, the river mellows out to class II for the last mile to the take out.

Last Edited by josho on 4/26/2011

Towns near Killer Fang Run Kayaking

Albany Oregon
Clackamas Oregon
Gresham Oregon
Hood River Oregon
Lebanon Oregon
Madras Oregon
Portland Oregon
Salem Oregon
Sandy Oregon
Tualatin 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
  • Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Oregon Vacation & Travel Planner