Mile 1.5(Big Falls): For the First 1.5 Miles the river consists of class III read and run until you reach an obvious horizon line. This horizon line is an unrunnable 18 foot waterfall called Big Falls. This waterfall can be portaged on either side of the river.
Mile 4(Steelhead Falls): After a few more miles of class III the river presents its next big horizon line, Steelhead Falls. This waterfall can be portaged and scouted on either side of the river. The 18 foot falls can be run at all levels. Run this drop on the left side of the horseshoe and land with slight left angle. For 2 miles below this waterfall the river flattens out and offers great scenery.
Mile 6: As the canyon walls grow, the gradient of the river begins to steepen. For the next 2 miles the river offers class III – IV boulder gardens that are easily boat scouted. Scouting is possible from either side with minimal hiking. One of the larger rapids in this section is called Leslie’s Bailout. This is a long class IV boulder garden with one strong left to right ferry at the entrance. After the first move the rapid can be run center or far right. If ran right be cautious for wood and catch lots of eddies. Below Leslie’s Bailout is one of the steepest drops in the canyon. At the end of a long pool you will find a obvious horizon line. Enter this rapid anywhere just make sure to avoid the two holes on river left.
Mile 8(Squaw Creek Rapid): This rapid is obvious because of the large river canyon that meets the Deschutes on river left. When Squaw Creek is low the rapid is a long boulder garden with lots of eddies for boat scouting. If Squaw Creek is high the rapid turns in to a fast wave train with two holes at the bottom that can be avoided by going to either side of the river. Below this there are several more class IV drops that can be easily boat scouted.
Mile 8.5(Squaw Creek Holes): There are two ways to spot the next large ledge drop. First, the rapid above ends in a fun seam that can mystery move a large creek boat. The other is a very obvious narrowing of the river and a large horizon line. This drop can be scouted and portaged on river left. The main ledge can be run on either side. If running left, boof into a small eddy just behind the drop. If running right, plug the green water. The ledge creates a strong hydraulic that gets worse at higher flows. Immediately below the ledge is the second hole that should be avoided on either side. Running left and boofing into the eddy is a great place to watch carnage.
Mile 12.5: Below the Squaw Creek Holes there is a number of class III-IV drops followed by short pools. The next sizeable rapid is marked by a river wide log high enough to paddle underneath. Paddle under the log left of the small rock to find a fun boof rock that, if hit right, will send you flying into the last rapid. For the next half mile the gradient quickly flattens out and the river is dumped into the lake.
Mile 14.2(Take out): The flat water in Lake Billy Chinook presents some of the best scenery on the run. Tall canyon walls and occasional sightings of bald eagles make the long paddle out worth the entire run. Take out is on river right just under the bridge.