Mountain House to Trout Creek Campground: This section is only 3 miles long and is a great section for class II kayakers. At low water this section is very shallow and technical, at high water levels this is fast pool drop class II.
Trout Creek to US 20 Bridge: This 3 mile section consists of warm up class II rapids with short flatwater sections in between. Longbow Falls is the most challenging rapid on this run, the rapid is a 3 foot ledge drop with a turbulent run out. Scout this drop from the road on the shuttle drive.
US 20 Bridge to Cascadia: This 5 mile section of class III/IV is the bread and butter of the South Santiam. This section has mostly large boulder gardens that require good boat handling skills, but it also contains three class IV+ rapids and one class V+.
Mile 2(The Monster and Crawdad Rapids): 2 miles into the run you will arrive at The Monster, this is a class IV+ drop with class V+ consequences. The Monster can be portaged either river right or river left, scout this drop carefully before running it. Just below The Monster is Crawdad Rapids, this drop is a fun twisty rapid that deserves a scout.
Mile 3(Tomco Falls): Tomco Falls is a 5 to 10 foot double drop, scout this drop by walking a short distance off US 20 .5 miles upstream of the Canyon Creek turn off.
Mile 4(The Plug Rapid): This rapid is the entrance drop to a very narrow canyon that continues for the rest of the run. Scout this drop from just upstream of the confluence with Canyon Creek, because the entrance is so narrow it often contains wood.
Mile 5(Take Out at Cascadia State Park): Once out of the gorge take out on river right on a gravel bar just upstream of the bridge.
Cascadia State Park to Foster Lake: This 8 mile section of river is mostly flat water with a handful of class II rapids and one class IV called Tree Farm Rapid. Expect Tree Farm Rapid after a 2 mile long flatwater section. Scout this drop from either side of the river inside Tree Farm Park.