Other Whitewater Trips on the Santiam River - South Fork

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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...)

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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  :: Santiam River - South Fork Oregon  :: Mountain House to Foster Lake Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Mountain House to Foster Lake Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Santiam River - South Fork

Mountain House to Foster Lake Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Mountain House Cafe
Take Out:  Foster Lake
Difficulty:  Class IV , Class V + , Portage
Gradient:  45 fpm
Run Length:  19 miles
Current Streamflow:  1260 cfs @ 12/14/2016 09:30 AM - SOUTH SANTIAM RIVER BELOW CASCADIA, OR, reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  800 - 3,000 cfs
Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December
Primary Season:  Rainy, this section of river only runs after a few days of heavy rain
Permit:  None presently required
Character/Similar To:  Mostly pool drop rapids roadside in a very scenic canyon. Some areas have class IV/V drops while other areas of this stretch have class I/II
Hazards:  There are many drops on this river that should be scouted and possibly portaged. All these drops can scouted from either the road or the river, Longbow Falls, The Monster, Crawdad, Tomco, The Plug, and Tree Farm.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan
Land Ownership:  Some public forest with a few private homes near the river
Location:  In the Pacific Region (OR), of
Shuttle Logistics: 

It is possible to run different sections of this 19 mile stretch because there are many access points along the river.

Put In at Mountain House: From Albany head east on US 20. The Mountain House Café is located about 24 miles east of Sweet Home. Put in just upriver of Mountain House were the river is visible from the road.

Put In and Take Out at Trout Creek: 3 Miles down river from Mountain House another possible access point is on river right before the river goes under the US 20 bridge.

Put In and Take Out at Cascadia State Park: From the US 20 bridge continue down river on US 20 for 5 miles until Cascadia State Park. The access point is inside the park.

Take Out at Foster Lake: 8 miles down river of Cascadia State Park is the Lowermost take out at Foster Lake. Continue down US 20 until Quartzville Drive, just off Quartzville Drive there is a river access point at Calkins Park on river left.

Mountain House to Foster Lake on the Santiam River - South Fork

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.

Last Edited by doldfield on 3/25/2010

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