Blue River is a classic example Oregon class IV creek boating. It’s a short section of river packed with many fun rapids, always has new wood, and it is all roadside. The action starts as soon as you peel out of the put in eddy with some read and run class III+/IV- whitewater. At lower water the river takes on a pool drop character, but at high water it is very continuous with few eddies.
There are many significant rapids on this run, most go unnamed. About half way through the run is a drop called “Pincushion”; this is the hardest rapid of the day. At flows below 500cfs it can be run down the left side and around the corner. Above 500 cfs there are two different lines. The left line has a fun boof into a sticky pour over and lines you up well to make the airplane turn at the bottom. The right line requires a strong ferry through some boily water into the middle of the airplane turn. Each line offers its own challenges.
Every rapid on this section is easily runnable as long as it does not contain wood, always scout for wood. About .5 miles above the take out there is a mandatory portage around a river wide log. The log is easily seen from river level shortly after you float underneath the bridge, portage on river right. Take out is on river left once you have reached the reservoir. For an extra thrill you can hike a short distance up Lookout Creek and run a fun class IV slide underneath the bridge. This slide can only be run during the fall because in the spring it is in the reservoir. For a long day Blue River can be linked with Quartz Creek, located a few miles down highway 126.