Canyon Creek is a classic Oregon creek; it involves a short hike, lots of scouting, great scenery, and lots of wood. At the put in there is a very steep and wooded hike down to the river. The locals told us that some years there is a trail marked with ribbon and other years, like this year, bushwhacking down the canyon is necessary. When doing this hike, be ready to get covered in mud.
Once at river level take a moment to look around at the beautiful canyon walls, and except the fact that down river is the only way out of the canyon. This run starts off with .5 miles of continuous class III warm up before you get to the first drop. The first drop is an 8 foot ledge drop with a boof flake in the middle. This is the first of many fun drops; expect similar drops throughout the run.
Shortly after the first ledge is Osprey Falls. Osprey Falls is a technical class V double drop with extremely large consequences. This drop has two large holes, the second hole is backed by a large undercut rock, and the entire drop is surrounded by sieves. Osprey can be run at all flows, higher flows present more consequences, set up good safety before anyone runs this drop. Scout or portage this on river right.
After Osprey, the gradient of the creek slows down. There are still many fun class IV drops between short sections of continuous class III. This lower section of the creek requires a few portages around log jams. It is very important to scout each horizon line for wood on the lower portions of this run; the unstable conditions of this canyon produce many down trees.
At the take out lots of eddy hopping is necessary because there is a one boat eddy under the take out bridge. Missing the take out eddy results in a long class II paddle until the next take out option is reached.
A good first time level for this run is about 350 cfs, even at lower levels this creek is very continuous class IV+ with few eddies. At levels above 450 cfs this creek becomes continuous class V; it is not recommended to run this creek for the first time at high water.