liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Trip Report: McKenzie River

Back now. Was a very fine weekend adventure. The McKenzie River is a lot like the Nantahala, fast and cold and fresh clear green. We visited Cougar Hotsprings (4 pools, clothing optional, 1/4 mile hike, near the Reservoir, $5/head to the USFS to get in) and did a hike to the top of Castle Mountain. Susan rode her bike down from Castle and for once was on a trail all by herself. She also rode about 25 miles of the McKenzie River trail, which is a heavily used singletrack. I hiked to places that I could jump naked into the river or creeks. We paddled from the Paradise Campground down to the covered bridge in Rainbow, about 9 miles class II continuous. Lots of great surfing waves and some nice holes too. I got the feel of the boat again, was no longer afraid, was able to frolick properly and catch waves on the fly. The flow I'd guess was 900-1,000 at Paradise, more like 1,200-1,500 at the covered bridge, as the tribs were gushing. Best campsites at Paradise are 19, 51, 54, 55, 56 (river access). A good boating store in Eugene is Oregon River Sports, they did us right.

This is the bottom two pools of Cougar hotspring.

Tags: biking, kayak, oregon, river, whitewater

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