Length: 2.4 miles
Flows: 500 – 2000 cfs (Class V above 2000cfs)
Gradient: 38 ft/mi (max 78 ft/mi)
Put-in: Middle Fork Gorge River Access
Take-out: Smith River Boat Launch or Jed Smith
Shuttle: 2.3 miles on paved road
Oregon Hole Gorge (Also referred to as the Middle Fork Gorge) is a classic run on the Smith River. It involves four distinct rapids which change drastically with varying water levels.
Most of the rapids in this rocky gorge can be scouted from paved turnouts along Highway 199. The last rapid, Oregon Hole, is difficult to scout from the road by can be scouted from river level.
There are four distinct rapids in the gorge with adequate recovery pools at moderate flows (about 1000 cfs). At higher flows the first three rapids merge together and the fourth, Oregon Hole, becomes fierce.
The third rapid tends to be the most difficult. There are undercut walls and caves in this rapid that should be taken seriously. At most flows you can catch an eddy on the right side above it to carefully scout and set safety.
The run can be done on its own as a quick dose of adrenalin or it can be done as a continuation of the Mary Adams Run. If you like logistics and driving around with rafts (or kayaks) on top of your car it is also fun to combine this run with a float down the South Fork Gorge for a fun filled day. This will qualify you for a “Two Forks in a Day” patch.