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Category: Trip Reports

Hiking through the South Kalmiopsis

Chrome Creek is a tributary of the National Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River. Located in the Southern Oregon Kalmiopsis Wilderness, it is also a proposed Wild and Scenic River. A group of Northwest Rafting Company guides decided to spend five days exploring why it deserves protection. Our hard work to access this remote place was rewarded by experiencing a pristine wilderness ecosystem complete with stunning views, carnivorous plants, and crystal clear water. Important Note: These headwater areas are threatened by Port Orford Cedar Root… Read More

Much of my guiding career was spent working with my friend Vladimir Gavrilov on California’s Tuolumne River. Vlad lived in the Soviet Union before moving to the U.S. in 1991 and explored many of its whitewater rivers. I joined him in the Sayan Mountains of southern Siberia for a commercial trip the Kaa-Khem River in 2001. After that trip I wanted to see more rivers of the former Soviet Union. After watching some of Vlad’s videos from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan I decided it was time to… Read More

Crater Lake

Our 4-day Rogue River overnight trip packs in plenty of excitement, relaxation, nature’s beauty, and quality time with family and friends for one vacation. If you would like to extend your trip, I have a great road-trip itinerary suggestion below. This route follows along the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway. Crater Lake National Park After leaving Galice Resort and saying goodbye to your guides, it’s time to head towards the iconic Crater Lake National Park. The only National Park in the state of Oregon, this beautiful park… Read More

Kayaking on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is so well-known that it is simply referred to as the “Middle Fork.” It has jaw-dropping scenery, world-class fishing, hot springs, great camp sites, and wildlife. Whitewater kayakers appreciate the continuous whitewater punctuated with a few big rapids each day. There are also some great play spots and tons of catch-on-the-fly surf waves. What to Expect Beginning at the Boundary Creek Launch Site, the whitewater is continuous and challenging through Pistol Creek Rapid at mile 22. Below Pistol Creek… Read More

Rafting and Kayaking the Wallowa River

Tucked into the Northeast corner or Oregon, tumbling out of the Blue Mountains, is the Grande Ronde River. A gem for rafters and kayakers looking for multi-day trip with excellent camps, awesome wildlife, and spectacular big canyon views. This is a unique trip because it actually starts on the Wallowa River, enters the Grande Ronde 9 miles into the trip, and finishes at the confluence with the Wenaha River at Troy. All three are designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers. With snowpack around parts of… Read More

Inflatable Kayaking in Bhutan

Last year I was shown photos of the headwaters of the Mo Chhu (Female River) near Laya, Bhutan revealing a section of the river that could potentially be kayaked. I immediately began planning a recce. At home we call this a first descent while Bhutan it’s referred to a “recce,” a trip to see if a river is feasible for other groups. It is a unique experience to paddle a river that nobody has ever done. The pre-trip planning requires extensive map work as well as… Read More

Kayaking the Chetco River

It is truly an honor to outfit trips on the Chetco River through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. This extraordinary trip begins with a 10 mile hike (with a heavy pack) to the river followed by 20 miles of paddling Class III and IV rapids (and some portages) in an inflatable kayak. It’s a challenging journey but you are rewarded with absolute solitude and beauty. Last week a few hardy souls joined us to make this epic journey at a flow of 500 cfs. The Hike First of… Read More

Day 2 on the Wenaha River

Yesterday I finished a special trip down Oregon’s Wenaha River. This beautiful stream is a tributary to Grande Ronde River that flows through the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. This river is only paddled a handful of times each year since it’s only accessible by trail. Everything for the trip must be carried in by foot. Day 1 We began at the Elk Flat Trailhead and packed our gear 5 miles down to the South Fork of the Wenaha River. When we arrived there was just enough water in… Read More

Located just to the south of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Josephine Creek is a remote and stunning tributary to the Illinois River. Paddling this creek has been an alluring, yet challenging goal, pieced together over the last few years by several motivated individuals. I am fortunate to have been part of this story by enjoying a sunny first descent of the 2.6 miles above previously ran sections. Although Southern Oregon is home to several kayakers and whitewater enthusiasts, Josephine Creek remains a hidden piece of whitewater because of… Read More

The North Fork of Rough and Ready Creek

Rough and Ready Creek is a tributary of the upper Illinois River. I fell in love with it after my initial visit in 2011 and subsequently returned three more times to paddle this uniquely special creek. My most recent expedition with NWRC guides Nate Wilson and Ryan Saevitz involved carrying our gear for a day and a half to paddle it’s remote upper reaches. The most challenging part of running this upper section is being there when the conditions are right. You need to go in… Read More