OWSR No. 20: Chetco River

Kayaking Carter Falls during the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival

Kayaking the Chetco River in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness | Photo: Zachary Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (USFS)
  • Designated Stretch: Headwaters to Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Boundary
  • Designation Length: 44.5 miles (27.5 miles Wild, 8 miles Scenic, and 11 miles Recreational)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Water quality, fisheries, and recreation
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: October 28, 1988
  • More Photos: Chetco River Flickr Album

More Information

Celebrated by Zach Collier, Emily Little, Larry Little, Courtney Donald, Thomas Bauerschmidt-Sweeney, Aaron Darrell, AJ Darreel, and Dan Hogan by paddling from Carter Creek to Tolman Ranch on June 4-9, 2017.


J.R. Weir padding the Chetco RiverZach Collier: Every river trip on the Chetco River is an adventure, but my first trip was particularly adventurous. We started at McCaleb Ranch on the Illinois River and hiked up to Chetco Pass where we tried to hike down to the Chetco River. The trail was grown over and hard to follow so we ended up spending the night along upper Slide Creek. The next day we spent 8 hours dragging our kayaks down Slide Creek to the Chetco River. It was brutally difficult to reach the river but once we arrived we were in heaven. At 1200 cfs we were able to run all of the rapids except for one. We spent two nights on the river and finished our trip at the Steel Bridge.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 21: The Zigzag River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division