Zach 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.
OWSR No. 20: Chetco River
- The entire headwaters are protected within the Kalmiopsis Wilderness
- Important populations of anadromous winter steelhead, fall Chinook salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout
- Incredibly clear water, even after heavy rain events
- Also designated an Oregon State Scenic Waterway
Kayaking the Chetco River in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness | Photo: Zachary Collier
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.