OWSR No. 32: Eagle Creek (Clackamas Watershed)

Kayaking Eagle Creek (Clackamas Watershed)

Kayaking Eagle Creek in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness | Photo: Zach Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Mt Hood National Forest (USFS)
  • Designated Stretch: From headwaters to Mt Hood National Forest boundary
  • Designation Length: 8.3 miles (8.3 miles Wild)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Recreation and botany
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: March 30, 2009

More Information

Celebrated by Zach Collier, Emily Little, Brian Tooley, and Jason Pachura on February 7, 2018 by hiking from Eagle Creek on Eagle Creek Trail #501 and paddling down 3 miles of Eagle Creek in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.


Emily Kayaking Eagle CreekEmily Little: Zach Collier invited me to go explore the lush, beautiful Eagle Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas via hiking with our gear up the trail following the river and then taking our inflatable kayaks down. We started hiking on the wrong trail initially, but soon realized our mistake and turned around and tried again at a different trailhead. As we hiked further along the correct trail, glimpses of the clear blue creek showed through the mossy trees and ferns. The river was never right along the trail, always a bit of a distance away keeping us intrigued about what our paddle down would be like.

After three miles, we found a good spot to access the river from, pumped our duckies up and donned our drysuits and paddle gear. Eagle Creek was beautiful! The water was crystal clear and it contrasted wonderfully with the emerald ferns and bright mossy trees. I was happy to be in an inflatable kayak as there were quite a few log jams we had to quickly hop in and out of our kayaks to portage around. We paddled a couple miles, enjoying the scenery, geology, and whitewater. About a mile from the trailhead, we hiked off the river, put away our gear, and hiked out. It was a fun day combining hiking and paddling! I would love to go back and hike in farther upstream.

Hiking into Eagle Creek on Trail #501Zach Collier: After getting lost on back roads we finally found Eagle Creek Trail #501. From here it was a nice hike one mile down to the creek. The well maintained trail parallels the creek through a stunningly beautiful forest and full of moss and ferns. We hiked a few more miles upstream and pulled our AIRE Bakraft Kayaks from our packs and paddled down the creek.

The Creek was full of fun rapids and a good amount of wood we had to watch out for. There were 3 big logjams that took some effort to get around and another 5-6 logs we had to portage. The rapids were generally Class IV with tons of manuevering and fun little drops. I'm excited to go back and paddle the upstream and downstream sections.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 33: The North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division