ORWS No. 3: Fish Creek

Kayaking on Fish Creek

Kayaking on Fish Creek | Photo: Zachary Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Mt. Hood National Forest (USDA Forest Service)
  • Designated Stretch: Headwwaters to confluence with Clackamas River
  • Length: 13.5 miles (13.5 miles Recreational)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Fisheries

More Information

Celebrated by Michael Hughes and Beth Payne on January 19th 2017 by driving up a snowy Fish Creek Road in hopes of enough water to paddle.


Michael Hughes: After a snowy drive around Mt. Hood from Hood River to paddle the Clackamas there was still day light to explore and maybe sneak in a quick paddle. Driving up Fish Creek Road was no easy task. Deep, slushy, and really slippery snow made for a bit of an exciting drive up as we scouted from the road. My fingers were crossed there was going to be enough water to paddle. We stopped to checked out what looked like a pretty new down tree across the entire creek and determined if we paddled there was a big enough eddy well above we could get out and portage if needed. The drive continued to get worse as the snow got deeper, more three limbs to drive over, and it was looking too low to paddle. We stopped at a clearing to slide and post holed our way down to the rivers edge. So close to being enough water to float but not this time. I am going to keep my eyes on this one for the next rain.

Zach on a cataraft on Fish CreekZach Collier: My first time attending the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival was 2008. With 10,000 cfs in the Clackamas River it was the highest river flow in 25 years of the festival. For each event we slid our rafts down the Fish Creek Boat Ramp and into the Clackamas River and raced about a mile down to the finish line at Carter Bridge. While we were preparing for the Cataraft Slalom my friend Bruce (and fellow competitor) convinced me to drive a few minutes up Fish Creek and launch on Fish Creek instead. With raging high water I was able to launch my 16' cataraft on Fish Creek and row it about a mile down to the confluence with the Clackamas River. Our timed cataraft race started at the confluence with Fish Creek and the Clackamas River just below the Fish Creek Boat Ramp. Did Bruce beat me? Yes.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 4: The Salmon River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division