Zach Collier: My first Illinois trip was as a training guide for ARTA in 2004. I was certainly impressed by it's whitewater and scenery but what really caugh my attention were the flowers. There were many I had never seen and it was nice to once again find Darlingtonia (Pitcher Plants) after seeing them many times before on the North Fork of the Smith River. What really blew me away was finding wild iris. We were doing a short hike across from Collier Creek and found a bunch of iris along the river. I'd never seen an iris growing wildly and now every time I see one I think of that time at Collier Creek.
OwSR No. 15: Illinois River
- Flows through the northern end of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness
- The wild section from Briggs Creek to Nancy Creek is the most remote and difficult multi-day rafting trip in the United States
- Famous for it's blue-green water color
- One of two river systems in Oregon where there’s been no hatchery supplementation programs - i.e. its salmon, steelhead and cuttthroat trout populations are relatively rare in that their genetics have not been mucked about with
- Salmon and steelhead refuge
- Home to the Darlingtonia Californica as well as other rare and endangered plants
Kayaking on the Illinois River below Klondike Creek | Photo: Zach Collier
Celebrated by Barry McKenzie, Tom Fliss, Matt Curry, Zander Davis, and Zach Collier by paddling from Miami Bar to Oak Flat on April 30 to May 2, 2017.