OwSR No. 7: Middle Fork of the Hood River

Middle Fork of the Hood River

Kayaking the Middle Fork of the Hood River | Photo: Zach Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Mount Hood National Forest (USDA Forest Service)
  • Designated Stretch: Beginning at the confluence of Clear and Coe Branches and ending 3.7 miles downstream
  • Designation Length: 3.7 miles (3.7 miles Scenic)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Geologic/Hydrologic, scenery, and fisheries
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: March 30, 2009

More Information

Celebrated by Zach Collier and Heather Wright on February 20th, 2017 by snowshoeing along the Middle Fork of the Hood on the Parkdale Lava Flow.


John Day SUPTim Thornton: This is a very delightful run that could be classified under the "adventure" or "mini expedition" category and is hard to believe that its right out of Hood Rivers' doorstep. The run is completely hidden from the road and flows through some amazingly scenic views of the micro-canyons, old growth forrest, the ever changing Mt Hood flood debris flows, Mt Hood, Mt Adams (FROM the SAME LOCATION) and the Upper Parkdale Valley. This run would be even better if it had less wood, but just like most Mt Hood streams, logs are numerous and at times relentless. One could only imagine just how incredible this run was prior to the 07 floods. History is now being made while the river is carving out new channels and settling into a new stream-bed. What a beautiful place!

Michael Hughes: I knew pretty much nothing about the Middle Fork of the Hood the day a small group of us decided to swap out our hard shell kayaks for some inflatable ones. With put-in a slight unknown we set off on our adventure. A drive up a windy road, a steep hike down to the river, and we were on the river. This little known river is a spectacular place. Sandwiched between the Parkdale Lava Flow and lush green hill side, this is a place like no other. We bounced and portaged our way down the river. Through boulder gardens of bright red, over log jams, and rocks shifting on the river bed as we floated over top made this place feel unexplored and brand new. What a gem right in Hood River's backyard that few know about.

Kayaking the Middle Fork of the Hood RiverZach Collier: I've paddled an inflatable kayak down this section of the Middle Fork of the Hood a couple times. It would be pretty diffciult in a "hardshell" kayak since the river is very continuous with few eddies and occasional logs across the river. I've found it to be a bit safer inan inflatable kayak since you can easily jump out of your boat to scout and portage logs.

It is a surreal place to kayak. The Parkdale Lava Flow is along the entire right bank providing some unique scenery all the way down. There are many places with striking views of Mount Hood. Even Mount Adams can be seen from the river. Learn more about kayaking the Middle Fork of the Hood River.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 8: Elkhorn Creek >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division