OwSR No. 13: South Fork John Day River

South Fork John Day River

South Fork John Day River | Photo: Zach Collier

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Prineville District (BLM)
  • Designated Stretch: Malheur National Forest Boundary to confluence with Smoky Creek
  • Designation Length: 47 miles (47 miles Recreational)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Scenery, recreation, fish, wildlife, and botanical resorces
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: October 28, 1988

More Information

Celebrated by Heather Wright and Zach Collier on March 27, 2017 by driving up the South Fork John Day Road.


Izee Falls on the South Fork of the John Day RiverZach Collier: Among whitewater paddlers this tributary of the John Day River is not very well known. This is probably because it's quite remote, follows a road, and rarely has enough water. When we visited there was plenty of water to paddle but we left our kayaks at home.

Since there's a road next to this river we drove along and took a few hikes. The best stop was along the 45 foot Izee Falls. As the river makes a left bend it drops over a jumble of boulders.

We didn't see another person as we enjoyed this beautiful river canyon.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 14: North Fork Smith River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division