(2.4 miles above Copper Creek--Copper Creek
I think I originally heard about this run from Tim Gross (a prolific local exploring boater). His description of a steep gradient and a big waterfall really whet my appetite to see this one for myself. Only a few glimpses of the creek can be seen from the road because it is down in a steep canyon. I finally soloed it after taking a quick hike down into the steepest section.
River Description (Kayaking)
The run can be divided into two sections: the top 1.4 miles of steep creeking and the bottom mile of Class 3 whitewater. The top section is basically non-stop although at low water there are plenty of eddies where you need them. There are 3 distinct drops in this section with some steep boulder gardens in between the drops. The first drop is a narrow pinch which drops about 6 ft. onto a flat boulder. Oh, and there is probably an undercut stump to avoid on the right. The next drops is an intimidating ledge in a narrow gorge. Once you are at the brink of this one you don't have a lot of options other than to run it. There are some big logs which complicate things but at the right water level the left side is super fun. Don't know how you would portage this one at high water.
Shortly below this gorge there is a 20-25 ft. waterfall that lands very close to the right wall. I've heard that this one has been run but the line is extremely thin. Probably more options at high water. I was able to climb down the left side of the falls and swim through the pool at the bottom to a gravel bar where I was able to get back into my boat. The portage on the right side is also possible.
There is one more drop just below the bridge below the waterfall before the creek opens up and the gradient eases considerably. This section has a few nice Class 2-3 rapids in a pretty canyon.
You'll know the hazards once you get a look at the creek. The wrong water level would make this one extremely hazardous unless the second drop was clean.
How to get there
To get to the take-out, drive upstream on the Mollala River road about 14 miles from the Glen Avon bridge. Stay to the right and continue across the Table Rock Fork of the Mollala and drive until the road ends at a gate before crosses the Nasty Rock Fork. This is the lowest take-out.
To get to the put-in, take the road to the left just before the gate and continue upstream to an old road leading down to the river on the right after a little less than a mile. This can be used as a put-in for the short lower section of a take-out for the upper section. The upper put-in is another mile or so upstream where the road crosses the creek.