Guidebook Title

Rock Creek
(1.5 Miles above Steep Creek to 3.5 Miles Below Steep Creek)

Upper Upper Washougal Info BoxRock Creek is a great run located conveniently close to Portland. Much smaller than the Wind River just to the west, Rock Creek offers a great intermediate run with several tougher rapids and a couple big waterfalls. At low flows there are ample eddies and most of the rapids are rocky. Hold onto your helmet at high flows as eddies disappear and the rapids develop quite some push. Great fun but be careful!

River Description (Kayak/Canoe/Raft) Immediately below the put-in at the road bridge the river contains some small boulder gardens and usually some logs to portage. Shortly though, the river consolidates into some fun ledge slides and small drops. About 1 mile from the bridge the river drops around a sharp right turn and enters a small gorge with an 8-foot ledge at the head of the gorge. This ledge is very difficult to scout from the river. Usually run by boofing down the middle. Shortly after this scenic gorge boaters reach a nasty 10-foot drop which is followed immediately by Heaven and Hell, a sloping 25-foot waterfall. Scout/portage both these drops on the left. There are several fun seal launches back to the river if boaters decide to portage these drops.

After some fun boulder gardens below the next road bridge the river slows for a mile or so before picking up again. Be careful here as just below a fun boulder garden with a riverwide hole at the bottom is Three Swim Falls, a very difficult 15-foot waterfall which drops into a narrow crack with undercuts. The eddy on the left above the falls is small and can be difficult to catch at higher flows so be cautious. Put-in above or below the next boulder garden, class 5, depending on your mood. More fun rapids continue all the way to the take-out including a great series of sliding ledges about 0.25 miles from the end of the run. There is a fun play-hole just below the take-out bridge.

Heaven and Hell and Three Swim Falls are commonly portaged on the left. Portage the nasty 10-foot ledge above Heaven and Hell. The eddy above Three Swim Falls is small, particularly at higher flows.

How to get there
Take-Out (GPS: 45o43.440'N, 121o56.060'W)
From the west end of Stevenson take Rock Creek Drive east 0.6 miles to Ryan Allen Drive. Turn right and follow Ryan Allen Drive 0.5 miles to Red Bluff. Turn left and travel about 2.3 miles to a road on the right that leads down to the river. This is the take-out.

Put-In (GPS: 45o45.354'N, 122o00.609'W)
To reach the put-in, return to the main road and turn right. The put-in is at the 2nd road bridge. An alternate put-in is at the first road bridge.

Visual. Much of the first 1.5 miles can be seen from the road. The level can also be estimated from the bridge over the river in Stevenson on Rock Creek Drive. If there is water flowing through the bushes on the gravel bar in the center of the river there is plenty of water upstream.

More Info
Check out Jason's description of this run.