Upper Klamath – Class II, III, & IV
The Upper Klamath is a Class II, III, & IV run from the Spring Island River Access Point and winds its way through Hell’s Canyon to the Access 6 Take-Out
Mile 0.0 – Spring Island Klamath River Access: River Right. This Put-In is a pretty rough road, and we definitely recommend a high clearance 4WD vehicles. The put-in is just downstream of the J.C. Boyle Powerhouse. The water usually has brown, foamy, “root beer” look to it, caused by algae from Klamath Lake.. Klamath Lake is sitting just behind the J.C. Boyle Dam, so the water is relatively warm.
Mile 0.89 – Osprey Rapid: Class III. Read and run rapid, keep your eyes peeled for Osprey nests and Osprey. Look towards the tops of the trees on river left for your best chance.
Mile 4.97 – Frain Ranch Put-In: River Left. Another put-in comes in on river left. This is also a very rough road, and is only passable by high clearance 4WD vehicles
Mile 5.76 – Caldera Rapid: Class IV. This is a long rapid that we recommend you scout. Scouting can be done on river left. The typical run is to the left, but mindful of a very large pourover/hole on river left called “The Mushroom”. After the Mushroom, work left again to avoid some shallow rocks on river right. At this point, the rapid is full of rockin’ waves, and holes, so stay on your toes!
Mile 6.38 – Bermuda Triangle Rapid: Class III. Enter Bermuda left of center (lots of rocks to the right). There’s a big wave on the bottom left and right of this rapid.
Mile 6.61 – Branding Iron Rapid: Class III. Like many rapids on the Upper Klamath, Branding Iron is a big wave train. However, about 2/3 of the way down is a large wave, that you’ll definitely want to hit straight.
Mile 6.94 – Satan’s Gate Rapid: Class IV. The river bends to the right in this long rapid. Rocks on both river left and right force a down the middle entrance. Work right (keep your eye out for holes) to avoid a large sieve on river left roughly halfway through this rapid. There is a nice eddy to catch on river right after this rapid, which you should catch, as Hell’s Corner is just around the bend.
Mile 7.16 – Hell’s Corner Rapid: Class IV. This is an epic rapid. Luckily you can scout the entire thing from river right (which is recommended). Over the course of around a half-mile, the river bends to the right, then to the left, then finally back to the right. In general, you’ll want to stay to the right, especially towards the middle of this rapid, as the current will push you left into shallow, impassable rocks. At the bottom of this rapid, you’ll see and eddy on river right, which you’ll want to catch to take a look at the Dragon (2 large pour overs just downstream of this eddy).
Mile 7.42 – Fluffy Bunny Rapid: Class IV. Known by some as “The Dragon”, just downstream of the Hell’s Corner eddy, there’s a large pour over on river right, keep left of this, then enjoy some fun waves for this splashy Class III+! Watch out for 2 submerged boulders at the bottom right of this rapid.
Mile 7.61 – Jackass Rapid: Class III. Enter right for this read-and-run rapid to stay clear of boulders on river left.
Mile 7.81 – Scar Face Rapid: Class III. Enter left of center for a fun large drop! Watch out for some boulders in center channel.
Mile 8.02 – Dance Hall Rapid: Class III. The river bends to the right and splits into 2 channels going around an island,.Stay in the left channel, but keep inside on this turn. Lots of fun waves at the bottom of this rapid!
Mile 8.15 – Ambush Rapid: Class III. Rocks at the top right of Ambush force a left entrance. Stay left and hit the big waves straight!
Mile 8.24 – Ol’ Bushwhacker Rapid: Class III. Run Ol’ Bushwhacker down the middle, and enjoy an awesome wave train!
Mile 8.43 – Salt Caves: River Left. On River left, you’ll see some beautiful caves with salt that has precipitated out of the walls. This is a native sacred site, so there is no stopping allowed. Please be respectful!
Mile 8.66 – Rainbow Rock Rapid: Class II. Rainbow Rock is read-and-run rapid
Mile 9.21 – Captain Jack Rapid: Class III. Captain Jack is a read-and-run rapid as the river bends to the right.
Mile 9.74 – Snag Island Rapid: Class IV. Snag Island is a long fun rapid. A gentle left bend suddenly sharpens to the left. Stay inside on this turn to avoid getting pushed into the riverbank.
Mile 10.23 – Wolf Camp: River Right. Good spot to camp on river right.
Mile 10.46 – Wells Fargo Rapid: Class III. The river again splits into 2 channels around an island in the middle of the river. Stay to the right channel at most flows, then work to the left.
Mile 10.77 – No Look Falls Rapid: Class II. Read-and-run rapid.
Mile 10.85 – Don’t Kill The Piano Player Rapid: Class II. Read-and-run rapid.
Mile 11.05 – Stateline Falls Rapid: Class III. Straddling the Oregon-California border is Class III Stateline Falls. River bends to the left, lots of fun waves. Just downstream is a surf wave, so be ready to eddy out. Welcome home if you’re a Californian!
Mile 11.12 – California Beach Boys Surf Wave: River Right. This is a fun surf wave just downstream of Stateline Falls. There are eddies on both river right and left. It’s worth hitting this wave!
Mile 11.23 – Stateline Access: River Left. Take-Out point on river left. Tough access, especially compared to Access 6.
Mile 11.87 – Arden’s Folly Rapid: Class II. Read and run rapid (stay alert though, it is possible to wrap a boat here, which would be an unfortunate end to your day.)
Mile 12.15 – Access 6 Take-Out: River Left. Take out on river left at Access 6. You’ll stay on Ager Beswick Road for quite some time. It winds in tandem with the Upper Klamath, and is quite scenic.