The Middle Fork of the Hood was a newly discovered “classic” just before the floods of November 2006 devastated it's watershed. The riverbed has changed a bit and there is wood throughout the run but the gradient is still there and it’s runnable if you can catch micro eddies above dangerous strainers and don’t mind portaging.

Typical log choked rapid on the Middle Fork of the Hood River

Typical log choked rapid on the Middle Fork of the Hood River

The first mile or so is a bit of a bushwhack through logjams. After the logjams decrease in frequency the whitewater is actually quite fun. The Middle Fork joins the East Fork upstream of Dee.

Fun whitewater on the Middle Fork of the Hood River

Fun whitewater on the Middle Fork of the Hood River | Photo courtesy of River Drifters.

Although the rapids are all Class IV (other than the portages) paddling this run requires solid boat scouting and water reading skills. An inflatable kayak is preferable to a hardshell kayak due to the continuous nature of the run and the many times you’ll need to get in and out of your boat.

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: Put in at the Red Hill Bridge near Parkdale. This bridge was replaced after the November 2006 floods which washed out the previous one which has still never been found.

Mile 2.2: Portage around a narrow slot in the river full of rocks and trees. Below here is a fun gorged up section of continuous whitewater.

One of the particularly fun portages on the Middle Fork of the Hood River

One of the particularly fun portages on the Middle Fork of the Hood River | Photo courtesy of River Drifters.

Mile 3.1: Portage an unrunnable 10’ waterfall with a small eddy above it. This comes soon after the river takes a hard right bend followed by some buildings on river left.

Unrunnable waterfall on the Middle Fork of the Hood River

Unrunnable waterfall on the Middle Fork of the Hood River | Photo courtesy of River Drifters.

Mile 4.5: Confluence with the East Fork of the Hood River.

Mile 5.4: Recommended portage at the partially removed dam in Dee. It was built to power an old Oregon Lumber Company Mill.

The Dam at Dee on the East Fork of the Hood River

The Dam at Dee on the East Fork of the Hood River | Photo courtesy of River Drifters.

Mile 5.7: Take out downstream of the bridge in Dee or continue down the Dee to Tucker section of the Hood River.

Please Add Your Thoughts!