The Roaring River is a National Wild and Scenic River that flows through the Roaring River Wilderness. This tributary of the Clackamas River has some tricky logistics but is well worth it if you like non-stop Class IV whitewater. This is a mini expedition and it's a good idea to get an early start even though it's only 3.4 miles of river.

Your day begins by leaving a car the confluence of the Roaring River and Clackamas River. Here you'll want to walk upstream and check out the rapids. Much of the run is like what you'll see here so if the river flow and style of rapids looks great, you'll enjoy the rest of the run. By following a faint trail and a little bushwhacking you can also walk up and scout Rock Star, one of the bigger rapids on the run.

Beginning of hike at Road 4611

Beginning of hike at Road 4611

The drive to the end of Road 4611 can be tricky. Driving directions are well described on OregonKayaking.net but you should also have a good map and even a GPS. Once you get to the end of the road it's a mile hike down to the river. The trail can be hard to follow because very people use it and it's becoming overgrown. Bushwhacking down to the river is probably a bad idea so it's a good idea to find the trail for the final switchback descent.

Trip Highlights

Mile -1.: Begin your hike down the river at the end of Road 4611.

Hiking down to Roaring River

Hiking down to Roaring River

Mile 0: Put-in at where the trail meets the Roaring River.

Mile 0.3 First Rapid (III) is a good warm up. The river runs into a basalt cliff and doglegs to the left.

Mile 0.45: Head Knocker (V) is the first rapid that comes up after the river bends to the right. There is a logjam halfway down that captures wood so it definitely needs to be scouted. It's a long scout and/or portage on the left.

Log Jam in the middle of Head Knocker Rapid on Roaring River

Log Jam in the middle of Head Knocker Rapid on Roaring River

Mile 1.8: Gabe's Hole (IV+) is a series of three drops over bedrock. The third drop has a sticky ledge hole and should be scouted and/or portaged. You can scout on either side.

Inflatable Kayak in the 2nd drop on Gabes Hole

Inflatable Kayak in the 2nd drop on Gabes Hole

Mile 2.5: Maple Hole (IV+) is a fun rapid with a sizeable hole at higher flows. Look for a bedrock outcropping that funnels the river to a narrow drop.

Mile 3.1: After the river bends to the left, look for Rock Star (IV+) which should be scouted. You can also walk up from take-out to check his one out. The final rapids below here are quite fun and continuous.

Inflatable Kayak at Rock Star Rapid on Roaring River

Inflatable Kayak at Rock Star Rapid on Roaring River

Mile 3.4: Take-out at the Roaring River Campground or a the confluence with the Clackamas River.

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