The Upper West Fork of the Hood River is rarely done since the take out is a steep scramble up a steep hill before a vertically walled Class V+ rapid. If you don't mind a little extra work this section of river is well worth that effort.

The Upper West Fork of the Hood River begins with a fun basalt gorge

The Upper West Fork of the Hood River begins with a fun basalt gorge

This short run is in a steep walled canyon with a bunch of fun rapids. The action is continuous Class II and III punctuated with some straightforward Class IV rapids. Wood is common here so take your time to scout each drop carefully.

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: Put in where Lolo Pass Road (NF-18) crosses the West Fork of the Hood River. There is a short warm up section before a running some back to back drops in a basalt gorge.

Typical rapid on the Upper West Fork of the Hood River

Typical rapid on the Upper West Fork of the Hood River

Mile 2.2: Catch a small eddy on the left before a nasty rapid in a vertically walled gorge. You're not going to want to miss this eddy so pay close attention as you get towards the end. This is a 2-3 boat eddy so proper boat spacing above is important.

From the take-out eddy, you can climb out of the canyon to a dirt road or portage the big rapid and continue down the classic West Fork of the Hood River. The mile or so below the portage and the beginning of the classic West Fork is fairly straightforward Class III.

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