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North Santiam River Oregon - River Trips for Kayaking & Canoeing North Santiam River
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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Oregon River Trips  :: North Santiam River Oregon

Kayaking & Canoeing North Santiam River Oregon

Bruno Mountain
 photos of Bruno Mountain  map of Bruno Mountain
Put-in:  Bruno Mtn. Road
Take-out:  Blowout Road
Difficulty:  Class III, III+
Length:  7 miles
Big Cliff Dam to Packsaddle County Park
 videos of Big Cliff Dam to Packsaddle County Park  map of Big Cliff Dam to Packsaddle County Park
Put-in:  Below Big Cliff Dam
Take-out:  Packsaddle County Park
Difficulty:  Class III (V) Portage
Length:  5 miles
Packsaddle County Park to Fisherman's Bend County
 photos of Packsaddle County Park to Fisherman's Bend County  videos of Packsaddle County Park to Fisherman's Bend County  map of Packsaddle County Park to Fisherman's Bend County
Put-in:  Packsaddle County Park
Take-out:  Fisherman's Bend County Park (closed in the winter
Difficulty:  Class II+ - IV depending on flow
Length:  6.5 miles
Fisherman's Bend County Park to Mehema
 map of Fisherman's Bend County Park to Mehema
Put-in:  Fisherman's Bend County Park
Take-out:  Under the bridge on Oregon 226 between Lyons and M
Difficulty:  Class II (III at high flows)
Length:  8 miles
Little N. Santiam - Upper
 map of Little N. Santiam - Upper
Put-in:  Salmon Falls
Take-out:  Elkhorn Valley Rec Site
Difficulty:  Class II, III
Length:  6.5 miles
Little N. Santiam - Lower
 map of Little N. Santiam - Lower
Put-in:  Elkhorn Valley Rec Site
Take-out:  Mehama
Difficulty:  Class III, IV
Length:  10 miles
Mehama to Stayton
 map of Mehama to Stayton
Put-in:  Mehama
Take-out:  Stayton
Difficulty:  Class II-
Length:  10.5 miles
Stayton to Jefferson
 map of Stayton to Jefferson
Put-in:  Stayton
Take-out:  Jefferson
Difficulty:  Class I+
Length:  19 miles


The North Santiam River is considered one of the best late summer and fall kayaking and whitewater rafting runs in the state of Oregon. With plenty of exciting Class III rapids, lush riverside scenery and a relaxing atmosphere, this is river a popular trip for those who live in nearby Salem or Portland. 

This river is a 92-mile tributary of the Santiam River and originates high in the Cascades near Mount Jefferson and swiftly moves through a peaceful forested valley. With vine maples, Douglas firs and large boulders in the river, the North Santiam is an example of quintessential Oregon scenery. Rafters will glide through crystal-clear water where they can still see rocks and fish at the bottom of the river, fifteen feet below. Wildlife includes deer, grouse, mink and even river otters.

For those interested in geology, there is volcanic rock scattered throughout the river valley, which predates that of the volcanic mountains in the distance. And for those who want a peek into Oregon’s history, many kayaking trips end at Mill City, a small town that grew up around the lumber mills of John Shaw.

The North Santiam is impounded by Detroit Dam from Detroit Lake for flood control, and there is a second season for this river in the fall when the dam is released to make room for winter rains. Boaters can count on spectacular scenery as the leaves change color and the light softens, making this one of the best times of year to explore the North Santiam.

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North Santiam River Oregon - River Trips for Kayaking & Canoeing North Santiam River
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