Saturday, January 22, 2005

Canyon Creek -- EF Lewis

Canyon Creek is wonderful little creek that flows into Merwin Resrvoir just NE of the towns of Amboy and Chelatchie, NE of Vancouver. This run was logged at a flow of 1100 cfs on the EF Lewis, +4" on the visual gauge. We met up with Mike Tennant and crew from Seattle, and were also on the water with several boaters from the PDX community. Thanks to everyone for a great run.

Photos are posted in the gallery.

This run starts out at or above the Fly Creek confluence. Below Fly Creek, you'll find several class III drops to get you ready for the meatier drops below. A nice class III wave train near a 60 foot waterfall coming into the river from the left signals that the run is about to pick up.

Boaters warming up in the first good hole on Canyon Creek, just above the main canyon.

One of many wonderful waterfalls.

Steve in the canyon.

First up is a nice center boof into a moving pool above a horizon line with a large log that rises out of the water from river right up to the left canyon wall. This drop is best run river right, just right of the wood, moving back left to avoid the headwall just below the ledge.

Entry drop

The entry drop.

Next up is Terminator, a diagonal river-wide ledge hole that is best run far left. This ledge follows a good class IV lead-in drop. Be ready for another good class IV+ immediately below Terminator that requires a move over a broken ledge that drops three feet into a meaty hole.

Steve trying to stay left at Terminator.

Another great waterfall.

This section of the run is set in the most constricted canyon on the run. As the walls open up a bit, you're getting close to Thrasher Prelude and Thrasher. Thrasher Prelude is a twisting ledge drop best run boofing left off a flake 10' off the right wall. Scout right. Thrasher is a meaty ledge that can be scouted from the left. Safety can also be set from the left. The main drop is steep and meaty, so most opt for the right channel. Stay high on the right wall, or swim like I did.

Thrasher Prelude and Thrasher

Thrasher Prelude.

Below Thrahser, Canyon Creek offers several fun boulder gardens, most class III. One stands out as harder than the others. This drop can be scouted from above on the left, but the actual drop is set in short canyon walls, so land well above the drop. A class III+ boulder garden leads into the first ledge that can be run left or right. Get back left and allow for the curler above the second big ledge. This ledge is best run far left to avoid the meat. Safety can be set for this ledge hole from the left.

Boulder Garden

Looking downriver at the biggest of the boulder gardens in this section.

Looking back up at the first of the two ledges.

Looking back up at the whole drop.

Kahuna, a 17' waterfall, quickly follows. Scout from the eddy and rock outcropping on the right. The easiest line is the autoboof on the right, or you can throw and go from the right wall.


After a short III+ boulder garden, Champagne and Hammering Spot, twin 10' ledges offer a great complement to Kahuna. Scout from the left and run Champagne center off the flake; Hammering Spot just off the right wall.

Champagne and Hammering Spot

In the pool between Champagne and Hammering Spot.

Looking back up at Champagne and Hammering Spot..

Cominng through the small drop below Hammering Spot.

Steve and David. Gotta love the weekend!

One final drop awaits, a final 8' ledge that can be run with a right-to-left move on the right, or a quick hop off a flake on the left. Enjoy the 1.5 mile flatwater paddle out.

Final Ledge

The final 8 foot ledge.

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