The Upper Klamath
The Upper Klamath begins in Southern Oregon and ends in California. This is a consistent big water run even in mid summer due to dependable dam releases from John C. Boyle Powerhouse. The river cuts a steep wilderness canyon through a high desert volcanic plateau at the south edge of the Cascades. The area is rich in Old West history with old cabins, mines, and long-deserted Indian settlements. It's also a major stop on the Pacific flyway, with frequent sightings of bald eagles, osprey, and blue herons.
Featured Upper Klamath River Outfitter
This river makes a very action packed 1-day trip or a base camp style 2-day trip. Because there is a warm up stretch the Upper Klamath is a great trip for both experienced and first-time paddlers in good health.
The river starts off with several miles of Class II and III warm up rapids before passing the historic Frain Ranch area (a great campsite). After Frain ranch the canyon constricts and drops into the famous five mile 'Hells Canyon' gorge. The first big rapid is Class IV+ Caldera rapid; a long steep drop with many rocks and holes. Below here are several Class III rapids followed by the Class IV Satan's Gate. Immediately after Satan’s Gate is Hell's Corner - an amazing half-mile long Class IV+ rapid that for many is the highlight of the run.
After Hell's Corner are more Class III and IV rapids including Ambush, Old Bushwhacker, Snag Island Falls, and finally State Line Falls. Below State Line Falls there is six miles of class II whitewater before taking out just above Copco Reservoir.