Challenge the rapids the Upper Wild and Scenic Klamath River offers by whitewater rafting or inflatable kayaking with an America Outdoors outfitter!
Wild rapids in Hell's Corner Gorge testify to the Indian name "Klamet," or "swiftness." With a unique rainbow trout subspecies, scores of bald eagles, numerous endangered species, spectacular scenery, wild horses, and cultural and historic sites at every turn, the Klamath provides an outstanding river experience. This southern Oregon river flows through a remote pine and oak forested canyon as it transects the Cascade Range on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
The Klamath River is one of only three rivers that bisect the Cascade Mountain Range, flowing from the high-desert interior through coastal rain forest to the Pacific Ocean. This creates a wide diversity of habitats supporting an abundance of wildlife. Due to an abundance of food and a mild climate, the Klamath River Basin was and is an important location for at least three Native American Tribes. The river was also an attractive location for early European settlement, providing a travel corridor through the mountains. All of these factors combined to create at least seven resources considered to be important to the nation.
The Upper Klamath River has a lengthy use season thanks to the steady water releases from the J.C. Boyle Dam and Powerhouse. PacifiCorp, a large regional utility company, operates the dam and powerhouse project to generate hydroelectric power. Rafters and kayakers get to ride the water downstream of the powerhouse. It is technically possible to run the river year-round, but optimum rafting and kayaking weather occurs mostly from May through October.
The whitewaters of the Upper Klamath River are rated at class IV+ to V (Caldera and Hells Corner rapids are rated class IV+ to V, depending on water levels and who is doing the rating). These classes are considered advanced to expert on the rafting scale of one to six. In the middle 5 miles of the Upper Klamath River, there are 19 separate rapids rated class III or higher.
- Rapids: Class III to V (Medium to Expert)
- Wild and Scenic River Classification/Mileage: Scenic — 11.0 miles; Total — 11.0 miles.