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Trip Report: White Water at Upper Upper Cispus

Trip Report: White Water at Upper Upper Cispus

Trip Report: White Water at Upper Upper Cispus

When? 7/12/2016

Location: Upper Upper Cisupus

Conditions: Weather: slightly cloudy and chilly
Water level: low side of medium

Duration: 5 miles

Difficulty: Class V

Kid Friendly: No

Pet Friendly: No

Useful Links: Oregon Kayaking

The Full Report:

Upper Upper Cispus rafting


With a couple of days off, Patrick Higgins and I decided to head up into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for some whitewater boat riding. Our plan was to meet some Kiwi friends for a quick rip on the Green Truss section of the White Salmon River and then head north to the land of the Cispus.

Because of the heavy rains in December the usual road that we take to get there was washed out. This meant that we needed to take an alternate route down a rather rough road.
Once making it to the takeout we set up camp and had a great evening hanging out around the fire and swapping kayaking stories. The next day we loaded up the boats and drove to the put in.

The Upper Upper Cispus is a beautiful run that cuts through a mossy gorge. There are only a few distinct drops on the run but the boogie is good for miles. The two main rapids on the run are Island and Behemoth. Island is a tricky double drop where the lip of the first drop has a curler that makes it hard to get in a full stroke. Once skipping out from that drop the next drop is straightforward and can be run anywhere.

For Behemoth, after making it through the entry set of rapids, everyone crowded together in the two small eddies just above the lip. As the water down the tongue, two thirds of the water falls off to the right while the other third lands on a shelf and sends out a spout. The move is to drive left down the tongue, land on the shelf and take left boof stroke to point yourself back straight. After Behemoth there's another three or four boogie rapids before the run mellows out to class II/III until the take out.

After taking off the river we all life-styled a long two hour lunch before packing the cars up and heading back to Portland.

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