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Trip Report: Exploring the North Fork of the Clackamas River
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Trip Report: Exploring the North Fork of the Clackamas River

Trip Report: Exploring the North Fork of the Clackamas River

When: 08/03/2018
Location: North Fork of the Clackamas River
Conditions: Sunny, Warn, cool water
Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Semi-difficult, Must be willing to crawl over rocks and jump into pools of water when needed.

North Fork Clackamas River

The Full Report:
The North Fork of the Clackamas River is a seldom explored place, although some have ventured in there with whitewater kayaks during big rains for some exciting whitewater action. I decided I wanted to go explore it in the summertime while the water levels were low. I first drove to the Clackamas RV park just past the North Fork Reservoir. From there I followed a dirt road until it became 4x4 tracks. That is where I parked my Subaru and followed a trail down to the creek. In August, everything will be shining with bright green as the sun makes its way through the leaves. I wore water sneakers and a bathing suit because I knew I was going to get wet.

North Fork Clackamas River

The bedrock of the creek was absolutely beautiful. It started out wide and flat and as I followed the creek, I began to see car-sized boulders in the creek. I had a lot of fun hopping from one to the next. I tried to imagine the creek when I was full of water in the winter. As I followed the creek farther, I was mesmerized by the cascading mini waterfalls that came into the creek on different sides. The rocks on the banks were covered in rich green moss. My goal going in there was to find the beautiful 50ft waterfall that I had heard about from local whitewater legends. It got steeper and steeper as I followed the creek. Soon I realized if I went any further, I might have trouble turning back If I needed to.

North Fork Clackamas River

Though I knew the waterfall was getting close. I decided to hike out of the gorge from there because I was alone and didn't have ropes if a repel was needed. I hope to go back this summer to explore it fully. Though if you are reading this, I hope you beat me to it. To see pics of the waterfall, check out the "North Fork of the Clack" in the PNW whitewater books. Have fun and be safe!

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