A beautiful, short run
that somehow feels remote. The Smith River watershed is known for
having short runs, and the Siskiyou Gorge takes it to the extreme. The
run is only a mile long, and of that, only half has rapids. That said,
it's the hardest section of the Middle Fork Smith although it only has
four significant rapids. The run is as roadside as it gets, yet it's
also locked in a gorge and even inescapable in spots. Scouting from the
road will be tempting but is more dangerous than the run itself due to
a narrow road with no shoulder. Despite what it looks like
driving the road, one can scout each rapid from river level.
Daniel Brasuell runs
rapid of the Siskiyou Gorge.
Jim Addington enters the most dangerous rapid of the run. The undercut
on the right is significantly in play.
Just two more rapids
follow, the last which is completely mandatory but thankfully
time has shown that it goes better than it looks. All photos taken with
flows around 5,000 in the Oregon Hole
Gorge. Also check Dan Mention's North
Coast Paddling for more images
as well as Daniel's A
Logistics are simple, park across the street from Patrick Creek Lodge
on the Middle Fork Smith and head upstream to the next river access
just above the gorge, or continue a little further upstream if you want
a few warm up paddle strokes.