Lookout Creek

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Lookout Creek is an interesting little tributary of Blue River that runs after a couple of days of rain. We ran about two and a half miles of this creek down to Blue River this winter and found some very nice drops interspersed with a little wood and one big, rather unfortunate logjam.

It is easy to combine the lower quarter mile of Lookout with a Blue River run because they have the same takeout. If you run just the lower half mile of Lookout you can hit the slide and the ledge (which are the two best drops on the run) and avoid the portages. To do this, cross the bridge over Lookout Creek and turn onto the first paved road to the right. Continue up about a quarter of a mile and look for a likely put in. I have never personally taken this route but I know others have explored it.

Just below the bridge put in the creek maintains a steady gradient in the 150 fpm range and is very continuous, with many class III-IV rapids but nothing too hard. About two tenths of a mile below the put in bridge the creek splits around an island and there are some logs here requiring a bit of a portage. There are doable routes though, so you can cut this one short if you are comfortable maneuvering around dangerous wood.

Below here the creek has many interesting rapids, none too hard but very continuous. Eventually the creek enters a nice little gorge that is very scenic and has some nice surf waves and fun rapids. Just over a mile downstream from the bridge is an enormous logjam that required an involved portage on the right with ropes and a fair bit of scrambling. All of the work is worth it though, because just below the logjam (and just above the confluence with Blue River) is the first true horizon line of the day. Here boaters can opt for a fun slide over an eight foot ledge on the left or a twisty slalom down the right side.

Pete Giordano runs the ledge.

Just downstream from here is the road bridge just above the confluence with Blue River. As you round the corner under the bridge there is a fun 20 foot long slide that drops about 10-15 feet. At recommended flows this is a lot of fun. You get so much speed you practically skip across the pool at the bottom! The take out is 50 yards below the confluence with Blue River.

Flows: This Creek runs after a few days of hard rain or when Blue River is reading about 800 cfs or higher on the Tidbits Gauge. (Flow Graph generated by Pat Welch from his Oregon flows page. Thanks Pat!)

Access: Follow the Directions to the takeout for Blue River. This also is the takeout for Lookout Creek. The road to the put in is the first paved road that turns to the right on the south side of the bridge over Lookout Creek. Drive up until the road turns to gravel. Stay on the main road until it crosses the creek again. This is where we put in though there is access higher up.