Salmon River Canyon

Crew highlights a rare run on the "Everest of Oregon kayaking"

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY ERIC ADSIT

Since the first descent in 2001, Oregon’s Salmon River Canyon has lured in a steady stream of Class V paddlers seeking adventure. It’s a river that has long been regarded in local lore as the “Mount Everest of Oregon kayaking.” While there’s no denying it poses unique challenges rarely seen on other rivers in the area, the group of Nate Merrill, Jacob Cruser, Jarred Jackman, and I found the river to be surprisingly accessible, and the burliest of drops relatively easy to portage. No, the rapids themselves don’t meet the Himalayan scale of Everest, but the nature of the mission isn’t that far off. As Nate suggests, “Take the difficult rapids and throw in shuttle, hike, rappel, and general level of commitment and you’ve got one hell of an adventure.”

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