Packrafting Wallowa County, Oregon

Wallowa County in northeast Oregon is home to some packrafting gems. We floated one of them last weekend: the Wenaha River in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.

The river is fun class II with an occasional II+ boulder garden and currently requires something like 6 to 8 portages around wood. Five mile hike to the put-in; 21 mile float out to cold Terminal Gravity at the Shilo Resort Cafe in Troy, Oregon.

The Wenaha provides habitat for a bull trout population that rivals that of the SF Flathead, and boasts native runs of Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Photos here:

Good ideas on pack rafting trips. I just moved to Boise this year from Alaska and have not met any pack rafters. I look forward to checking out lots of rivers by pack raft in the northwest. If you ever need people for a trip hit me up.


Your photos are no longer available on Facebook. Any chance you’ve posted them elsewhere? I’m thinking of checking this river out in May.

Did Wenaha from the Forks about a week ago. Hiked up from Troy since roads/trails from the rim weren’t in shape yet. Though you get into some non-burned timber above Butte Creek, I didn’t find the float above Butte to be worthwhile. Note that all of the trail bridges burned out in 2015(?).

Mostly clean class I-II, maybe one III- riverwide wave hole where the river runs against a cliff on the south side of the valley. This was a point where the river wasn’t influenced by recent rain and preceded last week’s major melt episode. The lower river felt like it was about 1.5ft above summer base flow and had maybe 1000+ CFS. Great flow.

When you did your trip in late April (estimated at 1000+ CFS) do you know what the readings were at for the Grande Ronde at Troy? Thanks!

You may know this, but you can’t always gauge Wenaha terribly well from that Gauge since the Wallowa and Upper Grande Ronde have such different runoff profiles. That gauge was reading about 6000 CFS on my run I think.

I would ALSO check the status of the snotel stations in the wenaha headwaters. If they are pretty loaded AND melting then you’re probably good to go. If the spring features a lot of warm storms then there might be little or no snowpack in the wenaha headwaters even if the upper grande ronde and wallowa are running high.