Clackamas River

The Clackamas River is located to the west of the Cascade Range and to the south of the Columbia River Gorge in northern Oregon. Flowing northwest from its sources high in the Cascade Mountains, the designated portion of the river, which is 47 miles (75.6 km) in length, runs from Big Spring (headwaters area) to Big Cliff, just south of the town of Estacada. This most picturesque region is entirely within the Mt. Hood National Forest and encompasses forested lands, wetlands, riparian areas and rock cliffs.

Streams and rivers in the Clackamas drainage have been subject to hydroelectric development, with power generation facilities located on the Oak Grove Fork and on the mainstem in the designated corridor. The hydro-power facilities in the designated corridor actually discharge water diverted from the Oak Grove Fork farther upstream back into the Clackamas. Several dams are situated below the designated section between Big Cliff and Oregon City. Photo credit unkown.

The wild and scenic Clackamas River was added to the Federal Wild and Scenic River System in 1988. The Clackamas River flows from its headwaters at Olallie Lake northwestern direction through the Cascade Mountains before entering the Willamette River after passing under Interstate 205 and then Oregon Route 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard) between Oregon City to the south and Gladstone to the north. Clackamette Park lies to the left of the river's last stretch as it enters the Willamette River 25 miles (40 km) above its confluence with the Columbia River .

Pollution:

In March 2008, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a report entitled "Pesticide Occurrence and Distribution in the Lower Clackamas River Basin, Oregon, 2000–2005." It details pesticide pollution in the lower Clackamas River, its tributaries, and in pre- and post-treatment drinking water.

In all, 63 pesticide compounds: 33 herbicides, 15 insecticides, 6 fungicides, and 9 pesticide degradates were detected in samples collected during storm and nonstorm conditions. Fifty-seven pesticides or degradates were detected in the tributaries (mostly during storms), whereas fewer compounds (26) were detected in samples of source water from the lower mainstem Clackamas River, with fewest (15) occurring in drinking water.[12]

The study concluded, "Given their frequent and widespread occurrence, especially during storms, pesticides have the potential to affect aquatic life and the quality of drinking water derived from the lower river," and laid out areas for further study.[12]

Outstandingly Remarkable Values

Botanic & Ecologic

Before 1800, coniferous forests covered most of the watershed, and its streams supported big populations of salmon, steelhead and other fish. The Big Bottom area represents forest vegetation that was once common along Cascades-region rivers, including old-growth Douglas-fir forests that are still present along the banks.

Cultural & Historic

There is evidence that the Clackamas River had significant human use prior to European exploration and settlement, as well as a variety of evidence of historic use. The Clackamas has played an important role in local and regional development.

Native Americans hunted, fished and gathered food and materials in the Clackamas River drainage as early as 10,000 years ago. By 2,000 to 3,000 years ago, they had established permanent settlements along the river's lower floodplain.

In the 1800s, Congress granted parcels of land to the Oregon and California (O & C) Railroad for sale to settlers. In 1917, when the railroad company failed to meet the grant's terms, Congress reclaimed these lands, and they returned to federal ownership as public lands.

The river's steep southern bank — rising to more than 1,400 feet — shows evidence of logging, authorized in 1937 when Congress directed that the O & C lands be managed for permanent forest production under the principles of sustained yield management.

Fisheries

The Clackamas River is home to the last significant run of wild late-winter coho salmon in the Columbia Basin, which generally spawn on the main stem of the Clackamas above the North Fork Reservoir. The watershed also has one of only two remaining runs of spring chinook in the Willamette basin and supports a significant population of winter steelhead, cutthroat trout and native lamprey.

2019 Clackamas Spring Chinook Catch

2019 Clackamas Steelhead Catch

PGE Clackamas Daily Fish Counts

Trends and timing of fish migration on the Clackamas River

Clackamas River Bull Trout Reintroduction Project

Recreational

This section of the Clackamas River, convenient to Portland, offers breathtaking mountain views, replete with native wildflowers and wildlife, as well as direct access for fishing, boating and hiking. The area is most recognizable by the green Pratt truss bridge at Memaloose Road, now closed to vehicular traffic, which sits atop the river and connects walkers to the day-use area on the river's south side.

Wildlife

The Clackamas River provides habitat for the bald eagle and the threatened northern spotted owl, and it is potential habitat for the peregrine falcon.

Boat launch locations for the Clackamas River begin at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette Rivers. We begin by exiting I-205 at exit 9. At exit 9, take ramp right for OR-99E toward Downtown / Gladstone / Oregon City for 0.2 miles. Turn north onto OR-99E / McLoughlin Blvd for 0.2 miles.  Turn left onto Dunes Dr. for 344 ft. Turn left onto Clackamette Dr. for 0.2 miles to the boat dock at Jon Storm Park or another 0.1 miles to the boat launch at Sportcraft Landing.

To access the boat launch at Clackamette Park located on the south shore of the Clackamas River turn left onto Dunes Dr. and then right onto Turn right onto Clackamette Dr. Follow the road around the corner to the right and turn left onto the next street. Follow the road to the boat launch at Clackamette Park.

To access the boat launch at Meldrum Bar Park. Turn right onto OR-99E / McLoughlin Blvd for 1.0 miles. Turn left onto W Gloucester St for 365 ft. Turn right onto River Rd for 315 ft. Turn left onto Meldrum Bar Park Rd. for 0.5 miles to the boat launch.

Exit I-205 at exit 12 or 12A onto Clackamas Hwy, Clackamas, OR 97015 to access Riverside Park. Head east on OR-224 / OR-212 toward SE 82nd Dr. for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto SE Evelyn St. for 0.6 miles. The road’s name changes to SE Mangan Dr. for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto SE Water Ave to the boat launch. SE Water Ave may be gated at specific times.

Carver Park

From I-205 turn exit onto OR-224 E for 1.9 miles. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto OR-212 E/OR-224 E for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto OR-224 E for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Market Rd 39/S Springwater Rd for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto S Springwater Rd for 0.2 mi to the boat launch at Carver Park.

Barton Park on the Clackamas River is 26 miles and some 40 minutes from Portland. Salmon, steelhead, fin-clipped trout are the fish species of interest here. Clackamas River. Good bank access and ADA accessible fishing opportunities. Take Exit 12, off I-205, Estacada/Mt. Hood. Go east on Hwy. 212/224. Turn right onto Hwy. 224. Go about 5 miles. Turn right at Barton Store. County park.

From I-205 turn exit onto OR-224 E for 1.9 miles. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto OR-212 E/OR-224 E for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto OR-224 E for 6.4 miles. Turn right onto SE Bakers Ferry Rd for 0.2 miles and Continue straight onto SE Barton Park Rd. for 0.2 miles to the Barton Park boat launch.

Feldheimer Park:

Exit I-205 at exit 10 and depart south on OR-213 for 0.6 Miles. Turn right onto Redland Rd for 1.9 miles where the road name changes to S Redland Rd. Follow S Redland Rd. for 3.4 miles to S Fischers Mill Rd.  Turn left onto S Fischers Mill Rd and follow for 3.9 miles to Springwater Rd. Bear right onto S Springwater Rd for 2.0 miles. Turn left onto S Feldheimer Rd an unpaved road to the boat launch at Feldheimer Park located at 0.5 miles.

McIver State Park Lower Ramp: Situated along the scenic Clackamas River, Milo McIver State Park is only 45 minutes from Portland. This beautiful park provides a variety of outstanding recreational opportunities.

Milo McIver's campground features 44 electric sites with full hookups and 9 primitive tent sites.

McIver State Park offers something for everyone. See you there!

Campground info

  • 44 electrical sites with water
  • Nine tent sites with water nearby
  • Hot showers and flush toilets
  • Three reservable group tent camping areas with water, flush toilets and fire rings
  • Three hiker/biker camp sites with water, lockers, solar charging station and fire pit
  • RV dump station

Universal Access
One campsite is accessible to campers with disabilities.

  • Looking for more adventure?

SUP and Kayak rentals and guided tours - Clackamas River Outfitters | 503-586-3241 | Web: https://clackamasriveroutfitters.com/

These services are provided by an independent business through contract with Oregon State Parks.

McIver State Park Lower Ramp:exit I-205 at exit 10 and depart south on OR-213 for 0.6 Miles. Turn right onto Redland Rd for 1.9 miles where the road name changes to S Redland Rd. Follow S Redland Rd. for 3.4 miles. Turn left onto S.Fischers Mill Rd for 3.9 miles. Bear right onto S Springwater Rd for 2.0 miles to the entrance of Milo McIver State Park. Turn left onto S Entrance Rd for 0.5 miles. Turn left again at 0.9 miles and left again and follow to the boat launch for 0.8 miles.

McIver State Park Upper Ramp: or Clackamas Hatchery is part of the adventure when you spend a day or a week exploring the river, forest and fields associated with the Clackamas River. River-lovers can challenge the sometimes wild (but always picturesque) Clackamas River with rafts, canoes or kayaks. Photo by Oregon State Parks.

McIver State Park Upper Ramp: Exit I-205 at exit 10 and depart south on OR-213 for 0.6 Miles. Turn right onto Redland Rd for 1.9 miles where the road name changes to S Redland Rd. Follow S Redland Rd. for 10.5 miles. Turn right onto S Springwater Rd for 0.7 miles to the entrance of Milo McIver State Park. Turn left into the entrance following the road around to the right for 2.6 miles to the boat launch. When you reach the S River Lake Rd continue traveling straight to the Boat Launch or to the Clackamas Hatchery.

Best time to visit the Clackamas Hatchery is during late spring - early fall. Adult spring Chinook salmon are present June – October and adult winter steelhead are present March-April

Visiting hours: Visitor's Center is open 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily; Hatchery grounds are open during daylight hours.

Fish raised: spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead and Coho

What to see and do: The hatchery has an inside display area and viewing window into the incubation room.

  • Wildlife: birds of prey, fish, wading birds, waterfowl
  • Facilities: boat ramp, campground, ADA accessible restroom, trails
  • Nearby: McIver State Park offers hiking, camping, picnicking, horse trails and fishing access. There is a year-round day use fee in the park. However, if you’re only visiting the hatchery, no parking pass is necessary.

Estacada Boat Ramp on Estacada Lake.

Access to Estacada Lake is achieved by exiting I-205 at exit 10 and depart south on OR-213 for 0.6 Miles. Turn right onto Redland Rd for 1.9 miles where the road name changes to S Redland Rd. Follow S Redland Rd. for 10.5 miles. Turn right onto S Springwater Rd for 0.7 miles to the entrance of Milo McIver State Park. Turn left into the entrance following the road around to the right for 2.4 miles to the boat launch. Turn right onto the S River Lake Rd 0.2 miles to the Estacada Boat Launch on the left.

Timber Park This day-use park is our closest to Portland and Salem, is great for disc golf and picnicking.

Timber Park is along Estacada Lake above River Mill Dam. There’s shoreline for fishing and paddling, as well as ball fields for organizing sporting events. Two picnic shelters, which can accommodate 100 people, may be reserved for gatherings. There is also a small playground for all ages.

Timber Park is open year-round. The park is free and open to the public. If you want to reserve a picnic shelter, ball field or the disc golf course, there is a fee. Please make a reservation using the Day Use Area Permit Application. Be sure to take a look at our Parks & Recreation Rules. Phone reservations and email requests are accepted year-round. Timber Park: 503-630-5120

Timber Park is on the Clackamas River, 30 miles southeast of Portland. From Portland, take Highway 224, and go one mile west of Estacada. Follow signs for Timber Park.

30878 NW Evergreen Way
Estacada, OR 97023

North Fork Reservoir

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