Illinois River – March 21-23, 2008


Every time we float the Illinois in March of 2008 on Easter Weekend we have great weather and flows. Every time. It is consistently sunny, normally around the mid-60’s and the flows are just perfect, right around 2,000 CFS. I would venture to say that the best time of year to float the Illinois is in March of 2008 on Easter Weekend.

We left Miami Bar and floated down to Clear Creek for some exploring. It was beautiful. The sun was out and it was spectacular having a chance to look around a little bit more than usual. From Clear Creek, we headed to Pine Flat and stayed there for the night. The fog cover during the night kept temperatures from falling too much, and we had very little frost the following morning. Prior to dinner, we went across the river and did some more exploring.

Pushing off the next morning, we headed down to Klondike Creek for a quick break and “Creatch Bars”. From there it was a straight shot to the pink rock beach thing where we ate lunch and basked in the sun. It was difficult escaping from the sun this weekend and for those of us used to boating throughout the Oregon Winter and early Spring, the sun was just way too intense!

Downstream we hit Prelude and then caught the eddy above the first drop of Green Wall. We got there just in time to watch the last boat in a group ahead of us take an “interesting” line into the big hole at the top and get thoroughly demolished. Luckily, we got video of the spectacular show.

With upright boats at the bottom of Green Wall, we floated to the top of Submarine Hole where we pulled over to quench some thirst and enjoy the sun. We Camped at Mile 22.7 Camp and hiked up part of the ridge for a spectacular view of the river and surrounding mountains.

On Easter Sunday we awoke to some clouds rolling in. It started to drizzle as soon as we pushed off from camp and stayed drizzly all the way to take-out at Oak Flat. We stopped along the way for a scenic view and more Creatch Bars and got to Oak Flat around 12:00ish. In the rain, we decided to pack up and eat lunch elsewhere, which meant a rest stop just outside of Brookings. And that is a story in itself…