The Upper Applegate is the largest stream into Applegate Reservoir and represents roughly 2/3 of the total inflow (shown above). It is strictly a winter and spring run and bottoms out in the early summer or late spring. This has been the first week it’s run consistently this boating season, so we jumped at the chance to catch it.
We put in at the second bridge over the river. Just upstream is a significant drop into a nasty undercut that doesn’t look appealing. However, there are runs further upstream. Click here to download a Google Earth map that shows the standard put-in and take-out locations.
Depending on who you talk to, this stretch drops somewhere between 80 and 100 feet per mile. Just know that it is fairly continuous with no big drops, just mainly class III (at this flow anyway). It is definitely a fun and relaxing run. Nothing scary, but be on the lookout for wood. As you drive up to the put-in you can see most of the run, except for a few sections.
I would consider this flow to be mediumish for a raft. Zach Green from the SOU Outdoor Program and I were r2ing a 10′ Avon and there were five kayakers with us for the first run. On the second run, Marcelo, Zach, and I finished the entire run in under 20 minutes. It moves!