August 06, 2012

Santiam to Willamette River by Raft

My parents arranged a rafting trip for us. They hired Bill of North Santiam River Trips.  He has been rafting the Santiam and Willamette for decades and he took us on a nice 16 mile trip.

We started at the Santiam Rest Stop at I-5 where we put in the raft on the Santiam River. The river meanders around three sides of the Ankeny NWR and neighboring farmland. The most abundant species were Osprey, Belted Kingfisher (5 at once!), and Cedar Waxwings. Also seen: Bald Eagle, Merganser, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Red-tailed Hawk, Willow Flycatcher, and more.

The Santiam- Willamette Delta
Here you can see how low the river is.
We got lucky and were able to float over it though.

The Buena Vista Ferry: one of the oldest continuous operating ferries in the state. 

Chatoe Rogue
A Rogue Ales facility.

Cliff Swallow nests on a bridge at Independence. No sign of the swallows.

Six hours later and much rowing (due to low water), we made it to our destination at Independence. This was a great way to spend a 95 degree day!


  1. Wow! What a fun trip! I hope you didn't get cooked too bad. Fun to see the Buena Vista Ferry - that's near Ankeny NWR, right?

  2. Very cool. Love the Swallow nests.

  3. Cool series and a neat from from the river level. Great photos!

  4. This sounds awesome! I have seen signs for that ferry at Ankeny but didn't really occur to me it was a real ferry! So cool.

  5. Great pics! Did you notice the cloud formation in the 7th from the bottom pic? It looks like a bird in flight. I especially love the swallow nests pic. I was in awe just thinking of how they had to construct them.


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