The North Umpqua, a tributary of the Umpqua River that drains a scenic and rugged area of the Cascade Range south of Eugene, is one of Oregon's most beautiful rivers. Fly fishing, whitewater boating, camping and scenic driving are premier recreation activities. The clear water, large Douglas-fir stands and geologic formations add to the spectacular scenery. The river is known for a variety of resident and anadromous fish species, including summer and winter steelhead, fall and spring chinook salmon, coho salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout.
Almost 34 miles of the North Umpqua have been designated as a wild and scenic river and this section has been set aside for fly-only fishing. The 79-mile long North Umpqua Trail parallels the river and offers visitors challenging hiking and mountain biking experiences. This truly distinctive canyon landscape is generally characterized by a combination of jade green rushing water, vertical rock cliffs and spires within a mosaic of mountain meadows and hemlock forests. Adding to the natural scenic quality of the North Umpqua River corridor are the locations of numerous prominent geologic features of columnar basalt, large basalt rock boulders and spires which are currently managed as the Rocks Geologic Area. Few river systems in the region expose as much of the volcanic and geologic history of the formation of the Cascades in one straight, east-west direction.
Highway 138 through the corridor provides access to Diamond Lake Recreation Area and Crater Lake National Park. This highway has received both national and regional recognition for its exceptional scenic quality and accessibility to a myriad of recreational and interpretive opportunities.
Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provides three levels of river classification: wild, scenic, and recreational.
Wild rivers are free of dams, generally inaccessible except by trail, and represent vestiges of primitive America.
Scenic rivers are free of dams, with shorelines or watersheds that are still largely primitive and shorelines that are largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
Recreational rivers are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have been dammed in the past