• Starting Point Wheatland Bar - RM 72
  • End Point San Salvador State Park - RM 57
  • Why this Trip

    It provides a wonderful look at the backchannel of Wheatland Bar, immediately across from the put-in, and you can also enjoy riverside wine tasting at Arcane Cellars at Wheatland Winery and Vineyard.

  • Conditions and Equipment

    This stretch is fairly wide and flat, with gentle current in the summer months. Canoes and kayaks work well here.

  • Amenity Highlights

    Willamette Mission State Park has fee parking and restrooms. San Salvador State Park has parking on gravel lot and a portable toilet. San Salvador is a remote location, so don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.

  • Trip Description

    The backchannel has state-owned lands on both sides. A couple of nice islands can be explored on this stretch. There are several camping opportunities on state lands and a wide slow-moving channel along the last few miles into San Salvador State Park.

    Another highlight of this stretch is Arcane Cellars at Wheatland Winery and Vineyard. This is the only riverside vineyard that is easily accessible to paddlers. Here you can vist their tasting room to enjoy their award winning wine, play a round of bocce on their court, or bring a picnic and admire the view. To visit the winery, get out at the Wheatland Ferry on river left, and walk down Magness Rd. immediately on your right.

    From Interstate 5, take the Keizer exit (260A) and follow Lockhaven Drive to River Road (Highway 219). Head north for about a half mile and veer left onto Wheatland Road, then travel for about 7 miles, following the signs to Wheatland Ferry. The turn for the Willamette Mission boat ramp is just before the ferry landing.

  1. Wheatland Ferry

      • River Mile 72
      • Latitude 45.09069
      • Longitude -123.04654

    This Marion County ferry, which runs for part of the week, makes frequent trips back and forth across the river when in operation. Paddlers should watch carefully, as people often…

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  2. Wheatland Boat Ramp

      1. Boat Ramp
      2. Vehicle Access/Parking
      • River Mile 72
      • Latitude 45.09294
      • Longitude -123.04179

    Just downstream of the ferry, this boat ramp provides ready access to the river and parking (payment required for parking).

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  3. Ediger Landing

      • River Mile 72
      • Latitude 45.09227
      • Longitude -123.04477

    A large gravel bar across from Wheatland Boat Ramp.

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  4. Wheatland Bar

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 72-70
      • Latitude 45.10085
      • Longitude -123.03606

    This large island, over 1 1/2 miles long, has a wonderful back channel with a fantastic mix of willow, Oregon ash, and cottonwood lining the banks. Owned by the Oregon…

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  5. Grand Island Access

      1. Boat Ramp, Rustic
      2. Camping
      3. Fire Ring
      4. Picnic Table
      5. Restrooms-Seasonal, Rustic
      6. Vehicle Access/Parking
      • River Mile 71
      • Latitude 45.10397
      • Longitude -123.02193

    This OPRD park is on the back channel of Wheatland Bar. Although there is vehicle access to the edge of the park, the area is quiet and contains picnic tables,…

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  6. Eldridge Bar Landing

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 70-69
      • Latitude 45.11269
      • Longitude -123.00091

    Primitive rustic site (no amenities)

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  7. Lambert Bar

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 65
      • Latitude 45.1605
      • Longitude -123.03185

    This small OPRD park is at the confluence of Lambert Slough and the Willamette, at the end of the 10-mile slough’s course back to the main river. It is ideal…

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  8. DSL Islands

      • River Mile 64
      • Latitude 45.16305
      • Longitude -123.01542

    (note: view the map in satellite mode to locate the islands)

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  9. Jackson Bend Landing

      • River Mile 63.5
      • Latitude 45.1658
      • Longitude -122.99918

    This is a small OPRD Greenway natural area fit for wildlife, but it offers little to paddlers other than its scenic beauty. (no access)

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  10. Five Island

      1. Camping
      2. Wildlife
      • River Mile 62
      • Latitude 45.17771
      • Longitude -123.01362

    This island has great scenery, a shallow and flowing back channel, and a campsite at the upper and lower ends. Although the island is big, the best camping is at…

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  11. Coffee Island

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 61
      • Latitude 45.19504
      • Longitude -123.01881

    A low gravel-bar island with several flat areas where a tent could be pitched. (no amenities)  (view map in satellite mode to locate island)

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  12. Candiani Bar

      1. Camping
      2. Wildlife
      • Latitude 45.21458
      • Longitude -123.04902

    A large island with a very nice back channel. The mainstream side of the island consists of a large gravel bar backed by cottonwood and Pacific willow. The back channel…

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  13. Yamhill Landing

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 59-58
      • Latitude 45.21802
      • Longitude -123.05134

    A large, undeveloped landing suitable for primitive camping along the shoreline. (no amenities)

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  14. San Salvador Park

      1. Boat Ramp
      2. Boat Ramp, Rustic
      3. Restrooms-Seasonal, Rustic
      4. Vehicle Access/Parking
      • River Mile 56.75
      • Latitude 45.22225
      • Longitude -123.02774

    A small park owned by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and managed by OPRD. This park’s remote location is not ideal for Water Trail use at present.

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Comments

  1. Great trip. Just did it for Father’s Day. One day is plenty. Took about 4 hrs of paddling. Lots of good bars for lunch stops. Very unspoiled section of river. No bridges, very few powerlines or anything. Lots of birds.

  2. Myself and four friends decided to make this our first trip for overnight kayak camping.

    Notes for others: This is 110% not a two day trip. The river was going 1-2mph the entire day, so just being on the water not moving will get you to San Salvador in a days time.

    We camped Friday night on Wheatland Bar, planning to start day two on the river. It was very beautiful and there are multiple camping spots to be had about 2/3 of the way down the island on the paddlers right hand side of the river. Camping from there on out is rather crummy due to lots of heavy gravel beaches. There is some camping on the last Island before San Salvador… but I’m not sure that makes any sense when your car is only 10 minutes away at that point.

    The put-in for this says no overnight parking. We got permission from the ranger to leave our vehicle overnight. I would advise checking in with them before doing so as you may get towed or cause some concern.

    The take out (San Salvador) is quite undeveloped, and seems to be a party spot. We ran into multiple young adults drinking and smoking… and since that was what we were doing it worked out, but we felt less than ideal leaving our cars there overnight.

  3. Me and my brother did an extended version of yhis trip 2 years ago. same launch point and ended at rogers landing with a 1 night stop at dayton launch and back our 3rd night. We spent a total of give nights on the river fishing back channels and exploring the islands. Most nights the camping was decent (had to settle on dayton launch the 3rd night yamhill sucks for camping). The reason gor my late post is because we are planning another trip this summer however launching from salem and forgoing the trip up the yamhill and back. Im still in the process of mapping the trip out for camping detinations and how many days but figuring on another 5nighter as we had alot of down time last trip as we moved really fast at times. Ps fishing that much does not get old nevrr caught so many bass in my life. Best trip ever.

  4. We did a great 3 day trip. Independence to Boone’s Ferry. Camped at Darrow and Candiani. Experience the transition from farming (with irrigation pumps) to mansions.

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