• Starting Point Buena Vista Ferry- 106.5
  • End Point Wallace Marine Park- 83.5
  • Why this Trip

    You can break this trip up in a few ways and make it a one night or two night adventure with scenic views as well as optional side trips to Rogue Brewing’s Hop Farm and Tasting Room, and historic downtown Independence with its new padder and cyclist friendly campsite right next to the river*, as well as the nearby new, botique Hotel Independence which offers a restaurant patio with a wonderful view. (*note- the campsite in Independence Riverview Park is closed as of 7/9/2020 due to the COVID crisis).

  • Conditions and Equipment

    A touring stye canoe or kayak is a great option for this reach. You’ll experience moving water/current and there will be places where you will need to “read the water” to decide which way around an island to paddle (look to see where most of the water is moving and where there are no hazards).

  • Amenity Highlights

    There is a pit toilet at Buena Vista, and the next available restroom is not until Independence Riverview Park. You can enjoy several great camping options along this reach as well as some fun side trips such as Rogue Farms and downtown Independence.

  • Trip Description

    Launch at Buena Vista’s historic Ferry. The back channel of Wells Island immediately on your left is beautiful, but often has wood debris. Explore this route only if you can confidently recognize hazards and swiftly maneuver your boat in current, otherwise stick to the mainstem, which is also lovely. Camp at American Bottom on river left, or paddle further downstream to Judson Rocks or Murphy Bar – both which are rustic sites, but one’s that do offer enough open space to pitch a tent, and to gain a sweet view of the river. Sidney Access, listed on the first edition of the WT Maps, is no longer a viable campsite option. If you’re not interested in cooking for yourself, be sure to camp in downtown Independence’s new paddler/cyclist camp site in Riverview Park (sites are first come first serve). From here have a number of food and beverage options that you can walk to on historic mainstreet, or the new boutique hotel Independence on the river. In the summer, Independence hosts concerts in the park, so check to see what their schedule is if you are interested in timing your visit  to enjoy or avoid that! Paddle to Wallace Marine Park the next day.

  1. American Bottom

      1. Camping
      2. Fire Ring
      3. Picnic Table
      4. Restrooms-Seasonal, Rustic
      5. Wildlife
      • River Mile 104
      • Latitude 44.79581
      • Longitude -123.1161

    LoadingThis OPRD Greenway parcel makes a very nice overnight campsite. It contains picnic tables, a seasonal toilet, and open grassy areas to camp in. Watch for purple camas–a native wildflower–in…

    Continue Reading

  2. DSL Island 87.25

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 87.25
      • Latitude 44.93157
      • Longitude -123.09631

    LoadingPrimitive island with a gravel bar extending upriver. May not be desirable for camping because of immense traffic noise from Highway 22.

    Continue Reading

  3. Judson Rocks

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 100
      • Latitude 44.82311
      • Longitude -123.11524

    LoadingGravel island with a few cottonwoods and willows. Nice views and relatively quiet, although within sight of homes. For the most optimal camp site, we recommend paddling right at the…

    Continue Reading

  4. Murphy Bar

      1. Camping
      2. Wildlife
      • River Mile 98.5
      • Latitude 44.8279
      • Longitude -123.1568

    LoadingLocated upstream of Independence (RM 98.5), Murphy Bar is part of the privately owned Wigrich Farm. Owned and operated by the Fitts family for decades, Wigrich Farm represents the first…

    Continue Reading

  5. Independence Bar Landing

      1. Camping
      • River Mile 97
      • Latitude 44.83154
      • Longitude -123.17414

    LoadingA 10-acre OPRD parcel, the landing has ample shade and a rough rock beach along the riverfront. While primitive camping is allowed, noise from occasional traffic can be heard. (no…

    Continue Reading

  6. Independence Riverview Park

      1. Boat Ramp
      2. Camping
      3. Picnic Table
      4. Restrooms-Seasonal, Rustic
      5. Vehicle Access/Parking
      6. Water
      • River Mile 95.5
      • Latitude 44.85292
      • Longitude -123.18164

    LoadingThis is a nice city park that makes a good lunch stop or take-out/put-in. The park has toilets, and a short walk with take you downtown to amenities such as…

    Continue Reading

  7. Halls Ferry Landing

      • River Mile 91
      • Latitude 44.89033
      • Longitude -123.13259

    LoadingA small public access area at the site of the former Halls Ferry, established in the 1880s.

    Continue Reading

  8. Emil Marx/Lloyd Strange Fishing Hole

      1. Picnic Table
      2. Restrooms
      3. Vehicle Access/Parking
      • River Mile 91.25
      • Latitude 44.88591
      • Longitude -123.14036

    LoadingThis county park has restrooms and picnic tables, with a nice view overlooking the river. The site is also popular with local fishing enthusiasts.

    Continue Reading

  9. Minto Brown and Eola Bend Parks

      1. Hiking
      2. Picnic Table
      3. Restrooms
      4. Water
      5. Wildlife
      • River Mile 87-85
      • Latitude 44.92475
      • Longitude -123.0729

    LoadingThis large park is a great natural area in the heart of Salem. It provides an abundance of wildlife and serves as a great lunch-hour bird-watching escape. From downtown Salem…

    Continue Reading

  10. Salem Riverfront Park

      1. Public Dock/Transient Use
      • River Mile 84.25
      • Latitude 44.94243
      • Longitude -123.04435

    LoadingThis urban stop is in the heart of downtown Salem. There is a low freeboard dock area. For those who have been on the river for a few days without…

    Continue Reading

Add a Comment

All commments are reviewed by the web site administrator before posting.