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View from above Wild & Scenic Clackamas River with pristine blue water, a whitewater rapid, and vibrant green forest trees
04/07/2021 | Know Now, Water Play

Six Ways To Enjoy The Clackamas River

Please note: The Upper Clackamas River area was heavily impacted by the 2020 Riverside Wildfire, with lasting closures at many recreation areas. See below for details about each site.

The Congressionally designated Wild & Scenic Clackamas River has more than water play to boast about. Check out our 6 best ways to play on - and near - the water for your next trip to Mt. Hood Territory.

1. Guided Kayaking & Whitewater Rafting

Note: The 2021 Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is cancelled. The festival will return May 14-15, 2022.

Join a whitewater rafting trip with one of our outstanding outfitters and guides for the ultimate experience on this epic river. If you are here during the annual Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival, where enthusiasts take on the rapids and race their peers in a wide array of water sport challenges, come out and watch! 

2. Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway
Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway couple riding bikes along the river in Oregons Mount Hood Territory.

Note: The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway is closed due to impacts from the 2020 Riverside Wildfire. - updated spring 2021

The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway parallels the Wild & Scenic Clackamas River and offers visual gems for cyclists' eyes along the entire route. The green trees and blue water with white rapids are beautiful as are the flowing waterfalls and reservoirs. Choose any section of the 72-mile route or take your family on the kid-friendly ride along the (car free) Faraday Road just outside of Estacada. Tip: Visit Bagby Hot Springs 10 miles off route for a relaxing escape.

3. Hiking on the Clackamas River Trail
Woman in front of Pup Creek Falls Clackamas River Trail Mt. Hood National Forest

Note: Hiking at Pup Creek Falls is closed due to impacts from the 2020 Riverside Wildfire. - updated spring 2021.

The Clackamas River Trail is for hikers only and features mostly moderate terrain and of course views of the gorgeous Clackamas River. There are a variety of landscapes, including flat areas for camping or picnicking, as well as forest, beaches and waterfalls. Pup Creek Falls is the perfect resting spot in the middle of the trail and a dramatic view that's both unexpected and breathtaking. 

Related Content: Hiking to Pup Creek Falls in Mt. Hood Territory

4. Milo McIver State Park

Note: The Riverbend day use area of Milo McIver State Park, including the disc golf course, is currently closed due to damage from winter storms. Other areas of the park including the Riverside Day Use Area remain open. - updated spring 2021

Milo McIver State Park encompasses everything to love about an outdoor adventure. Visit the Clackamas Fish Hatchery, hike its bat trail, fish from the ADA-accessible fishing platform, ride your horse on seven miles of equestrian trails, picnic with a view, launch your boat or play a round of disc golf on its 27-hole course. Best of all you can camp at one of the 44 electrical sites, nine tent sites, several group sites and even hiker/biker camp sites complete with lockers, a solar charging station, water and a fire pit. It is an ideal set up so you can wake up right where you plan to recreate! 

5. Fishing
View of the Wild & Scenic Clackamas River with green trees, blue river and a bridge in distance in Oregon's Mount Hood Territory

The highly sought-after spring Chinook salmon arrive May through June in the Clackamas River, which attract even professional guides to the area to test their mettle. Sought after steelhead arrive toward the end of spring and heading into summer. For the best catch-and-release trout fishing, head to the upper river basin with your family for a great day on the water. 

Related Content: Better Than Dollars Better Than Love Fishing on the Clackamas River 

6. Downtown Estacada
Aerial view of newly completed streetscape of Broadway Street, mural on side of buliding, and downtown Estacada businesses

After enjoying a day full of activities around the Wild & Scenic Clackamas River, head into downtown Estacada to grab a cold brew made from those same magical waters at Fearless Brewing. While there, soak up the small town charm and unique Artback Murals along the streets for a great history lesson and photo op!

Be sure to remember to practice leave no trace principles to ensure the area's beauty stays in-tact and the resources remain plentiful for everyone. For all the information to ensure you leave no trace visit

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