A WoodenBoat Adventure: Crater Lake and the Rogue River with Greg Hatten

Crater lake

Azure Beauty

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and its water is the darkest azure blue I have ever seen anywhere.” So begins Greg’s trip to experience the waterways (but not the lake) of Crater Lake National Park. After you read our post, with its own exclusive photos from Greg’s trip, be sure to read his detailed account (link below).

Greg hatten and his wooden boat, at the rim of the lake.

Greg’s adventures are on his blog here, and they started with a trip to the headwaters of one of his favorite rivers in the West, The Rogue. Mighty rivers start in high places, and the Rogue is no exception. As Greg explains, “The Rogue River gets its start in Crater Lake National Park.  It explodes out of Boundary Spring, then sprints down the valley in a race with the Umpqua River to reach the Pacific Ocean. I hiked the trail up the river toward the headwaters, where it’s so narrow you can jump from one side to the other.”

rogue headwaters

A Delay, a Warning

Greg’s trip was nearly a no-go, because he arrived at the launch to discover that a flipped boat had obstructed the river. But the river took care of the obstruction. “It took the current less than a day to twist the frame and break the back of the metal boat, sending it to the bottom of the river. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would do to my little wooden boat in that spot if I made the slightest mistake.

A flipped boat blocks the river

Here’s a shot of Greg consulting his playbook (yes, he holds it with his feet while he rows). This book holds detailed, color-coded notes about the best way to row the Rogue. One of his notes is, “Never run at less than 1000 CFS.” Of course, this trip was taken at 950 CFS…

Interior of Greg's boat, with his trip journal and various bits of gear

Greg and his mates carried on, witnessing a trainwreck at the Slim Picken’s rapid, where an ‘unflippable’ catamarn wiped out. Below, Greg investigates Slim Pickens in his woodenboat, where the fast river “caused problems for the group in front of us, stranding one raft on the rocks and flipping another upside down, ejecting passengers and gear into the fast moving water.”

slim pickens rapid-trainwreck-other group

Here’s a short video of Greg threading the needle at Slim Pickens. Not easy!

You can see another video of his run through Mule Creek, complete with sound effects, at Greg’s blog post.

Greg takes a rapid

But it wasn’t all a vicious struggle to make it downriver. Greg camped with our blankets and bedroll, and enjoyed his share of fishing, grilling and good conversation under the stars. After a day on the Rogue River, could there be a better place to lay your head than a Crater Lake National Park Blanket ?

boats parked by riverbank, Greg's cot setup

It looks like Greg had some Pendleton Whisky to keep him warm, too.

Greg with a freshly caught fish and some Pendleton Whisky

This is your last Greg Hatten WoodenBoat adventure until January, so enjoy the thrills while you can. And start planning your own adventures for 2016, when our National Park Service celebrates a century of managing and preserving America’s Treasures. These are your parks. Go enjoy them!

Greg's tent

Read Greg’s post here: Crater Lake

National park logo, Crater lake blanket, and National park socks by a campfire

3 thoughts on “A WoodenBoat Adventure: Crater Lake and the Rogue River with Greg Hatten

  1. Thanks so much for the stories and pictures of Crater lake and Greg Hattens adventures , love the outdoor pictures/ Please keep the stories coming.
    Fran Wood

  2. Pingback: The Wild Splendor of Oregon’s Crater Lake | Pendleton Woolen Mills

  3. A wooden boat adventure at Crater Lake and also at Rogue river is one great adventure. The best experience you’ll have by doing this great adventure. Also, bringing your family and friends will sure to make your day wonderful.

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