McKenzie River Rafting: Finn Rock to Prince Helfrich

One of the most popular McKenzie River White Water Rafting runs is from Finn Rock to the Prince Helfrich Boat Landing. This 10 mile run offers rapids for paddlers of all skill levels, amazing scenery, and some of the best play spots the McKenzie River has to offer. Between a few calm quiet sections are interspersed class II+ and class III rapids with amazing holes and some of the best fishing on the McKenzie River. Caution should always be taken as the water is cold and snags are sometimes numerous.

Access: There is easy access to both the put-in and take-out on this stretch of river.

  • Put-In – Click Here For a Google Map Location (Coming Soon) – The put-in is located at Quartz Creek Rd in Finn Rock, Oregon, 50 minutes East of Eugene on Highway 126. Cross Quartz Creek Bridge and turn left onto a gravel road at the unimproved Finn Rock Boat ramp. There is a roundabout and plenty of room to pull a boat trailer down to the waters edge. If you’re short on time, you can put in at Silver Creek and Rennie Boat landing further down the river.
  • Take-Out– Click Here For a Google Map Location (Coming Soon) – The most common take out is Prince Helfrich Boat Landing, located at the end of Thomson Lane, on the South side of the highway approx. 1 mile below Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. There is ample parking for a boat and trailer at this location. If you aren’t running Marten’s Rapid, you can take out at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park (Google Maps Location). Another take-out is located downstream at the Leaburg Dam boat ramp.

River Specifics

Class: 2(3)         Length: 10 miles            Ideal Flow: 900-3000cfs           Gradient: 21 fpm

Notable Rapids:

Clover Point Class II –  2 miles below the put in and within site of the bridge at Nimrod, Clover Point is identified by a large flat outcrop on the right bank with some small clustered cabins. This class II rapid is a large hole river right at moderate flows followed by a series of small waves. River left provides a clean passage for all craft. At higher flows, above 4 feet on the gauge, Clover Point is an excellent play hole.

Eagle Rock Rapid Class II – 1 mile below Clover Point you’ll find Eagle Rock Rapid. Identified by the large rock cliff on the left this rapid is best run down the chute on river left but can be skipped by running river center or center right.

Neil’s Wave Class II/II+ – Just after Eagle Rock Rapid is Neil’s Wave. Located on river left, this wave is one of the most coveted kayak surfing holes in Oregon. At the correct flows many kayakers can be found here, surfing the hole for hours at a time. The rapid is perfect for long surf sessions due to the numerous calm eddies and pull outs on river left below the hole. At the correct flow and with an experienced paddle crew a raft can even get a good surf in!

Silver Creek Public Boat Landing – Lunch Spot – 4 miles from Put-In (approx 1 mile from Neil’s). Silver Creek Boat Landing is a perfect place to stop for lunch. There is a nice expansive deck that is usually covered in sunshine as well as a pit toilet.

Rennie Public Boat Landing – 2 miles below Silver Creek Boat Landing – This landing has a pit toilet or porta-potty if you need a quick break.

Brown’s Hole – Class II+ – Located just downriver from Rennie Boat Landing is the famous Brown’s Hole. Barely visible from upstream, Brown’s is at the end of a straight section and can be identified by a large rock wall on river left about 30 yards up from the hole. You’ll notice an apparent drop in the river on river left and see a large rock outcropping that seems to stick out of river center just past the rapid. The hole itself is located 15 feet off the left wall and can flip a small raft or swamp a drift boat if you’re not careful. If the hole isn’t for you, it can be easily avoided by running river right.

Ben and Kay Dorris State Park – Approx. 1.5 miles downstream from Brown’s hole is Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. This is a common take out for drift boats that don’t want to run class III Marten’s Rapid which is just around the corner.

Marten’s Rapid – Class III – Just past Ben and Kay Dorris State Park is the famous Marten’s Rapid, an exhilarating Class III rapid that marks the end of the Finn Rock to Helfrich stretch of river. RUN INSTRUCTIONS: To run Marten’s Rapid, look for the largest boulder in the center of the river at the top of the rapid. This boulder marks the entrance to the main rapid and you’ll find a relatively open channel about 10 feet river right of it. I always run this rapid to the right of the largest boulders. Once you’re past the large boulders there are a few holes and wave trains to be managed. Beware of the large hole river right at the bottom of the rapids. It’s big and can recirculate a kayaker a few times before spitting them out.

Prince Helfrich Boat Landing – Take Out – 0.5 miles below Marten’s Rapid is the most common take out of this stretch of river, Prince Helfrich Boat Landing. It’s marked by a suspension footbridge across the river. It’s somewhat hidden, but there is a full boat ramp and plenty of room to park a few boats.


Flow Information: Coming Soon

Shuttle Company Information: Coming Soon

Fly Fishing Information: Coming Soon


  1. This web page is AWESOME!! Finally someone (this would be eugene outdoors) has broken down the safe passages through the upper Mckenzie!! You rock!
    This really helped me out and gave me the nerve to tear-it-up on the upper..

    Good stuff man.