BLM Oregon and Washington Wild and Scenic Rivers

Oregon has 25 of the 69 Wild and Scenic Rivers managed nationally by the BLM– over 800 miles of roughly 2,400 total miles. These rivers are designated by Congress or the secretary of the interior for preservation of their free-flowing condition, and protection of outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish, wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, according to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. For more information, visit:

Featured Wild and Scenic River Photos

Programs: National Conservation Lands: Wild and Scenic Rivers: Oregon Slideshow

The John Day River basin drains nearly 8,100 square miles of central and northeast Oregon. It is one of our nation’s longest free-flowing river systems. Elevations range from 265 feet at the confluence with the Columbia River to over 9,000 feet at the headwaters in the Strawberry Mountain Range.  The John Day River system is fortunate to have designation under two important river preservation programs: the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act. Together, these two acts, one a federal program and one a state program, provide the best protection available today for the natural, scenic, and recreational values of our river environments.The Chimney Rock segment of the Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River is becoming increasingly popular for all kinds of recreation. Thousands of people visit each year to enjoy the incredible fishing, camping, and scenic views. The area provides for many types of recreation activities including: camping, fishing, hiking, and driving, or bicycling on the Crooked River Backcountry Byway. A paved portion of the 43-mile long Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway winds its way through the river canyon. The "Grand Canyon" of Oregon!  Deep down into the 1,000-foot canyons of eastern Oregon, you'll find the Owyhee River. Originally named for a trio of Hawaiian trappers exploring the uncharted river, the name of the Owyhee is derived from an earlier version of "Hawaii".  Today this river is well-known by rafters for its remote beauty and technically challenging rapids. But it's also a protected Wild & Scenic River maintained by the BLM to ensure its millions of years of history and archaeological values will carry on to future generations.Just a hop skip and a jump from Oregon's capitol (that's Salem for you geography buffs out there…) is one of the real gems in Oregon's wild and scenic river system – Elkhorn Creek. This super cool wild and scenic river consists of a 5.8 mile wild river area, extending from a point along the Willamette National Forest to its confluence with Buck Creek. A smaller segment of 0.6 miles, designated as a scenic river area, extends from the confluence of Buck Creek to that point where the segment leaves the BLM boundary in Township 9. Visit one of Oregon's most beautiful rivers. Renowned for outstanding salmon and steelhead fishing and exhilarating whitewater challenges, the North Umpqua River offers an ideal setting for many recreational pursuits. The North Umpqua provides the right challenge for all types of rafters and kayakers, from placid Class I waters to roaring Class IV rapids.  The best months to raft are May, June, and early July. Later in the summer as the water flows decrease, boaters test their rock-maneuvering skills as the rapids become more technical. Almost 34 miles of the North Umpqua have been designated as a Wild and Scenic River and this section has been set aside exclusively for fly-fishing. The 79-mile-long North Umpqua Trail parallels the river and offers visitors challenging hiking and mountain biking experiences. The long narrow canyon that surrounds the Deschutes River in the Steelhead Falls area pulls visitors away from nearby human influences and places them in a spectacular steep-sloped channel of unique character. Noise from human infrastructure is masked by the roar of the river at the falls, and hikers become entranced by the colors of the stream-side vegetation and the textured reds and browns of the cliff walls.Ever visited a film set? No? How about rafting on one?!  Alongside Oregon’s picturesque Rogue River, John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn shot their 1975 film, Rooster Cogburn. And now these public lands can serve as your very own personal backdrop where you’re the star of a movie about hiking, rafting, exploring, and more!  Sound good? Then let’s get ready for our close-up with this cinematic selection of new and historic photos from the Rogue River!  The Rogue River is located in southwestern Oregon and flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. The 84 mile, Congressionally-designated "National Wild and Scenic" portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach.  The Rogue was one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Rogue National Wild and Scenic River is surrounded by forested mountains and rugged boulder and rock-lined banks. The Salmon River is designated for its entire length, from its headwaters in the snowfields high on Mt. Hood to its confluence with the Sandy River. Only an hour's drive from Portland, this clear river cascades over numerous waterfalls in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness before reaching its lower forested canyons. The river's proximity to metropolitan Portland, Oregon, makes it easy for people to enjoy the diverse recreational opportunities that the river offers.  The Salmon River drainage incorporates portions of two major physiographic zones—the Cascade Mountain range and the Columbia Basin. As a result, the corridor contains great faunal, floral and topographic diversity, with alpine environments, narrow basalt canyons, and wide floodplains with associated wetlands.  The river's outstandingly remarkable values include its scenery, recreation, fisheries, wildlife, hydrology and botany.


All Oregon and Washington Wild and Scenic Rivers

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Wild and Scenic River Photos

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