Molalla River, OR

Molalla Wild and Scenic River (Southern boundary line of T 7 S, R 4 E, Section 19 to Edge of the Bureau of Land Management boundary in T 6 S, R 3 E, Section 7)

Springing from its headwaters in northern Oregon's Cascade Range, the cold, clear waters of the Molalla River traverse across both public and private lands to eventually reach the confluence with the Willamette River. Located just an hour away from the greater Portland and Salem metro areas, the designated segment of the Molalla River feels like a world apart. In addition to providing clean drinking water for the cities of Molalla and Canby, this river hosts a diversity of critical habitat values and provides the setting for exceptional year-around recreation opportunities. Administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), thousands of visitors come to the Molalla River corridor to enjoy hiking, whitewater boating, fishing, camping, or just simply to take in the sights and sounds of this free-flowing river.

The river offers more than recreation, though. Complementing the abundance of diverse wildlife, unique geological features, and wealth of scenic attractions, the Molalla River provides critical spawning and rearing habitat for wild winter steelhead, salmon, and native cutthroat trout. This river, along with the BLM's Table Rock Wilderness, are landscapes of important cultural and historic significance. Reaching back thousands of years, the river corridor has been used as an east-west travel and trade route, linking the peoples of the Willamette Valley to those of the high desert region of eastern Oregon.

BLM administrative studies in 1990 determined that the mainstem Molalla River and the Table Rock Fork were eligible for wild and scenic river designation. The mainstem Molalla's outstandingly remarkable values (ORV) were identified as scenic and recreational, while the Table Rock Fork's ORVs were identified as scenic and cultural. A 1994 suitability assessment of the mainstem Molalla found the river segment to be suitable for wild and scenic river designation, with scenic, recreational, and geologic ORVs. The Table Rock Fork Molalla was determined to be suitable for designation in 2016, with scenic and cultural ORVs. In 2019, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9; Dingell Act) designated a 15.1-mile segment of the mainstem and 6.2-mile segment of the Table Rock Fork Molalla to be managed as a recreational river by the Secretary of the Interior.

This river has also been designated an Oregon State Scenic Waterway.


For More Information Visit:

Molalla River - BLM

Section Details

Trip Length 15.1 Miles
Notes Camping in designated campgrounds only
Camping Yes
Manager Bureau of Land Management, Northwest Oregon District
Wild & Scenic Yes
Water Trail No
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