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North Santiam River at Jawbone Flats - map

Nearest town is Gates, OR

The North Santiam River runs from its headwaters in the Opal Creek Wilderness to join with several tributaries and continue as the Santiam River all the way to the Willamette River. The North Santiam offers old native forests, stunning trails, scenic waterfalls, and fish and wildlife habitat. The Nehalem is situated in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, and offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, fishing, nature viewing and boating.

Help keep this river clean and healthy by adopting today! You can make a difference for this watershed and all who depend upon it.

About this State Scenic Waterway

The North Santiam River is a designated State Scenic Waterway between Battle Axe Creek and river mile 16.7 at the Willamette National Forest boundary (9 miles). 

Oregon's diversity of river systems contributes richly to our quality of life. Oregonians decided to protect special waterways in 1970 when they voted two-to-one to establish the Oregon Scenic Waterways Program. The program seeks to balance protection and use through cooperation between federal, state, and local agencies as well as individual property owners and those who recreate along a waterway.  The program goals include:

  • Protect the free-flowing character of designated rivers;
  • Protect and enhance scenic and natural values, recreation, and fish and wildlife
  • Protect private property rights; 
  • Encourage other agencies to act consistently with the goals of scenic waterways


This river stretch was nominated by Laurel Hillmann, State Scenic Waterways Program, 503-986-0700