site title graphic


breitenbush river with title graphic

Two forks and several tributary creeks of the Breitenbush River flow off the slopes of Mt. Jefferson through a wilderness and then through a scenic gorge. The US Forest Service has found these rivers eligible for Wild & Scenic status, which is why the Friends of Douglas-Fir National Monument nominated the streams for inclusion in Senator Wyden and Merkley’s River Democracy Act of 2021.

The Lionshead fire has impacted the Breitenbush area. The degree of impact is not yet clear.

Fire is a natural part of the Cascades ecosystem. Even if some of the forests along the Breitenbush have been altered, with some trees changed from live to damaged or dead, the Breitnbush will retain its wild and scenic character. There is still life in a dead tree [insects, birds, etc.]. Protection will preserve the outstanding values of the Breitenbush streams, including the class IV rapids, and will provide a demonstration of how forests cope with and change due to a fire.

breitenbush river graphic


breitenbush river 2 graphic

The Breitenbush and some of its inflowing tributaries offer Class IV rapids for the enthusiast. Hiking trails run along the South Fork Breitenbush Gorge National Scenic Trail and along the mainstem. Even after the fire, the river should offer opportunities for camping, recreational driving, photography, fishing, and seeking solitude. The popular hot springs in and near Breitenbush Hot Springs and Resort, which should rebuild, will continue to offer a unique perspective to enjoy the Cascades.

breitenbush river with canoe graphic

Photo courtesy of Jacob Cruser

britenbush oldgrowth

breitenbush river 3 graphic

Even after the fire, the Breitenbush will provide a scenic corridor, supporting the West Cascades Scenic Byway and the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway.

The Breitenbush and its major tributaries have been included in Senator Wyden’s River Democracy Act of 2021, co-sponsored by Senator Merkley.
You can download a document supporting the inclusion of the Breitenbush here. You can find information on how to support the nomination here.

Return to Rivers and Waterways List