Paper pub. date
October 2014
ISBN 9780870716270 (paperback)
5 x 8 inches, 320 pages. Full Color Photographs. Illustrations. Index. Maps. Appendices. Sources.

Field Guide to Oregon Rivers

Tim Palmer
drawings by William E. Avery

Despite Oregon’s watery reputation, the state has lacked a field guide for its many celebrated rivers and streams—until now. Preeminent river conservationist, photographer, and author Tim Palmer’s Field Guide to Oregon Rivers is an unprecedented reference that profiles 120 waterways throughout the state, from the Alsea to the Williamson.

Field Guide to Oregon Rivers offers travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, and resource professionals an interpretive approach to the state’s network of waterways. The book begins with a natural history of Oregon’s rivers— geology, climate, hydrology, plants, animals, and ecology. Then in ten chapters organized by watersheds, Palmer presents portraits of individual rivers, with a summary of its character, notes about its nature and fish, and comments about ongoing threats along with protection efforts. He points to opportunities for seeing the river, hiking along its shores, fishing, and exploring by canoe, kayak, raft, or drift boat.

The guide concludes with a series of appendices addressing the Best River Running, the Best Hiking Along Rivers, the Best Fishing, Oregon’s Finest Natural Rivers, and more. With fifty illustrations identifying common riparian plants and animals, and 150 of Palmer’s award-winning photographs showcasing the variety and grandeur of Oregon’s magnificent rivers estate, this volume is an ideal outdoor companion for all Oregonians and visitors to the state.

About the author

Tim Palmer is the author and photographer of 26 books about rivers, the American landscape, and adventure travel. He has received the National Outdoor Book Award, the Communicator of the Year Award from the National Wildlife Federation, the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Rivers, and other honors. See his work at 

Read more about this author

Video clip with Tim Palmer, brought to you by Freshwaters Illustrated.

“Many of North America’s truly great rivers flow in and through Oregon. This book is an essential tool for anyone who paddles, fishes, explores and wants to understand the natural history—and challenges—facing these amazing waterways. Thanks to Tim Palmer, now we have a field guide worthy of Oregon’s rivers.” —John DeVoe, Executive Director of WaterWatch of Oregon

"This densely packed 320-page gem more aptly could be called a gotta-have-it for anyone who loves the outdoors... If you are expecting a Wikipedia-like collection of cut-and-paste entries, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise from Palmer, who writes with the eyes of both a conservationist and passionate outdoorsman." —Henry Miller, Salem Statesman Journal


"Until the release of Field Guide to Oregon Rivers, by Tim Palmer, there's never been a field guide that encompasses the entire state. He doesn't just write about the legendary waterways, but includes the lesser known, including the Williamson, Chewaucan, Wood and other wondrous waterways ... For people wanting to learn more about Oregon's stunning network of waterways, Field Guide to Oregon Rivers is a great addition to any bookshelf."

Lee Juillerat, Basin Outdoors

Sign Up for Our Newsletter