Breitenbush River

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For other uses, see Breitenbush (disambiguation).
Breitenbush River
Breitenbush River in western Oregon, north of Detroit.jpg
Breitenbush River north of Detroit.
Country United States
State Oregon
Regions Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Willamette National Forest
Source junction of North and South forks
 - elevation 686 m (2,251 ft)
 - coordinates 44°46′48″N 121°57′53″W / 44.78000°N 121.96472°W / 44.78000; -121.96472
Mouth North Santiam River
 - elevation 515 m (1,690 ft)
 - coordinates 44°44′57″N 122°8′2″W / 44.74917°N 122.13389°W / 44.74917; -122.13389Coordinates: 44°44′57″N 122°8′2″W / 44.74917°N 122.13389°W / 44.74917; -122.13389
Length 18.1 km (11 mi)
Basin 108 sq mi (280 km2)
Discharge for above French Creek near Detroit Lake
 - average 569 cu ft/s (16 m3/s)
 - max 16,900 cu ft/s (479 m3/s)
 - min 87 cu ft/s (2 m3/s)

The Breitenbush River is a tributary of the North Santiam River[1] in western Oregon in the United States. It drains a rugged, forested area of the Cascade Range east of Salem.

It descends from several short forks in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness in the high Cascades of eastern Marion County. The South Fork Breitenbush River begins at creeks flowing from Bays Lake and Russell Lake within Jefferson Park at approximately elevation 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and flows west-northwest, joining with other forks. The North Fork Breitenbush River begins at Breitenbush Lake (mostly on the Warm Springs Reservation) and joins with another fork which passes by Pyramid Lake. It flows west-northwest and connects with a half dozen other forks and creeks then turns west-southwest abeam Bald Butte. Several more creeks and Mink Creek and Rapidam Creek join before another fork.

The North and South forks flow west, joining 0.25 miles (400 m) east of the small community of Breitenbush. The combined stream flows generally west-southwest through the Willamette National Forest. It joins the North Santiam at Detroit. The lower 2 miles (3.2 km) of the river cut what is now an arm of Detroit Lake, formed by the Detroit Dam on the North Santiam. During the winter draw down of the reservoir, the original bed of the river is visible in its natural course.

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