Big Butte Creek
Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile-long tributary of the Rogue River in the U.S. state of Oregon. Its two forks, the North Fork and the South Fork, both begin high in the Cascade Range near Mount McLoughlin. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated in 1911, and remains the only incorporated town within the watershed’s boundaries.
About Big Butte Creek in brief
Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile-long tributary of the Rogue River in the U.S. state of Oregon. Its two forks, the North Fork and the South Fork, both begin high in the Cascade Range near Mount McLoughlin. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated in 1911, and remains the only incorporated town within the watershed’s boundaries. Big Butte Springs, located in the watershed, provides clean drinking water to more than 115,000 residents of theRogue Valley. The water quality of the creek’s watershed is generally high, and it supports several species of trout and salmon. The Poverty Flats region was designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management in 1995 to protect several rare species of plants. The main stem flows generally northwest until it empties into the Rogue Falls. It drains approximately 245 square miles of southern Oregon southern. About 56 percent of the watershed is federally owned, with an average of 3,528 feet by the summit of Mount McLouglin, with the rest owned by the federal government. The creek’s mouth is located at an elevation of 1,562 feet. The North Fork’s headwaters are located on the slopes of the 6,207-foot-tall Rustler Peak. It flows southwest, receiving many small tributaries such as Jackass, Eighty Acre, and Friese creeks.
The South Fork begins at the confluence of two of its tributings, Twincheria and Rancheria creek, and flows southwest. It turns west and receives Willow Creek on the left. It then flows into theRogue River 155 miles from its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. It is about one mile southwest of William L Jess Dam, and Oregon Route 62 passes just north of it. About 0.6 miles before its mouth, Big butte Creek cascades over Crowfoot Falls and is crossed by Crowfoot Road. The river is rated on the International Scale of River Difficulty, as rated by the US Geological Survey at 1,500 feet by 1,600 feet. It has three flow gauges: two on the main stem, and one on theSouth Fork, and the other on theMain Stem. The two main forks merge at 2,244 feet above sea level, while the mouth of Big Butter Creek is about 1,495 feet at the mouth. It continues to flow northwest, gathering McNeil Creek and Clark Creek, along with many other minor tributators. The North and South Fork merge about 1 mile downstream, and merges with the North fork about 1mile downstream. The south Fork flows over the 15- feet-tall Butte falls and merging with the north Fork about 1 miles downstream. It ends at the North River, where it flows about one-and-a-half miles southwest.