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Ride Profile: Log Jammer

By on 04/29/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Ride Type: Flume

Manufacturer: Arrow Dynamics
Model/Style: Log Flume
Year Built: 1971

When Magic Mountain opened to the public in 1971, one of the most popular rides was Log Jammer. It was a flume ride in which you floated through the wooded hillside in a hollowed out log. The ride proved to be so popular due to helping people stay cool in the hot Southern California sun that a second flume ride was added the following year. Log Jammer pleased guests for 40 amazing years before finally being closed on 31 Oct 2011.

Built by Arrow Dynamics, Log Jammer was located in the High Sierra Territory part of the park, in front of Mooseburger Lodge. Of course, neither of those even existed when Log Jammer was built. It’s hard for me to believe, but I discovered that I do not have a single photo of the entire ride building from before it was closed. The following photo is part of the building, taken after the ride closed and was starting to be dismantled. It was being used to display promotional materials:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

If anyone has a nice photo of the entire building they are willing to share, send it to me and I’ll replace the above photo. You’ll get full credit, of course.

This next photo shows the Log Jammer sign, hanging off the right-side corner of the building. The main entrance to the ride was located just below this sign:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

This was the main entrance, with a series of switchbacks located underneath the building:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

After you made your way through the switchbacks, which would fill up on hot summer days, the line would lead underneath the flume and up a flight of stairs on the far side to the loading area. You can just see the stairs under the blue flume trough:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Once you climbed the stairs, which you can see on the left, you crossed over a small bridge and then down onto a loading platform to board your log. It was a dual-loading station, meaning that two logs could be loaded simultaneously. The theory was that one log could be loaded on one side while a second empty log was moved into position on the other side. When the first log launched, the second log could immediately be loaded without having to wait for an empty log. Meanwhile, another empty log would slide into the position of the first log that was just launched. This also helped to keep the logs spaced out along the course. As you can see, both lanes merge into a single lane just after leaving the station:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

Each log could hold up to four people, tandem style, two in front and two in back. The seats were a little cozy for four adults. One adult in front and one in back was the most comfortable, or an adult and a child paired together also worked well:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

I took this next photo after the ride had already closed, which is why there is no water. It shows the loading station from above and behind. The stairs leading up to the loading platform can be seen in the middle-left of the photo, with the brown colored railing. The covered area on the right was where riders would disembark after the ride was over. They would cross back over the bridge and down the metal stairs you see in the middle-right of the photo, then cross back under the flume and out to the midway. The logs would leave the station on the left, merging into a single trough before going through an s-curve on the way to the main lift hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Make sure you don’t rock the logs, please. This is just after leaving the station and going through the s-curve on the way to the lift hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

The lift hill was a giant conveyor belt, pulling the logs to the top. There are small wheels located on the sides of the logs to keep them centered in the trough. The things you see sticking out of the sides of the trough are anti-rollback devices, designed to keep the logs from sliding backwards in case the belt fails. The wheels would pass over a device and push it flat against the wall. Once the wheel cleared a device, it would pop back out into position, preventing a wheel from going back over it in the opposite direction. If a log ever got stuck, riders could be evacuated and just walk down the platform you see:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Looking backwards from the lift hill, you could see how nicely landscaped the ride was:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

At the top of the lift hill, the log forced its way through a couple of spring-loaded doors designed to keep the water, and the log, in the trough and not run back down the lift hill. Once the log passed, they would snap shut again. Just beyond the curve ahead is the Gold Rusher track, as it makes its way back up and over the hill. If you look really close towards the top-left, you can just make out a very small piece of the yellow track:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

After the track turned right, alongside the Gold Rusher track, it went a little bit further before making a 180 degree turn and came back towards the lift hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

The trough then dipped slightly, passing just underneath the lift hill. Some people referred to this as the first drop, but I don’t think it really classified as a true drop:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

After a few more curves, you would come up to the second lift hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

Here you can see the Gold Rusher roller coaster track on the bottom-right, as it makes its way back up the hill. You can also see that the flume passed under the Metro monorail, which is the beam you see just before the lift hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

Looking back, just before heading up the second lift hill, you can clearly see the Gold Rusher roller coaster as it curved around and underneath the flume:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

In addition to the view of the Sky Tower as you made your way up the second lift hill, you also had a clear view of one of the upcoming drops to your right:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

Looking back at the second lift hill, you can see where the Metro monorail passed overhead as well as the drop we saw going underneath as we were climbing the hill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

This was the gate at the top of what I consider the first true drop. Although it wasn’t the biggest drop on Log Jammer, it was very comparable to what you would to see as the main drop on flume rides at other parks. You can’t see it in this photo, but there was an employee station located just to the right, just to keep an eye on everything:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

This was the gate at the top of the final drop. Again, there was another employee station just to the right to make sure everything was working properly. The trees had gotten very mature over the 40 years, but there was still a heck of a view from up here:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

From the top of this drop, you could clearly see the ride building straight ahead and the start of the first lift hill. The entire water area below was called Whitewater Lake, which is why the old monorail station that was just across the midway was called Whitewater Station. I never experienced it myself, but I imagine it was quite a thrill starting to go down this drop just as the monorail passed right overhead:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

This final drop was a doozy, picking up quite a bit of speed. It was a lot of fun:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

As you can see, the final splashdown into Whitewater Lake really didn’t get you that wet. However I’ve been told that the water level in the lake was nowhere near what it used to be. In years gone by, with more water, there was a much bigger, wetter splash:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Just when you thought the danger of getting wet was over, there were the dreaded Water Blaster nozzles. Each one of these six red nozzles was pointed in your direction and dispensed varying amounts of water in different formats. They were controlled by machines located in the gazebo you see in the distance:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

From the gazebo, anyone could drop a quarter into one of these machines and activate a nozzle right as you were passing by. This one controlled nozzle #5:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

If you were lucky, like this lady and her children, you would stay nice and dry:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Others were not so lucky. These people are getting doused by both a solid stream of water and a very heavy mist:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Once you made it past the Water Blasters, you were in the clear. Looking back, you can just barely make out the final drop falling out of the lush, green hillside:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

As the log approached the station, a diverter was moved back and forth, feeding logs to both sides of the station. Once to the unloading area, you would disembark towards the center, head up and over the bridge to the left, and down the stairs you see on the left. The path led under the flume and out the opposite side of the building from where you entered, putting you back out onto the midway:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Chuck Whiteley III

This next image was provided courtesy of Dan Goodsell. It’s a very old photo of Log Jammer, just as a log reaches the top of the second lift hill. As you can see, there’s virtually no mature landscaping and you can see forever. Gold Rusher sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of the photo as the train makes its way up the second lift hill. Also, you can see Eagle’s Flight, one of the park’s early transportation systems, high in the sky along the path where Superman sits today:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © Dan Goodsell

This old postcard is interesting because virtually nothing in it exists in the park today. Log Jammer is gone, the Metro monorail is gone, and Eagle’s Flight is gone. The building is the Four Winds Steak House, which was most recently known as The Laughing Dragon Pizza Company. The building is still there but the restaurant is closed:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Log Jammer

Image © unknown (postcard)

Here’s a nice video I found of Log Jammer from beginning to end:

Although Six Flags Magic Mountain hasn’t made any official announcements, it’s pretty obvious that Log Jammer was removed to make way for a new thrill ride, either for the 2013 or 2014 season. Here is a very short video that shows what the entire Whitewater Lake area looks like today:

I’d like to thank Chuck Whiteley III for providing the bulk of the photos that made this profile possible. A lot of people sent me some really great photos of Log Jammer, and I’d like to thank each and everyone of you as well.

40 Comments

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  6. Anthony Stamps

    04/29/2012 at 9:35 pm

    I think it would have been better if they hadn’t remove the lake along with the ride because while they decide what to build there it looks really ugly, dirty and empty, at least seeing the lake would be nice.

    • Anthony Stamps

      04/29/2012 at 9:36 pm

      Now that I think about my comment, maybe they want the area to get completely dry from the humidity of decades if they want to build something there.

      • Donovan Boczko

        04/29/2012 at 10:21 pm

        I think they do know what they are going to build there. The project seems like it needs a lot of landscaping done, so they are getting a head start on it. I love seeing construction at theme parks, its great to see these feats of engineering being built. I just hope they make the White Water lake area look just as good, if not better, than what it did before.

        • Kurt

          04/30/2012 at 1:30 pm

          I have complete faith that the entire area will look as nice if not better than when they started.

    • Kurt

      04/30/2012 at 1:29 pm

      I’m sure that whatever ride ends up going here will have new landscaping added all the way around it.

  7. JJJJ

    04/30/2012 at 12:57 am

    They really need another water ride somewhere else. The logs were great, because it was long, shaded etc, a very comfortable ride.

  8. Jacob

    04/30/2012 at 12:28 pm

    they really have a lot of space to work with in that spot. I expect something “BIG” to go in that space. i could actually see a few different type of coasters there. a multi-launch coaster is what i would really like to see there but i guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.

    • zac

      01/10/2013 at 12:17 am

      good guess ^.^

  9. Robert

    04/30/2012 at 3:01 pm

    I was reading an article from the la times and it said that an employee said the space is being used for a roller coaster with the world’s biggest loop

  10. Eric

    04/30/2012 at 8:39 pm

    At one time, the switchbacks under the Log Jammer station wound around toward the middle, and you took a flight of stairs up to the center of the loading platform. That only lasted one year; in 1972, the stairs off to the side and the bridge going over to the middle of the platform was added. Not sure why they did that.

    When the park was new (1971), guests could park in the area where Hurricane Harbor is now. Back then, the park’s greenery had not yet grown in, so you could see much of Log Jammer and Gold Rusher from the parking lot.

    On the original park guide, it says that Log Jammer ends with a “90-foot plunge” into Whitewater Lake. For years, I thought the last drop was 90 feet high, but then I figured that the 90 feet was likely measured from the highest point of the ride (which would be the part between the second lift and the top of the first drop. By my estimates, the first drop was about 30 feet, and the second drop was 45-50 feet. For years it was the tallest drop on a flume that I had experienced.

    I have indeed taken that final drop while a Metro train went over. I always worried that I’d get spit on. Thankfully I never did.

    The water cannons were (in my opinion) the worst thing they did for Log Jammer. It was always a pain to have gone through the entire ride and get little more than a splash—enough to cool you off—only to come to the end and get soaked by those things.

    More water rides would be great at Magic Mountain, but always remember that flumes, slides, and whitewater rapids rides are incredible energy hogs and maintenance intensive—which costs the park a lot of cash that could be used elsewhere more efficiently. If you want to get wet, it’s looking more and more like you’ll have to go next door to Hurricane Harbor. Some parks with a waterpark have started offering theirs as part of regular admission—even a couple of the Six Flags parks have done so. Perhaps at some point, so will SFMM.

    • Kurt

      05/01/2012 at 9:55 am

      Great history, as always, Eric. Do you happen to know what is actually inside the building? I’ve tried zooming in through the open doorway on the back, but it’s just too dark to see anything. I’m surprised the queue line didn’t make its way up into the building and then over a small bridge to the loading area.

      I searched everywhere for stats on this ride, especially its length and drop heights, and couldn’t find a single thing. Seem odd to me they wouldn’t have published that data at some point.

      The water cannons were the very reason I stopped riding the Log Jammer. I knew I’d never really get that wet from the ride itself, however I absolutely hated getting tagged from the cannons. I’ve seen kids man every station and absolutely soak unsuspecting families as they floated by. I could tell the people were not happy, especially when the little kids started crying. ALways made me feel bad.

      • Eric

        05/01/2012 at 12:16 pm

        I think the water cannons were yet another way to help empty the pockets of the park’s guests, but that’s just my opinion. 😉

        As I said before, the drop heights are just my estimate. As for the length of the ride, I’ve always heard that it was in the half-mile range, though I’ve never seen any published figures. Not long ago, just for fun, I opened Google Maps satellite view and used the distance measuring feature. That’s a really cool tool that you can use to measure, say, the length and width of a property or a route that you’ve walked from the air. With the application, I drew a line that followed Log Jammer’s path, and I arrived at 2100 feet. Of course, that’s not taking the variations in height into account.

        Finally, as for what’s inside the building, I have no clue. I will regret to my dying day not taking more photos of the park over the years. They’d be priceless now. However, I did recently scan some pictures that I took in 1973. Mostly from Eagle’s Flight, but you can see how the park’s entrance was then (way before Hurricane Harbor, obviously), and how close you could park at one time. I can e-mail those to you; feel free to use them if you do a retro update.

        • Eric

          05/01/2012 at 8:52 pm

          Wait…now that I think about it, I believe logs were stored inside the building. Obviously not very many at once, but I remember looking in there in years past and seeing a log or two. It’s possible that logs that developed a leak or some other problem were put in there until they could be repaired. But that’s just a wild guess—don’t quote me on that. 😉

  11. benjamin brown

    05/02/2012 at 12:06 am

    As for what is inside that building, it was a storage area for logs. During the winter they would only use one side and could store about a dozen logs in there and stack up other logs on the side not being used. Now a little known fact about that building is that the far “wall facing the midway was actually a sliding door. That was how they could take logs out for refurb and put completed logs back in service. When decorating the park for freight fest we had to open the door so items could be placed in the building. Now the ride had a number of problems…some constant others only once in a while. The constant problem was called back wash. It happens in the fall when the leaves fall off the trees and cover the pump intake which would cause the pump to stut down. With no water in the flume the guests are standed all over the ride. The staff has to push all the logs by hand to the first drop or base of the lift then have them get out and walk down off the ride. This would take 30-40 mins and once all guests are off the ride they can restart the pump.

    One other problem that has happend a few times is the flume in the loading area would break open. The problem with that is the lake is higher then the midway and ALL the water would drain out into the moosebuger lodge and bugs bunny world. The final problem is removing and adding logs to the ride required use of a small crane and it could only be done while the park is closed. Unlike the jet stream where they can load or remove boats using a plateform dolly and a single person. Finally the amount of staff it requires to run is one of the largest (by example: when metro was open with 3 trains and 3 open stations required 6 positions and 2 people to run breaks/lunches. It only ttakes 2 people to run revolution and 1 to run breaks/lunches)

    I didn’t mean to ramble this much but I hope the info is helpful.

    • Kurt

      05/02/2012 at 8:12 am

      Fantastic background information, Benjamin! It’s very interesting to hear of the challenges of operating a ride like that, which the average park guest wouldn’t have a clue about. Thank you very much for sharing.

      • benjamin brown

        05/07/2012 at 12:21 pm

        I’m glad you liked the info. I was thinking about this ride and was reminded of a few things that I forgot about. One time I was day transferred to log jammer and had to help take a few logs out of service and replace them with spare logs. In order to take the log out of service thay would open a gate and you had to push the log sideways into the building then another operator would use a pole similar to one used on swimming pools. Now personally I CANNOT stand being in wet cloths and wet shoes are even worse so, as you guessed while pushing the log into the building I didn’t get my foot out of the log in time and fellthe water. Now it was only above the knees but for the next hour I worked the ride then went to lunch. You could follow me by the wet footprints from the ride all the was up to food etc. I was not a happy camper.

        Now both log jammer and jet stream had a fan. He was this little old jewish guy whom we nicknamed “floomie”. He would come to the park and would ride both rides but he insisted on riding every model of log (some with the logo on the front, some without, some with the sixs flags name, etc. On jet stream he would ride every color boat they had. Since he was insistant on what log/boat he wanted he stood out and thus the nickname floomie. He actually helped out in the park one day when a guest was injured and they only spoke yiddish. Now the park keeps track of staff members that speak another language but this being sunday they didn’t have anyone to translate but a supervisor remembered that floomie was in the park as he got a call from a fairly new ride operator about some old guy was wanting a certain color boat so he called the ride and floomie was there waiting for a white boat and he was asked to translate which he did. The park bought him dinner at the moosebuger lodge for helping.

        Now that was during thew mid 1990’s and I am sure that floomie is no longer with us but I will always remember him.

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  13. heath

    08/09/2012 at 8:51 pm

    Im not happy about this ride being removed.It is one of the signature rides of the park and part of my childhood memories.I have been attending since the park opened in 1971 and have a banner in my room from 71 that has the original rides,log jammer,gold rusher,metro,eagles flight,carousel,funicular,grand prix, valencia falls,and last but not least the skytower.Its kinda like if you took the matterhorn down at dineyland,well maybe not to that extreme but you get my drift.I thought it was one of the better log rides i had been on as well,really long and a couple of good drops.Farwell my freind

    • Kurt

      08/09/2012 at 8:55 pm

      It sounds like you have the exact same pennant that I framed and hung in my office.

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  17. Nick

    12/20/2012 at 3:42 pm

    Oh boy, the stories I could tell. I would get day transferred all the time here from Bugs Bunny Hell as we called it.

    The boathouse as it was called was only half flooded to float boats for storage and transfer via the overhead crane. The Northern half was our break room where our lead would fill out paperwork and chill out. This was cluttered up with the swamp coolers that would blow in the queue below. So we really only had space for one of those park table/bench combos.

    There was a safety policy that riders had to wear a shirt on the drops (Honestly idk what a shirt would do if you fell out, but it was law). Daily guests would remove their tops (usually girls in white shirts to be frank) and we would have to hold in the black reset button on the brake just before the stop and wait until they redressed. Funny for me, awkward for them. It still amazes me that they would ask me if I was sure they had to while more and more boats backed up looking at them.

    Speaking of boats backing up, at a point, the 2nd lift hill will shut down if the little turn around before the 1st drop fills up. Then boats will start backing up at the bottom of that lift. When that happens water will start overflowing the flume, POURING a DOUBLE WATERFALL over the GoldRusher track. How do I know this? Let’s say one day the Area Supervisor, Jammer’s Lead, and crew decided to leave station manned entirely by day transfers while they took a long lunch. We had every last boat running and was using both sides. Two logs were returning to the station gate very close to each other, the 1st passed and the gate swung over and was jammed on the front of the 2nd. Thinking that it will get unjammed when a 3rd boat knocks the 2nd, we waited, unaware that the large toggle on the boathouse side of unload’s pillar doesn’t operate the boathouse in anyway, but the left/right side gate. Something they didn’t tell anyone at the station. So as boats backed up into the runout of the final drop increasing the impact, we called the drop to hold their logs, but soon the same happened at the 1st drop’s runout, and brake 2 had to call up to brake 1 to hold, then his boats started backing up and lift 2 shutdown and started backing up. And that’s when we made a double waterfall. Eventually Lift 2 called station to tell us that we had to call GoldRusher to shutdown, as we were looking for the number, they called us to ask WTF was going on XD since their trains were full of water. Just then the Area Supervisor, Jammer’s Lead, and crew came back from lunch hearing on the radios that Jammer was 10-7, 10-35 (un-operational with stranded guests), then on the way over heard the call again that GoldRusher was 10-7 due to Jammer, they started rushing over. Saw the disaster, and flipped the podium’s toggle to move the station gate.

    It took a while to clear everyone, and blame was dodged because no one at station was trained beyond load/unload, and the lead and area sup thought I was (I wasn’t) and missed that if everyone went to lunch that were in the boathouse that would leave the remaining trained ride ops in the hills. What a day!

    Also, at night guests (couples) thought after we leave the station, there’s not another human for the next 3 minutes. FALSE! We are everywhere! Stop having adult activities! One night I was at brake 1 (the 1st drop) a log was coming around the turns and I saw a girl in the front section, guy in the rear (there was a seatback in the middle) and her shoulder was moving around, arm was behind her. Upon seeing me, she got scared and quickly wiped her hand on the front of her shirt XP To teach them a lesson, I hit reset and just held them up there for a bit, cleared my throat, and let them go.

    I’m going to miss Log Jammer, Jet Stream is terrible, so bumpy, and now there’s nothing to ride to cool off on that half of the park! The next water rides are either Rapids (hella far) or Tidal Wave (not the ride, the bridge). Full Throttle seems like a 1 trick pony and not worth the tradeoff 🙁 I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it since we just lost a rare family ride at a park that doesn’t have many

    • Kurt

      12/20/2012 at 5:05 pm

      This is funny! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  25. Erik

    11/05/2013 at 11:24 am

    I miss this ride… :-/

  26. Pablo

    07/09/2014 at 10:38 pm

    I actually enjoyed the water cannons..

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  28. sahfah net

    05/07/2017 at 10:48 pm

    After the drop, the boats make an s-turn, which directs them toward the start of the ride.

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