Whitewater Forum: Class 3-3+ recommendations near Seattle Aug 1-8?
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Class 3-3+ recommendations near Seattle Aug 1-8?

Printed From: ProfessorPaddle.com
Category: General
Forum Name: Whitewater Forum
Forum Discription: Open Discussion Forum. Whitewater related subjects only
URL: http://www.professorpaddle.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12225
Printed Date: 21 Apr 2019 at 2:00pm


Topic: Class 3-3+ recommendations near Seattle Aug 1-8?
Posted By: KirkE
Subject: Class 3-3+ recommendations near Seattle Aug 1-8?
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 6:58am
Hey everyone,

I am bringing my wife out this August, and she has never been to the PacNW. I am trying to get her on the best class 3 stuff out there. Not really interested in the dry side/Wenatchee stuff, I want to show her the lush side out there. Originally I had planned on taking her to the Elaho-Squamish, Cal-Cheak and keeping it in BC, but now it seems that we have another high water year and that stuff might be a little bigger than she is used to.

Here is what I have been looking at:

NF Nooksack class 3 section

Middle Middle Snoqualmie - will this still have water, Min?

Skykomish

Middle/Lower Dosewallips - will this still have flow?

Lower Elwha - trying to sneak in a day for the Grand so we'll be up there anyway

Chilliwack Classic section, would the canyon be low by then and more in the class 3+ range?

Coquihalla was recommended

Hoping the Chehalis near Mission would have some water, as it looks easy but super scenic.

If anyone sees something I am leaving off the list, or has any comments on the above list, I appreciate any info.

Thanks,
Kirk



Replies:
Posted By: septimus prime
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 7:38am
OP gorge, super lush, beautiful class 3:

Humptulips, E. Fork     
1 - FR 2206 access to FR 22 Bridge (Narrows Run)


Posted By: JoesKayak
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 8:57am
Originally posted by KirkE

Hey everyone,

I am bringing my wife out this August, and she has never been to the PacNW. I am trying to get her on the best class 3 stuff out there. Not really interested in the dry side/Wenatchee stuff, I want to show her the lush side out there. Originally I had planned on taking her to the Elaho-Squamish, Cal-Cheak and keeping it in BC, but now it seems that we have another high water year and that stuff might be a little bigger than she is used to.

Here is what I have been looking at:

NF Nooksack class 3 section

Middle Middle Snoqualmie - will this still have water, Min?

Skykomish

Middle/Lower Dosewallips - will this still have flow?

Lower Elwha - trying to sneak in a day for the Grand so we'll be up there anyway

Chilliwack Classic section, would the canyon be low by then and more in the class 3+ range?

Coquihalla was recommended

Hoping the Chehalis near Mission would have some water, as it looks easy but super scenic.

If anyone sees something I am leaving off the list, or has any comments on the above list, I appreciate any info.

Thanks,
Kirk


Here's my thoughts for the timing that you'll be here...

NF Nooksack - this is a great time for this run as long as there is warm  enough water to bring it up. After August first there is an honor system agreement for paddlers not to run this section if the level is below 1000 cfs because of the spawning salmon. The run is more fun if it's over 1000 anyway. Very fun class 3 run, although a bit short.

MF Snoqualmie will likely be low then. It might still be running but at the very low end of flows unless we get a freak summer rain that brings it up.

Skykomish - A great choice for that time. It will be runnable. It will be either at the very low end or a medium low level. You have boulder drop to contend with. At really low levels (like 1000 or under) boulder drop can be run by aggressive class 3 boaters, especially with someone to show you the lines. At those levels, it really breaks down into 3 seperate drops. Anything much higher though and you're looking at a solid class 4 or harder rapid, and it could very easily still be 3000 or more around August 1 this year. Still, you can portage Boulder drop, and then everything else is no harder than 3+.

Dosewalips - Hard to say if it will be running, it does come off higher peaks in the Olympics... It is a fun run but has a couple of class 4 rapids. Not hard class 4s, but a step up from 3+.

Chilliwack  middle run should be in great shape then. Tamihi rapids is the  hardest drop on the run and you can scout it easily as its just up from the bridge that crosses the river. Even at low water, you should consider the Canyon section class 4.

Coquihalla and Chehalis I think are both somewhat rain dependent and without rain will be too low. (Vancouver Kayak club peeps would know better than me). But if you can get on the Chehalis it is highly recommended. One of the best 3+ runs I know of.

Other ideas:

The SAUK is a fantastic 3 - 3+ run and should still be running, at least at lower (but still fun) flows in early August. For a longer run on a sunny day run from Whitechuck down to the Darrington Mill bridge for a 9-10 mile run. Fantastic scenery as well.

Also if everything is dropping real low, you can always run the Skagit river. Its dam controlled so it's always running year round. The down side is, though it has a few nice rapids. (like 3 class 2 and a short canyon with 3 3s) it's mostly a swift float on flatwater. The N. Cascades scenery is spectacular, though.










Posted By: WA-Boater
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 9:00am
Here is what I know:

Middle Middle Snoqualmie
- low side of good

Skykomish - good to go; might be a bit on the low side, but still runnable and beautiful

Middle/Lower Dosewallips - low, but definately runnable - highly recommended - hike up river 3/4 mile from roads end and put in at the bottom of the Maze.

Lower Elwha - runnable - on the low side with the dam being gone now. Used to be great in August.



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Posted By: KirkE
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 10:05am
Joe,

Thanks for all the info. Question about NF Nooksack:

On the AW page it says to refrain from boating starting the second Monday in August per the quote below:

"1) Avoid recreational activities that include contact access on the water (e.g. paddling, fishing, wading) from the second Monday in August to October 15th. During this period of low water, which occurs during the Chinook spawning period, fish are particularly vulnerable to disturbance from boats that pass overhead or individuals wading in the river. An exception is allowed at higher flows above 1000 cfs (as measured by the USGS gauge)."

Should we be OK running it August then?

Kirk


Posted By: JoesKayak
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 10:13am
Originally posted by KirkE

Joe,

Thanks for all the info. Question about NF Nooksack:

On the AW page it says to refrain from boating starting the second Monday in August per the quote below:

"1) Avoid recreational activities that include contact access on the water (e.g. paddling, fishing, wading) from the second Monday in August to October 15th. During this period of low water, which occurs during the Chinook spawning period, fish are particularly vulnerable to disturbance from boats that pass overhead or individuals wading in the river. An exception is allowed at higher flows above 1000 cfs (as measured by the USGS gauge)."

Should we be OK running it August then?

Kirk


Oh, cool... I had thought it was from 8/1 to 10/15... but you're right, it's from the 2nd monday inAugust which is 8/13 this year. So you're good to go on the Nooksack since your trip is before that.









Posted By: KirkE
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 10:16am
Thanks for the clarification Joe. Definitely adding the Sauk to the list by the way. Looks like a great combo of scenery and whitewater. That's what we're looking for.

Thanks all,
Kirk


Posted By: JoesKayak
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 10:21am
Originally posted by KirkE

Thanks for the clarification Joe. Definitely adding the Sauk to the list by the way. Looks like a great combo of scenery and whitewater. That's what we're looking for.

Thanks all,
Kirk


Also highly recomended if you like self-support overnight trips is the upper/middle Sauk combo.

Put in at Bedal campground, then between 4-7 miles downstream you'll find a bunch of nice beaches to camp at. Then on day 2 continue down through the middle section.

You'll want at least 800 cfs on the Sauk above Whitechuck gauge for running the upper run and 1200+ is much better.


Posted By: BrianP
Date Posted: 25 Jun 2012 at 11:10am
The green will be low I'm sure, BUT, I think its a very scenic run and the lower can be run pretty low (i think I've been on it down to 500), granted there is some scraping. You never know, we could get a storm that necessitates a dam release (not sure if rain alone would so the trick). All of the other suggestions look better given when you'll be here, but if you're close to it and there's nothing else it may be worth a look.


Posted By: jP
Date Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 9:51am
Nah, Green should be at its very driest by then. Its is true that you never know, but there will be plenty of better class III options. I am surprised no one mentioned the White Salmon. Yes, it is about 4 hrs from Seattle, but in August its one of the very best runs around. Certainly more of a class III+ run then. Hussum falls is always at least class IV but you can take out above it or portage it.

The Sky is good quality. Dosewallups will probably be too low in Augast, I'd think. Elwha maybe still runnable. Humptulips always worth consideration.

Say what you will but the Wenatchee is nearly always good for some play. Oops. You said no "dry side/ Wenatchee".

White Salmon. Go to the White Salmon!

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🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋


Posted By: osmelendez
Date Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 9:15pm
I have an idea! Why don't your wife and my wife go hang out in downtown Seattle and we can go run some class IV sh*t! There's plenty of that around.


Posted By: SupaSta
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2012 at 11:35am
One note on the Sauk.  It's silty glacier run-off, not crystal clear, so it's a bit different.  Very fun run

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Life is short, paddle hard!



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