Whitewater Forum: Paddling the entire White River (Rainier)?
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Paddling the entire White River (Rainier)?

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=16980
Printed Date: 30 May 2020 at 6:32pm

Topic: Paddling the entire White River (Rainier)?
Posted By: Wilder
Subject: Paddling the entire White River (Rainier)?
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2018 at 11:59am
I'd like to paddle the entire White River (Rainier) sometime. In my research so far I cant find any evidence of anyone doing this, and probably for good reason. I realize there will be a ton of dangerous wood and a lot of strenuous portaging. It looks like I can put in near the White River Patrol Cabin. Ideally I'd like to take out as close to the Mud Mountain Dam as possible, and then hike/drive around it to a put in closest to the bottom, but realize that my not be possible and I dont want any trouble with the Army Corps. There is also a fish hatchery below the dam, so I would need to portage around that also, which I also don't know how possible that is. I'm planning a camping trip up that way in September and plan to do some scouting, but if anyone has some intel on this in the mean time that would be awesome. I will be doing this on a paddleboard also which makes multiple portages a bit less painful.

I also need an experienced paddler to go with, any takers? I'm guessing this will take 2-4 days.

Posted By: Wilder
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2018 at 2:10pm
I talked to someone at the Army Corps. Of course they advised against this. They recomended taking out at Bridge Camp, and putting in again at Buckly. That would cut out about 20 miles of river, which is lame, but if that's the only option I'd do it. Does anyone know though if bridge camp is accesible by car, or at least by hiking in from 410?

Posted By: JoesKayak
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2018 at 11:20am
Yes you can hike out from Bridge Camp. There is a gate at 410 and if the clearcutting there hasn't grown up too much since the last time I was there you can spot where the bridge is by looking down the hill from 410. If I recall it's probably a half mile or less walk (uphill on gravel road).

Oh, and Hancock TImber owns the gate and requires a permit to access their land. You can get a walkin day pass for $8. You may be able to get a drive in permit too but they tend to be spendy.


I know that Jay Cohen rafted the White below Bridge camp right up to where the low pool mark is behind Mud Mt. back in the early 90s with special permission from the Army Corps and according to him it was the best section of the river by far with several nice rapids. There was hope for a while that this section would become available to the public but that never came to light unfortunately.

Good luck with your adventure-- and yes you should have a very open mind about wood and portaging if you take this on.

Posted By: JoesKayak
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2018 at 2:39pm
Any update? Did you make this run or part of it?

http://joeskayak.com - Joeskayak.com

Posted By: jP
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2018 at 3:59pm
I just logged on after a long absence and saw that this is the last bit of activity. Naturally, like Joe I was curious about any sort of outcome.

The same basic trip you describe has always existed in my mind as a "theoretical" goal. But then again, most flowing streams I drive along or near offer themselves as potential goals if they look remotely "navigable".

anyway I'd be curious to hear about it if you ran it.


Posted By: dave
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2018 at 9:43pm
Ive ran the section above Greenwater to Bridgecamp several times and it goes good with class II AND easy III rapids and never had any permission problems with the takeout. Just park on 410 and walk out, bike shuttle, ect. Doing the entire river these days would be difficult as the government (you and I) own most of it and we cant access most of it because itís off limits.


Posted By: ZakW
Date Posted: 07 Jan 2019 at 12:05pm
I live in Enumclaw and I'm up for a run any time.

There is public access to the river just upstream of the dam via the "river trail". It's about the same distance and steepness as the lower takeout for the Upper Green Gorge.

There is also somewhat of a bush-whack of a trail down to the river that puts you about a mile downstream of the dam. It's accessed by a powerline right-of-way on SE Mud Mountain Road.

Unfortunately, there is still a nasty weir in Buckley, upstream of the hwy 410 bridge. If it weren't feeding Lake Tapps, wouldn't it be cool to tear that out and put in a play park? Start a playboating scene in Buckley? I could see a bunch of lifted 1-ton pickups sporting jackson kayak stickers next to their monster energy decals...

Posted By: James
Date Posted: 10 Jan 2019 at 7:35am
Originally posted by ZakW

I could see a bunch of lifted 1-ton pickups sporting jackson kayak stickers next to their monster energy decals...

I don't. Nor can I see this state doing much that is fiscally or truly environmentally goal oriented.

Other than a few billion on orcas. Why not just give that billion to native tribes so they stop destroying resources?

Oops, rant

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