Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from SNOHOMISH RIVER NEAR MONROE, at 3/23/2017 3:07:03 AM)
SNOHOMISH RIVER NEAR MONROE,
||USGS - NWIS
||3/23/2017 2:15:00 AM
Minimum Recomended Level: 0 Maximum Recomended Level: 0
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Disclaimers and Hazards
While this trip would be rated class I-II+, due to FLOOD STAGE CONDITIONS Paddlers should possess solid Class III fundamentals and a Reliable Roll. The current is VERY strong and fast, and egress from the river is limited. The river’s edge is in the trees or otherwise very thick brush. Swimming could be very problematic and possibly fatal. Expect lots of Woody Debris in all its forms including large trees sharing the river with you. These should not be an issue if you pay attention because the Floodscape is so expansive. In fact, logs and other woody material in the river will help reveal the main trunk of current and therefore the fastest route.
Trip Details and relevant distances...
Big Eddy to Everett (I-5 bridge): est 41mi total
Big Eddy to 522 bridge = 21mi +/-
522 bridge to Langus Riverfront Park (Take Out) = 20mi+
Recommended Flow: at least 32,000cfs on the Skykomish gauge for fast and strong current that will carry you all the way to the take out. Add the Snoqualmie and you should have about 50,000-60,000cfs on the Snohomish.
Recommended Craft: Any 17’ or 18’ kayak such as a touring, flatwater or sea kayak that is relatively narrow and fast. A Dagger Greenboat or other whitewater “longboats” would do the trick also. A canoe might be slower, but would also be a good boat for this trip in capable hands. Rafts would be great too, but would have to extend the time estimated, and consider access options.
I have chosen to describe this trip specifically as an Accelerated Floodstage Marathon trip, utilizing an extremely large rain event to provide a basic 10mph pace further leveraged by longer boats and a sustained stroke rate. Under such FLOOD STAGE CONDITIONS, this 41mi trip can be efficiently and comfortably executed in five hours or less, depending on the paddlers’ abilities and the gear used.
The current is especially strong at Big Eddy and just around the corner so caution is warranted. Throughout the rest of the Skykomish you will occasionally encounter large class III style wavetrains and a few crashing waves which can be paddled around. Closer to Monroe the Sky will bleed out beyond its river banks in large braided bends. Only between the confluence and 522 is the current briefly static, and then it quickly accelerates again past Snohomish all the way to Everett. There will be flooded farms and some groves of trees you can explore if you are so inclined, just be sure to allow extra time. This trip provides a refreshing change of scenery from the typical rocky creeks and canyons we explore, with an expedited pace thanks to the Flood!
Maybe bring food, hot soup, water, beer or whatever and bring a head lamp and some contingency items as well. Binoculars and a camera are an asset on this trip. You can expect to see quite a few eagles and other avian wildlife
Put On reasonably early to ensure your arrival at the take out well before dark, as most likely your window of opportunity to catch this trip at these flows is between Halloween and New Years, when daylight is scarce. Consider the importance of having daylight when you get to Everett to navigate the many braids and channels correctly. Basicly you want to stay left at each distributary fork you come to. Consult a map or bring a smart phone. Langus Riverfront Park is just underneath the I-5 bridge on the R. Right bank of the left-most channel.
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