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McCoy Creek    milepost 8 to Yellowjacket Creek™ ©
Class V

River Mapplet
Put In Longitude : -121.80950 Putin
Put In Latitude : 46.2803001
Take Out Longitude : -121.82559 Take Out
Take Out Latitude : 46.3925018
County : Lewis Shuttle
   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from CISPUS RIVER AB YELLOWJACKET at 7/15/2020 3:18:44 PM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
CISPUS RIVER AB YELLOWJACKET NWRFC | FC Page 14.63  627   USGS - NWIS 07-15-2020 15:00:00
Minimum Recomended Level:  0      Maximum Recomended Level:  0  

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 Wood. In both Chinook Falls and the Big falls. Poor work to fun ratio at this time. - Posted by: JD_G on 5/16/2013 5:03:00 PM -  [Remove Alert]

Has anyone been running McCoy in the last little..Whitewater Forum

  Other Issues

The first thing I'd like to say about this fantastic run is: leave good and early if you're driving from Seattle. It takes awhile to get up into the drainage. Ideally, I'd consider camping out near there and running something else in the area the same weekend.It's enough of an involved run to warrant putting on early. The canyon is narrow and deep (aren't they all in this neck-a-the woods?) and I think it would be prudent to pad out your trip with enough time to accomodate potential mishaps.

   Run Description

The next thing I would say is that Jeff Bennett's description of this run is pretty accurate, give or take some current wood specifics, of which there are many this season. Count on somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 portages around wood, two of which unfortunately make otherwise runnable drops unrunnable. Otherwise you'll also be paddling over, under, and around plenty of logs, so put on your chummy face and say your "how-do-you-do's to the wood. It's a 3 mile stretch on McCoy, that drops an average of 200 FPM (The last mile dropping 280 feet).

Putting in at Milepost 8 on FR 29, it is a steep long hike down to the water. Rather typical for the Northwest, Really. Expect to scrape over lots of bowling ball sized rock gardens and scrapey little slides, all class II-ish with some class III wave trains thrown in. The creek should feel small through here to have the right flows downstream for the average paddler.

The first significant drop flows over some shallow slides, curves to the left side of the canyon, and plunges into the first "pothole". There is a shelf of rock on the leftside you can ride up on to stay high and avoid the deep hole at the bottom.

Somewhere in here there is a weird little stacked up double drop. The river curves around an outcropping of rocks on R. Left, snakes back to the left around some boulders in the center, and dissappears among a jumble of large boulders. Definitly a great place to get out and scout. Scouting on R. Right, you'll see a narrow slot between two boulders in the center of the creek where the water plunges over a 6' drop, immediatle followed by another 6' drop into a healthy hole. Note the seive-like channel that twists off into a side channel on the right, and avoid it. Looks like a great place to get pinned or trapped, but there shouldn't be any reason why you would end up there.The basic perscription here is to come down the wavetrain approaching boulder on the left side of the upper drop, driving hard right to boof as far right as you can. Landing in a foam pile that is immediately dropping into the 2nd hole, Ideally you want to continue your momentum toward the right. The leftside of the hole at the bottom is rather ugly. This rapid, like all the big ones on this run, would be a BITCH to portage, and would be very time consuming.

There's some more busy water until you get to Tom's Slide. This is a very fun, classic slide-waterfall, 15-18' high depending on who's tape measure you're using. Just run down the wavetrain at the top,just a hair to the right of the wave peaks, and plummet off of an initial 6' drop halfway down the slide. Gravity will do the rest, and the landing is quite fluffy.

Below Tom's Slide are some other fun ledges and slides intermixed with class III boogie water, and generally the cleaner the rapids are of wood, the more straight forward they are. This despite the common blind corners and horizons. Plenty of eddies where needed at this flow for a group of 5 boats or smaller at medium low flows.

When you get to "B.U.D." ("Backwards and Upsidedown Falls" A.K.A. "Chinook Falls") Be very carefull on the steep mossy route one has to take to scout this series of drops and slides on R. Left. This rapid is long and drops quite a bit. It requires full on class V scouting, and is arguably more hazardous than running the drops themselves, due to the exposure and possibility of slipping and falling in. Portaging is not a favorable option, like many of the other drops on the run. Just see your line and run it. It has a twisty little sliding approach down to an 8' boof. Here It's easiest to catch the HUGE swift eddy on R. Left. It cycles you through around the edge of it, lining you up to peel out in an upstream ferry toward R. Right, over a large double drop slide. It's ugly trouble on R. Left where the slide is broken into a double drop pothole. Watch out for this at high water. Just make sure you get as far right as you can.

More boogie water, log limbos, ect. Then you'll come to the "20 footer".   Pretty much just bomb down the middle of the 20' rolling falls, with a slight favoritism of the rightside wave peaks and a delayed boof stroke. You'll either plug deep or air out your boof, depending on your timing and skill.

Below the 20 foot falls you'll find a small, squeeze of a drop that may be choked full of wood. You may have to portage. Not long after that there's an obvious horizon line of the 45' falls mentioned in Bennett. This is the most difficult portage of the trip, requiring you to go way up and across a steep, thick forested slope above the R. Right bank, then back down along a forested canyon rib to the river.

Around the corner is a nasty little blind ledge. There was a bundle of roots wadded up in the center of the drop when I was there, right on the lip. Take care here as the ledge has some shallow landing spots and pitoning on the river bottom is a potential danger.

After that, the run starts to wind down a bit. Some minor wood issues, ect. Then you spit out onto Yellowjacket Creek. Yellowjacket is cool. It quickly picks up pace with several good class III-IV rapids that are easy to read and run. The extra volume in the river is nice for carrying you toward the take out. A few ledges and some potentially powerful holes, along with some more wood here and there. Beautiful canyon. Stay alert for riverwide wood though, even if it's only class II.

Eventually the riverbed will widen in that class II sort of way, and you'll see the bridge that is the Take Out.


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Trip NameTrip Date
Trip Report TitleDate
The Real McCoy6/7/2008

Beta Trail    
SubmissionBeta Submitted BySubmitted On
jP's 6/27/2009 Run SubmissionjP6/27/2009 2:27:00 PM
James's 4/9/2007 Run SubmissionJames4/9/2007 8:26:00 PM

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