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Methow    3. McFarland Creek to Pateros (Black Canyon)™ ©
Class III
Play Rating (1-10): 5
River Mapplet
Put In Longitude : -120.057 Putin
Put In Latitude : 48.1508
Take Out Longitude : -119.915 Take Out
Take Out Latitude : 48.0462
County : Okanogan Shuttle
   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from METHOW RIVER NEAR PATEROS, WA at 7/15/2020 3:18:41 PM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
METHOW RIVER NEAR PATEROS, WA NWRFC | FC Page 2.94  1190 cfs  USGS - NWIS 07-15-2020 14:15:00
Minimum Recomended Level:  1000 cfs     Maximum Recomended Level:  10000 cfs 


Hwy 153 parallels the river allowing multiple access points.

There is a popular "middle" access spot where Burma road turns off the highway onto a bridge over the river. This spot cuts the run in half and is a good takeout for those wanting an easier run or put-in for those just wanting to get to the bigger stuff in the lower half.

  Putin Details

McFarland Creek river access. This is a well maintained access spot run by WA Fish & Wildlife. You'll need a pass to park here. To reach this put-in head upstream from the takeout, and it is just past the 5th bridge you'll cross over the river.

  Takeout Details

About 1/2 mile upstream from the confluence with the Columbia there are a couple big turnouts with easy river access the GPS data indicates the lower turnout which is quite large. There's a smaller one a bit farther upstream which cuts out a bit of flat water paddling at the end but it's on the inside channel of an island so make sure you keep to the right so you don't miss it.

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  Fun Facts

A fun alternative to the Wenatchee with similar rapids in a more remote location. Beautiful eastern Washington scenery.

   Run Description [Season: Snowmelt (April-July)]

The Methow is a big river, just a bit smaller than the Wenatchee with boulder gardens at low water and big waves at high water. The upper half of this run has more flatwater and the rapids are mostly class 2 at medium levels. The lower half is a bit more continuous and has several fun class 3 rapids. Black Canyon rapids (III+) is a standout rapid in the lower section. You can scout it from the Hwy just past Black Canyon road. A big hole forms on the left at high water. Another rapid of note is a mile or so downstream. You can recognize it from a footbridge overhead... or by the giant rock right in the middle of the river. At low water the rock is showing, but at high water it creates a HUGE hole capable of major beatdowns. As long as you're paying attention it's easy to miss by staying left (and there's a more sporty line to the right too).

There's some good play on this run, but it's mostly catch on the fly. The Methow is run often at levels higher than the recommended range, but the difficulty increases as some big hydraulics form and the river becomes very fast and continuous.


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Trip NameTrip Date
Trip Report TitleDate

Beta Trail    
SubmissionBeta Submitted BySubmitted On
JoesKayak's 5/23/2014 Run SubmissionJoesKayak5/23/2014 2:28:00 PM
JoesKayak's 5/23/2014 Run SubmissionJoesKayak5/23/2014 2:19:00 PM
JoesKayak's 6/8/2009 Run SubmissionJoesKayak6/8/2009 10:11:00 AM
James's 4/9/2007 Run SubmissionJames4/9/2007 8:26:00 PM

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