Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from SF SNOQUALMIE RIVER AB ALICE at 3/26/2017 5:35:48 AM)
|Snoqualmie, S. Fork — 6. Twin Falls State Park to 436 st Bridge ©|
SF SNOQUALMIE RIVER AB ALICE
||NWRFC | FC Page
||USGS - NWIS
||3/26/2017 5:15:00 AM
Minimum Recomended Level: 300 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 2500 cfs
Take exit 34 off I-90 and head turn south. A short distance before you cross the river there is a sign for Olallie State Park (Twin Falls Trailhead). Turn left here and follow the road until it ends at the State Park. On sunny spring days you may find the park overcrowded by hikers... in that case instead of turning down the road to the park just continue up to the bridge over the river and put-in there. You'll only be missing 1/4 mile of easy stuff anyway. Easy access either way.
STANDARD TAKEOUT: Take exit 32 off I-90 and turn south. Follow 436th St. a quarter mile or so until the bridge. Parking can be found on the west side of the road on both sides of the bridge. If it's your first time, you should walk down and scout out the landing zone on the river right upstream side of the bridge as it's small. Be sure your group spaces out when approaching so you can hit the eddy one at a time.
If you don't like the looks of the eddy at the normal takeout or if you have a raft use the alternate takeout 1/2 mile further downstream:
ALTERNATE TAKEOUT: Take exit 32 off I-90 and turn NORTH. Follow 436th a quarter mile and turn left on Cedar Falls Way. In a quarter mile turn left on 432nd/Stilson Ave. Continue 1/2 mile and turn right on 140th ST. Continue 1/2 mile and turn left on 424th. Drive a short way and go under I-90 park at the end of the road, careful not to block the gate.
From here you can either take out at one of the small eddies just upstream or take out downstream at the large landing area under I-90 and carry your boats 200 yards or so up the levee trail. If it's your first time be sure to walk up on the levee to check out the landing spots. From the river, you'll arrive at the takeout after 3/4 mile of swift drifting after going under the 436nd Steet bridge.
ELF: 150-300 - Can be run very low, if you just want a mellow run with lots of rock dodging and scraping.
Low: 300-400 - Fun class II for kayaks at low water, and is filled in enough so there's not too much bumping.
Med-Low: 400-800 - Nicely filled in, but still lots of eddies and time for recovery. Great training range for beginners learning II+.
Med: 800-1200 - Lots of nice, small wave trains, enough water for rafts over 800.
Med high: 1200-1600 - A couple of the rapids are class 3 at this level. Very fun range for intermediate boaters, but getting a bit fast and pushy for beginners. Swims at these levels can be long. A reliable roll is a must for kayakers.
High: 1600-2500 - Fast and fun. Would be smart to know the wood situation at these levels as it is quite fast. Solid class 3 run at this range. Expect a half mile of continuous class 3 to 3+ waves and holes in the canyon.
Very High: 2500+ - You'll likely be sharing the river with logs at levels. Enough said?
NOTE: These levels are for snowmelt. The gauge is far upstream from this run, so with rain events you should consider the river to be a bit higher than the gauge reading.
The SF Snoqualmie is a good alternative to the Powerhouse when it's running. It is scenic, fairly short, and has an incredibly easy put-in and take-out. This run is often used by beginners as a great training run, especially at lower levels. Lots of places to practice ferrying, eddy hopping, etc. But, at higher levels, many of the rocks and eddies disappear, making for bigger, super fun waves and (not so fun) holes in the canyon - which becomes class III at higher levels. Catching eddies is difficult at these levels and they become much less numerous so swims become more difficult to stop. The takeouts are also more difficult at these levels. This run is also a great alternative for those wanting a class 3 run when other runs are a bit too high.
There is a short class III section above the usual put-in that can be accessed by an easy 15 minute hike up the riverside trail allowing you to scout on the way. Look for a side path from the main trail leading to the river just before the main trail starts to get steep and head up a hill. If you decide to run this make sure to put in at the deep calm pool below a small canyon that you can't see very well from the bank. The canyon contains a nasty class V? rapid with an undercut on river right. The first rapid appears to be undercut on river right but problems can be easily avoided by staying left. After the first drop the rapids are fun and fairly continuous until you get to the normal put-in, which always seems to come too soon.
The first half of the normal run is mostly mellow floating with some small wave trains and boulder gardens. There are a few spots that have had wood blocking the main channel in the past, but as of 6/17/2012, the run was quite clean. The real rapids start to appear after you see a big eroded clay wall or river left. The first rapid below the eroded bank has a decent surf wave at its base above 500cfs. From here the river enters the canyon which is a bit more technical and contains lots of boulders to dodge. When you see a footbridge over the river, you are entering the Waskowitz canyon section, and can expect several rapids for the next half mile. At flows over 1500cfs this section gets a little exciting and a bit pushy.
The appearance of houses on the left signals the end to the canyon and the lead in to the weir. At lower flows there is only one line through the weir on river right. The route takes you near some potentially dangerous wood so get out and scout if you're unsure.
One more good surf wave exists on river left a couple hundred yards above the take out. It has no eddy service so make sure to catch it on the way by. When the 436th St. Bridge appears the run is over. The take out is either just above the bridge on river right, or just below on river left.
**** Description Written by Tradguy2 (Tom Bath) aka Fabric Fanatic ****
Additions by JoesKayak
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