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Sultan    2. Powerhouse to Fishing Access™ ©
Class III-IV+
Play Rating (1-10): 5
River Mapplet
Put In Longitude : -121.81476 Putin
Put In Latitude : 47.9090013
Take Out Longitude : -121.83460 Take Out
Take Out Latitude : 47.8877039
County : Snohomish Shuttle
   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from SULTAN RIVER BELOW POWERPLANT at 7/15/2020 3:18:35 PM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
SULTAN RIVER BELOW POWERPLANT NWRFC | FC Page 5.34  434 cfs  USGS - NWIS 07-15-2020 14:30:00
Minimum Recomended Level:  500 cfs     Maximum Recomended Level:  3000 cfs 


The gate to the putin is locked everyday at 6:00pm. If you think there is a chance you may get off the river later than 6:00, park outside the gate and walk down to the putin. Also, there is a registration card required at the putin. Be sure to fill it out and display the card on your dashboard. It's for informational purposes only, there is no fee required.

  Putin Details

From Hwy 2 on the West side of the Sultan River, Turn North onto Old Owen Road (There is a stoplight with a Chevron Station on the corner). Turn Right onto Reiner Road in about 0.5 miles. Follow Reiner Road about 3 miles to Lake Chaplain Road. Turn Right onto Lake Chaplain Road through the gate. The Put in is about a mile or so down on the right and marked by a large gravel pull out on the right with a registration booth. To get to the river from here, walk downhill on the gravel road about 5 minutes to the river access just before a one lane bridge to the powerhouse. This gravel road is gated. It's ok to walk down, just don't drive down to the river.

  Takeout Details

The takeout is located on River left. To get there from Hwy 2, cross to the East side of the Sultan River and take the 1st Left into Sultan (3rd Street). Once on 3rd Street, take the 1st left again onto Main Street. Main Street runs about a block before making a right hand bend and paralleling the Sultan River. Turn left at the 2nd stop sign onto Trout Farm Road. Drive a bit over a mile to the River access on the Left side of the road just before the county maintained road ends.

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Features on this run

Feature Name Class
Last Nasty IV+
Little Paradise III
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  Fun Facts

Great Combination Run with the Skykomish and N.F. Skykomish.

   Run Description [Season: Fall, Winter, Spring]

The Sultan River is a pretty Short Run that is great in combination with other runs in the Skykomish Valley. The entire run is around 2 miles, and no single drop is harder than class IV(IV+).

Before heading out to the Sultan, call the Powerhouse at (425) 783-8800 to check flow conditions. I've shown up at the putin to find triple the water I thought there would be based on the guage readings posted online only hours before and had to hike back up to the car. The guys at the Powerhouse have been very cool about giving me predictions on the flow over the coming days when I call up and identify myself as a kayaker.

The Lower Sultan run starts out next to a powerhouse on pipeline road. There is a little II+ rapid that drops into the first III+ which at these low levels is very very boney. In this first rapid the river forks and you can run either way. I have run it right at higher levels but at lower levels I go left to follow the deeper route. The left side drops all of the gradient at the very end making a super boney and steep exit drop.

The next drop is another III-IV that winds around a large boulder. It is a rather deep flow and even at lower levels a clean line can be found.

Just after the second Class III+ drop you come to Last Nasty. The portage or scout is on river right. There is a small silver plaque on a boulder from the WKC that identifies the river right eddy above Last Nasty. Last Nasty is a tough portage so it's best not to bring class III boaters that would do fine on the rest of the run. Run Last Nasty and stay generally to the river right side to avoid the "Nasty" sieves on the left. Most people enter the Last Nasty river center then paddle hard over to the right side and eddy hop or just blast down the right side and boof over the ledge at the bottom. There is a big hole river center at the bottom, but it usually will give you up after a short beat down if you are unfortunate enough to get caught in there.

After Last Nasty the river continues with more technical class III+ drops similar to the ones at the start of the run. There are a number of nice surfing waves and a couple of good pop up spots.

Little Paradise comes about two thirds of the way down the run. It's normally in between about 700cfs and 1100cfs.

Once the river flattens out and homes start to appear you are nearing the end of the run. The takeout appears shortly on the river left, it is marked by several white guard rails you can see from the river.


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Trip NameTrip Date
Trip Report TitleDate
New Years 2008 Sultan Run1/1/2008

Beta Trail    
SubmissionBeta Submitted BySubmitted On
Texas Dave's 9/13/2010 Run SubmissionTexas Dave9/13/2010 8:02:00 PM
dave's 10/23/2008 Run Submissiondave10/23/2008 3:08:00 PM
Texas Dave's 8/23/2008 Run SubmissionTexas Dave8/23/2008 7:45:00 PM
James's 4/9/2007 Run SubmissionJames4/9/2007 8:26:00 PM

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