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Tilton, N. Fork    above Tilton confluence™ ©
Class IV
Avg Gradient 136 fpm
Max Gradient N/A fpm
Play Rating (1-10): 3
River Mapplet
Zip Code : 98356 General Area
Put In Longitude : -122.39409 Putin
Put In Latitude : 46.6219978
Take Out Longitude : -122.35972 Take Out
Take Out Latitude : 46.5873909
County : Lewis Shuttle
   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from TILTON RIVER AB BEAR CANYON C at 7/15/2020 3:18:44 PM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
TILTON RIVER AB BEAR CANYON C NWRFC | FC Page 2.89  190 cfs  USGS - NWIS 07-15-2020 14:45:00
Minimum Recomended Level:  2500 cfs     Maximum Recomended Level:  3200 cfs 


Easy put-in and take-out, a classic Bennett bridge-to-bridge run.

  Putin Details

From takeout Drive north paralleling the river for about 3 miles until you reach a fork, at the fork go right and the road will steeply wind down towards the river, put in at bridge, path on river right on upstream side of bridge.

  Takeout Details

From I-5 take 508 for about 29 miles, after you cross the Tilton for a second time look to the left and you will see FR-73 Stay on FR-73 for more than a mile until you cross the Chrystal clear waters of the N. Fr. Tilton. Once across the river there will be a T, at the T the left will be gated, park near gate, but do not block, this gate is occasionally used.

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  Other Issues

My older edition (2001) of the Delorme atlas has the roads labeled improperly, the shuttle map link is more accurate except for the locations of take-out and put-in. The Map link references a put-in higher up but less accessible, and the take out is behind a gate, use directions in the Put-in/take-out details.

The recommended levels are 2500-3200 cfs Tilton @ Cinebar, but this has been run at 5500 and it went, but would certainly put this run in the class V range.


  Fun Facts

Could be combined with a med/high run on the Tilton gorge, would be a long day, but could be very fun. Unlike the main and other forks, this section has crystal clear water, and is distinctly different in character from the Tilton Gorge. Bring your creek boat.

   Run Description [Season: Rainy]

This run should be done with the intention of making laps on it, it's very short but is action packed, the run is essentially a continuous class IV rapid, with no recovery pools and minimal eddies. That being said, this is not an introductory class IV run, I would recommend that a paddler have proficient class IV skills. Swimming on this stretch would be scary, and you most certainly would lose all your gear. The character of the drops are powerful reactionary waves, and several stomping holes that I would still be surfing in if I hadn't fired off a big boof stroke. The river at 3100 on the Tilton @ Cinebar gauge is pushy and fast, make sure you are a proficient read-and-run kayaker, it will put those skills to the test. There are also several horizon lines, so be sure to scout because the potential for wood is high. Also I would recommend small groups, at 3100 I ran it with just one other person, and it felt crowded.

After you put-in there will be about half a mile of class II-III warm up, as you approach Tumble creek which will be coming in on River Left, get ready to scout on River Right. The rapid entrance starts just upstream of Tumble creek, so be ready to scout early, the Tumble creek rapid is the the steepest drop on the stretch so make sure you get out in time, because once you drop in the opportunities for scouting become more difficult. Also the rocks here looked pretty undercut.

The river could be considered "boulder garden" style, but this is slightly misleading, the river bed is all boulders, but unlike Icicle or Tumwater at med flows the boulders are submerged, so you aren't really running slots or ledges, but rather stomping holes.

The only other rapid that I remember specifically is a long boulder garden near the end of the run that sweeps around a left hand bend. In the past this drop was completely covered in wood, it's clean now. Start on river left working towards the middle, and then work your way down river center until you see a big eddy on river left, catch this eddy, and scout the next drop. The drop is obvious because of a garage sized boulder in river center, Right of the boulder is Mankville, and the Left is a sliding ledge into a hole. Follow the tongue down the right side of the slot, hit the hole and let it typewriter you to the left. Punching the hole hard with right hand angle works too, but you will end up getting hammered by the hole on the other side. My friend ran it clean this way, but came out of the hole on his stern and getting blasted against his back-deck.

From here the river cools down until the take-out at the bridge.

After running it on 2/10/15 most people in our group considered the run class IV if you have Class V skills.


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Trip NameTrip Date
Trip Report TitleDate

Beta Trail    
SubmissionBeta Submitted BySubmitted On
Jed Hawkes's 2/10/2015 Run SubmissionJed Hawkes2/10/2015 12:12:00 PM
James's 4/9/2007 Run SubmissionJames4/9/2007 8:26:00 PM

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