Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from WHITE SALMON RIVER NEAR UNDER at 3/23/2017 3:07:04 AM)
|White Salmon — 4 - BZ Corner to Northwestern Lake ©|
Class III+ (IV+)
Avg Gradient 45 fpm
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WHITE SALMON RIVER NEAR UNDER
||USGS - NWIS
||3/23/2017 2:00:00 AM
Minimum Recomended Level: 500 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 2000 cfs
Access is off Hwy 141. Well developed put-in and takeout.
Driving north on 141, pass though BZ Corner. In about 300 feet you'll see the Forest Service parking lot and boat slide
Northwestern Park - Turn off Hwy 141 onto Northwestern Lake road a couple miles south of Husum. Alternatively put-in or take out at Husum. There are access spots above and below the falls.
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This run includes 2 sections that are often run seperately. From BZ to Husum falls (the Middle White Salmon) is where most the action is. From below Husum to NW Park (the Lower White Salmon) is much easier and consists of mostly class II+, except for Rattlesnake ledge (III) which come up right away and can be portaged.
Good stepping stone for intermediate boaters with few consequences and lots of fun rapids.
Run Description [Season: All Year]
The river is beautiful, semi-clear milky water, lush vegetation, and a relatively remote feel. The rapids start right off the bat. The stairs at BZ Corner Lead down to the middle of Maytag Rapid. Maytag Hole is right at the base of the stairs and most boaters put in below that hole. The ledge at the end of the rapid is sticky, and is called Top Drop. It is friendlier on the right side. Class III+-IV
Below top drop, the next rapid of note is the undercut cave, The Green Room. The first place where the river bends left has an undercut wall on the right side. Start right and cut back to the left in front of the cave face. Easy ferry unless you’re swimming from Top Drop.
After the Cave is Sharks Tooth, Class III with a boat ripper in the middle at lower flows. This leads right into Boulder Garden, run anywhere around the boulders. Next is The Grasshopper, a large rock on the right center. You can go left or right of it, but don’t go over it. The right line puts you right between the rock and the wall on the right, so do this one with care. Left is reccomended.
Next up is Siwash, an easy lateral hole on the left side that is fun, but easily avoidable. Class II+.
The next rapid to watch for at low water is Corkscrew. It should be run just right of center but you need to stay on your toes as there are several shollow rocks hidden in the waves that are tough to spot until you are right on them. There is also a larger hole down at the bottom of the wave train at some flows that can be a flipper, but won’t hold you. Class III+.
After a short wave train, the next drop is The Water Spout or Granny Snatcher, signaled by a large pump on the right bank. This has a steep drop into a hole on the right, or can be totally dodged running left. Class III.
There are a few more nameless rapids until you reach The Staircase. You know you are approaching this after you pass a large eddy on the left side, and go around 2 corners. This rapid has 4 distinct drops into holes. A lot of people swim here after flipping over in one of the drops and missing a bunch of rolls. The first hole can be run center or right, the second one needs to be run with right angle and then punch the next hole. The third drop can be dodge if you skirt left. The final is very straightforward.
About a mile down from here is the MIGHTY HUSUM FALLS, everyone’s first waterfall. This can be run right down the middle, going with the melt down. It can also be run cutting hard right accross the green tounge to the boof. It is pretty sticky at flows above 3.5 on the Husum Gauge (walk out on the bridge that goes to Husum and look upstream on the river right side to see the gauge). At flows lower than 2.75 you can run it any direction, upsidown or backwards, and you’ll flush. Lots of very inexperienced boaters run this drop and everyone flushes. Great scene here one the weekends with lots of people watching and rafting companies crashing over the falls! Yeah!
FROM TOM: A note on Husum Falls, the guidebook gives it a V- at low water and a V at higher flows. It was running at around 550cfs for our run and in my opinion, it is not a class V at this flow. The enterance is easy, and hole at the bottom will flush you pretty quickly if you end up in it. I’d say it Class IV, and even then it is more intimidating than anything. That being said, it is a 10 ft drop so show it the respect it deserves. Also, the falls are just above the bridge in town which adds to the festive atmosphere. Lots of cheers from the spectators as you take the plunge of the falls.
Note from Duane (dblanchard): The edge of Husum has changed a little since 2008, and it seems a bit stickier. Still, it seems to flush people just fine, albeit a bit more slowly.
Below Husum falls is a steep short trail that can be used to exit or enter the river. Just downstream is Rattlesnake ledge, a straightforward 3-4 foot sloping ledge that creates a big curler at many levels. Below here the river enters a mini-canyon with some great class II+ rapids that provide a good level of challenge for beginners. There is also a dandy playspot next to a cave on river left that provides a sweet, but very easy surf wave. The last mile of the river eases off to gentle floating.
** Details Submitted by Tom aka Tradguy2 **
**Modified and added to by jblum on 7/17**
**Modified and added to by dblanchard on 7/27/09**
**Modified and added to by Joeskayak 12/4/09**
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