water wacko's Submission - Entered on 2/6/2015 8:39:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 3/30/2017 9:06:47 AM)
DUCKABUSH RIVER NEAR BRINNON,
3rd Party Gauge
||3/30/2017 8:45:00 AM
Minimum Recomended Level: 0 Maximum Recomended Level: 0
New gauge as of 2/6/15 Please post the level/date of your trip here until we have a consensus on flow range. Thank you.
As of Spring 2011, the road is in good shape and the run has no mando wood portages from Ranger Hole to the Hood Canal Bridge.
I drove up the Road off of 101 to the Ranger Hole Cabin (Very visible and well marked trail head ~3 miles from 101). From here, it is an easy 1 mile hike through the OP woods to a series of drops culminating with Ranger Hole.
Highway 101 Bridge
All though there was no wood requiring a portage, once I was down in the class 2 valley several trees in the riffles made for some tight moves. A class three boater joined me below the gorge, and these wood moves made for good training.
I heard from a local that the entrance to the upper gorge was potentially open since recent floods. I have not visually confirmed this. Beautiful Class IV OP River.
Ran the falls and gorge at pretty high water. We were able to go over the logs at the entrance on the right, but this might not be possible at lower flows. You could portage left but it might be hard to make the ferry to scout right, probably doable though. There is a log in the left side of the falls, but the right was good to go and fun. Everything else read and run class IV-V
Run Description [Season: Run Off / Rain]
The trail from the ranger hole cabin (it is rentable) spits you out at the bottom of Ranger Hole. You will be on river left and a large outcropping provides for excellent scouting of Ranger Hole and the lead in rapid above. Continue back on the trail up river. The Mini gorge creates a horse shoe, which the trail cuts across, making laps a breeze. The trail will drop back down to the river at the start of the boogie that takes you into the first mini gorge (the rock kinda reminds me of the mini gorge on EF Lewis. Youíre pinched in, but the walls arenít that high leading up to the sloping forests)
I boat scouted the entrance and rounded left into the first bend. The current starts right and cuts left with a long diagonal you should punch to catch an eddy on river left. From here, you can peel out into the main current and run a slide down the left or boof a sloping rock in the center. Next, you have a short pool (at low flows) before the entrance rapid and the final 6 foot ledge drop known as Ranger Hole.
The entrance boogie is a small ramp that gets your speed up and if you follow the main flow will have the perfect angle to boof Ranger hole and hit the water flushing out of the mild pocket below the ledge. The pocket is formed due to the pinching of the gorge walls right below the hole. I was left of center with slight right angle. There is a large recovery pool below the drop and access to the trail if anyone in the group is overwhelmed. Once you initiate the next boulder garden, you will be committed to running the mini gorge below.
The boulder garden below ranger hole was boat scoutable. I worked down the right. There is another short pool as you approach the gorge. The view from you boat is impressive as the river really drops out of sight over a horizon line as the walls close in. Large boulders split the channel in two. I climbed out on the center rocks to view the drop. It is a long class four that bends left at the bottom and out of sight behind the gorge wall. At low run off flows the left line channelized the best. The right looked pinny and manky, but might clean up considerably at higher water. The left consisted of three small slides all backed up. I was really enjoying myself moving down the slides until I lazily crashed through the middle of the last slide and smacked a rock with my bow (my ankle just moaned as a typed that) which was hidden just below the surface. If youíre running left, aggressively move left or right when punching the bottom slide. The main current flows back right before dropping a small ledge.
The final class four of the gorge is just down stream. I ran right and hit a wonderful boof flake in the center of the final ledge, projecting me over the hydraulic. I imaging the previous two rapids are one torrent at high water.
You will leave the gorge and have three more boat scoutable class IIIs before you hit the braided 2 mile class I/II paddle out to the 101 bridge.