water wacko's Submission - Entered on 3/26/2015 12:06:00 AM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 3/27/2017 7:20:26 AM)
From Hwy 20 hike south on the Pacific Crest trail, following Bridge Creek from it's tiny origins. A trail and road follow this stretch in its entirety, although gaining access from river level, at times, can be challenging. Make sure to obtain a back country permit for the group and ferry tickets at least 24 hours in advance.
Start hiking from the parking lot on Hwy 20, near Rainy Pass, where the Pacific Crest Trail turns south and begins following Bridge Creek. If the Stehekin is reading 3000 and above (and it's a warm day), put in at Hideaway Camp, 4.5 miles in. Lower flows or cooler days may mean more hiking to get to reasonable flows. It doesn't take the Bridge too long to get some good water, though and views can be had periodically from the trail.
There is a road from Tumwater Campground to Stehekin Landing should problems arise, but the standard takeout is the boat ramp at the south end of Stehekin Landing. Call The Lady of the Lake (509-682-4584) ferry service at least 24 hours in advance to book the trip back to Chelan.
Make sure and pre-arrange backcountry permits through the Marblemount Ranger Station (360-854-7245) and ferry tickets (509-682-4584) at least 24 hours in advance. This is bear and mountain lion country, be very smart with food storage. Fire ants might get ya too if you camp in the wrong spot.
Start to finish, rapids the whole way. As volume builds so does the intensity. Surprising lack of wood, 3 portages in July 2014. A+ scenery and weather. The daily rise and fall of this river is more than 1000 cfs. Unique way to end the trip, shuttling down a 55 mile natural lake on a ferry boat out of a relic community from the past. Come back for Tumwater Canyon when the level drops.