imageAK's Submission - Entered on 3/31/2015 10:00:00 AM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 2/20/2017 6:54:31 PM)
HUMPTULIPS RIVER BELOW HWY 10
3rd Party Gauge
||2/20/2017 6:45:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level: 1200 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 10000 cfs
The takeout is really user friendly, the put-in has a short hike that has a steep section that can be loose and slippery, but not all that hard. All land is National Forest.
From take out drive several hundred feet until you come to a fork in the road(mile 12.6)
Take a LEFT at the fork (this is rd 2203)
Drive for 3.25 miles and look for a very old overgrown rd on the RIGHT, it is very hard to notice other than the built up sides that are perpendicular to the road.
there is a small pull-out to park in here.
From the pull-out hike along roadbed for a few hundred feet until a path diminishes to basically an elk trail, keep right the whole way till it obviously leads you down a steeper muddy hill.
At bottom of the hill you will reach a scrubby and brushy flat area, likely swampy so be careful as you get to the river!
The total hiking time is maybe 10 minutes, possibly more if you arent too saavy carrying your boat down the slippery slope.
From Aberdeen drive North on US-101 for about 20+ miles
Take a RIGHT onto DONKEY CREEK RD
Donkey CREEK RD eventually turns into FR-22 not that youll notice.12.2 miles after leaving hwy 101 there will be a spur road on your right that leads to a camp and river access this is the best takeout
If you come to a fork in the road you've gone too far. If you like you can take out at the bridge that crosses the river just beyond the fork, but the other takeout is easier.
1,000 - 2,000 cfs: low to medium the drops are more ledgey and technical, but fun. The Water channelizes really well so it never feels bony. 2,500 was my favorite level. Portaging the fish ladder is much simpler, you walk out onto the ladder and carry your boat down a rock in the middle of the river, landslide portaged on left or run on right.
3,000 cfs: The rapids are less ledgy and more tongues and lazy holes, but still has some technical moves. Fish Ladder and Landslide easily portaged.
6,000 cfs: The rapids were pretty washed out, but the river become much more squirrley with big boils and convergence zones. There was one big hole but it wasn't bad. The two big things that become tricky at this higher level are the Fishladder and the Landslide. At this level portaging the fishladder requires climbing up river left and then dropping down a small gully, the head of the trail is marked with flagging. The Landslide is a difficult portage. Basically at this level the easiest thing to do is run it, portaging requires seal launching into fast moving water. There is a clean line down the left channel or a more committing move down the right, I would call is a good class IV. If you don't have good class IV skills I wouldn't recommend this run at this high level. As of 1/15/2011 the run had one bit of wood that was an issue.
My friend has run it at 10,000 cfs and says that the gorge basically fills up and there are almost no rapids, but there is tons of boils and squirelly water.
This run is absolutely beautiful and has a remote wilderness feel in a narrow gorge where everything is covered in thick blankets of green moss. It is kind of remote though, so while it is only rated class III, it should be treated as an "exploratory" run until you get to know it, and it may not be well suited for novice kayakers without solid fundamentals.
In my opinion this is one of the top Class III runs in the state, good rapids with a really neat canyon.
Goforth creek falls is a cool feature, it drops in the the humptulips on river right and is between 15 and 20 feet tall. At the lower levels rocks are visible at the base of the falls, but above 6,000 there looked to be a line boofing off the left side of the falls, and I would imagine that the higher levels would make it a viable option assuming you don't pencil in.
If you run this river I would recommend a stop at perfection falls on Donkey creek, a great park and huck 15 footer located on Donkey creek. If you'd like to check it out before reaching the take out for the hump it is on the elft side of the road at mile 7.3 after leaving hwy 101.
Run Description [Season: rainy: fall, wintwer and spring]
The run starts out with class II gravel bars and a few surf waves and eddies, after about 1/2 a mile you'll come to the first gorge. The first gorge has a fish ladder on river left and a crack of doom on right. At 6000+ it looked like there would be a boof line on far river right, but don't blow the move or you might go into the crack of doom. There is a creek coming in on river left, if you have a big group eddy out here and then drop down to the eddy above the fish ladder one at a time. The fish ladder is typically run, but if you don't like it portaging on river left works too. The trial is fairly obvious and the portage is short.
From here the rapids are well spaced and have good recovery pools, swimming is tricky because there aren't many great spots to get back into the boat, but none of the rapids are unreasonable to swim.
After this gorge ends the valley opens up for a bit then the second gorge is marked by the Landslide rapid, scout/portage river left. This gorge is much shorter.
After you have exited the third gorge, start looking for the bridge, after the bridge the takeout is several hundred yards down stream. Your car should be visible from the river
This run is a gem of a run, take time to soak it in by stopping in a few places. At one point towards the end of the run there is a creek that comes in from river left and is a potential side hike.