CO_Patrick's Submission - Entered on 3/31/2015 9:48:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 2/20/2017 6:54:31 PM)
SATSOP RIVER NEAR SATSOP, WA
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3rd Party Gauge
||2/20/2017 6:15:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level: 2200 Maximum Recomended Level: 7000
Requires a 1/3 mile hike from the TO up to Kelly Hall RD.
From Shelton, follow Matlock-Shelton Road west. In Matlock, turn right onto Beeville Loop Road and follow it to Kelly Hall Road and make a right. Follow Kelly Hall Road to a major intersection and make a left onto a named FS road. In about 1.3 miles you will reach the Baker Creek Bridge. Use this as the put in to the canyon.
When you turn on to Kelly Hall Road go ~1.2 miles to a pullout on the left. An old road has a large dirt dike with a pit behind it. Use this old road as a trail down to the river and scout the take out.
Class IV run that could quickly turn into V with wood. Has the potential for wood that could make escape from the canyon very problematic.
Sweet but short (1.5 miles) canyon that is so narrow at points it would be impossible to float sideways in a long boat. The color of the water is best described as emerald, but words are limited.
Run Description [Season: Rain]
From the confluence of Baker Creek and MF Satsop, the MF enters a dramatic 1.5 mile crack in the earth called Fools canyon, aptly named by Korb for the chance of catastrophic wood that will have you formulating a back-up plan and limited opportunities to scout ahead of time. The walls quickly rise out of the water as you descend into the canyon. The drops were mostly boat scoutable class III+ and IV short rapids with recovery pools below.
As of March 2015, there is one spot with wood to be wary about, a short ways upstream of the largest boulder garden on the run. Unfortunately, it is in one of the narrowest sections of the canyon, but on a positive note it is flat water immediately above and below the wood. Overall, the run is in great shape.
At low flows, the final rapid starts with a small ledge drop with a slightly submerged rock down stream that has the potential to stern pin you into the second ledge if you lose all your speed and get sucked left.
Due to the steep canyon walls and potential for wood in very dangerous places, the rating is reconfirmed. With that said, a confident class IV paddler will have a great time in the canyon. With more water, I would definitely add it on to the upper section of the run for a 7 mile OP adventure.
jP chines in: "Finally got over to run this w/ Septimus and other kindered spirits on Thanksgiving weekend 2011. 5200 or 5500 or whatever it was when we were there was a sweet flow. Not the 7000 Fiddleyak described, but very nice and pleasant. At that flow I'd call it moderate class IV. Narrow enough to make you wary as you procede downstream, yet simple and straight forward enough to be comfortable. As long as you don't see the dark brown tell tales of wood, just follow the water. But yeah- any wood you encounter in there will probably suck and twist things up a notch, so caution and class IV abilities are essential at a minimum. Personally I'd call the 5000+ flow (on the Main Satsop) a straight up medium flow. Not very pushy, but filled in nicely. Baker Creek was manky though- just put in at the bridge and rip off 3 laps!"