outdoorjunkie88's Submission - Entered on 4/24/2016 12:32:00 AM
Notes: Just ran it today for the release and thought Id update it
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 3/30/2017 9:06:48 AM)
SULTAN RIVER BELOW DIVERSION
3rd Party Gauge
||3/30/2017 8:30:00 AM
Minimum Recomended Level: 400 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 1500 cfs
Head to Olney Pass. On reaching the second gate, where the FS road leading to the put in splits from the PUD access road you should unload. If the gate is open drive to the end of the road where there is a well maintained trail hiking trail with a sign. Take the trail down a number of switchbacks and when you start complaining about the hike just look up and enjoy the scenery.
If the gate is closed you can ask a PUD worker for access, They open the gate on release days. Its about a 20 minute hike down at a slow speed.
Some People take out at the Powerhouse or run to the bottom of the lower run as a combo day. They close the gates at 6Pm but if you get off the river late there will be workers there until 8Pm who can help.
This was the site of a huge land slide that several paddlers barley missed in the gorge. The whole event was captured on film and played on the nightly news for a week.
Run Description [Season: Release]
Now begins what we call Dancing with Wood. Most of the wood on the run you can see from your boat. River gets started right away and is read and run. As of april 24th, 2016 all of the rapids can be run without portaging anything. There are a few wood hazards but nothing you can't see and nothing that you can't go around.
The canyon is amazing with great quality rapids. class 3-4. In this section of the canyon (above the diversion dam) there is a landslide rapid but not the class v talked about. This one is a class IV and is a pretty straight forward line. My buddy hit the hole in the meat of it and made it through just fine, After a few miles the canyon opens up to beautiful hills and the difficulty drops. Then as you pass gold mining equipment you will come to diversion dam. It looks fun to run but the gate is kept low and could take your head off. The PUD guys also want you to stay away from it. At this point you can hike out if you are tired or PUD will give you a ride. This is the halfway mark.
portage the dam on the right and stretch out because another beautiful canyon is going to start with amazing rapids. Through this canyon you will encounter some great class IV rapids. As you come to one horizon line you will notice it is much steeper than the others. Mist coming up and a very narrow opening in the river. This is the landslide rapid, eddy on the right to scout or portage. It's a thread the needle line, going just right of a rock that could easily break your boat and then getting left to avoid a nasty hole. After this there a couple more class IVs and then things taper off just as you are getting tired. Its still fun class 3 with all different types of lines. And just when you are tired you come to the powerhouse dam
Rapids pool drop, almost everything can be boat scouted or by standing up to see over a horizon line. Wood is the biggest hazard but is easy to see.
This river is beyond beautiful with amazing whitewater. class 3-4, I'm not sure if I agree with the plus, maybe wood dependent or because of the enclosed canyon
Also, American whitewater has a pretty good description of the river.