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JoesKayak's Submission - Entered on 5/7/2016 9:11:00 AM

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2. Kanaskat Palmer to Paradise (Upper Gorge)
Class III-IV
Play Rating (1-10): 6
County King
Zip Code 98051
Put In Longitude -121.89325
Put In Latitude 47.31903
Take Out Longitude -121.949851512909
Take Out Latitude 47.3010781239091

   Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 4/27/2017 10:59:31 PM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
GREEN RIVER AT PURIFICATION P NWRFC | FC Page 7.41  1850 cfs  3rd Party Gauge 4/27/2017 10:00:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level:  1200 cfs     Maximum Recomended Level:  4500 cfs 


The Green River Gorge has great access. There are parking lots at both ends of the run. Beware that there've been serious problems with break ins at several areas so park with that in mind. IF YOU USE Kanaskat-Palmer State Park OR Flaming Gyser State Park as an access point, EACH VEHICLE PARKED needs its own Discover Pass. It costs $30 annually and displays your liscense plate #. Or a day pass is $10. They'll be on you right away if you don't have a pass. Hopefully they will also be on whoever tries to break into your vehicle as well.

  Putin Details

There are a few different Put-Inís on this run. The most popular seems to be Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Discover Pass required to park. $30 annually or $10/day. It is a nice little putin area. The park is about 15 minutes east of Four Corners, Past Ravensdale. Others like the bridge over the Green .3 miles above the park. Free but not alot of space :(

GPS Coords will put you at the bridge
The park seems to have had more break in problems though.

  Takeout Details

The Take out is Paradise Ledge. Of course there is a lower take out that makes it so you donít have to climb the steep slippery rock and hill to get out. The lower take out is after a few more easy class III rapids and adds an extra 1/4 mile to your walk instead, with a mellow incline.
    There are also a number of trails that run up between Paradise and the lower take-out. Please try to use the Paradise takeout or the proper lower takeout to keep this area pristine. Or better yet: Continue down the LOWER GREEN GORGE to Flaming Geyser for a nice long trip and easy take-out. This is often the prefered option for rafters.

To Drive to the Take out. Head to Black Diamond. And head west on Lawson St. This turns in to Green River Gorge Road. Follow Green River Gorge Road until it comes to a one lane bridge. The parking area for paradise is north of the one lane bridge on west side of the road, or R. Right. Be respectful here as it is private property and access here is a privilege. whoever paddlers with you will likely know the combo to open the date, if they are smart ones.

 River Alerts GMaps
Not used in Beta Mode Putin | Take Out | Shuttle | General Area

Features on this run

Feature Name Feature Class
Jolly Troll II+
Ledge drop 1 or Entrance Ledge III
Snaggle Tooth III
Ledge Two III
3 Boofs III
Secret Class IV III or IV
Power Line (Pipeline) III+
Mercury & The Nozzle IV-
Let's Make A Deal III+/IV+
Paradise Ledge III-IV
Add a Feature | Re-Order Features

  Other Issues

US Army Corp flow info: Click links to Green River - Howard Hanson Dam to get the graph that shows reservoir inflow, outflow and elevation.

High Water Flows above 5K bad hydraulic in Let's Make A Deal. Be sure to ask someone who may know where [B]"Stano Rock"[B/] is in Let's Make A Deal. It is a hazard that doesn't exist at lower flows, but it's worth knowing about and avoiding at higher flows.

Here's some info we recieved on 5/12/10 regarding some recent work on the howard Hansen Damn:
During the conservation pool, the Corps has been testing and conducting in-depth investigations of the damís current effectiveness. During the fill, if there are any indications from readings or observations that the dam is behaving in any way not considered expected or normal, the reservoir level can be reduced appropriately.

Since April 21, when the reservoir reached the benchmark of 1,147 feet, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has conducted intensive monitoring, including scientists on the ground around the clock. Since early March, the Seattle District of the Corps has been slowly filling Howard Hanson Damís reservoir for its annual conservation pool.

Preliminary data from the testing results suggest that the grouted seepage barrier is reducing flow through the north abutment. However, this data is preliminary and should be considered provisional, as it has not been fully analyzed. During January 2009 flooding symptoms of internal erosion were observed, prompting an operational limitation of the dam at the headwaters of the Green River. This operational limitation raised the flood risk for those communities downstream to levels not seen for 50 years.

The Corps operates the Howard Hanson Dam project, which provides flood damage reduction to the cities of Auburn, Kent, Renton and Tukwila, as well as low-flow augmentation to the Green River for environmental benefits. More details and history about Howard Hanson Dam and the right abutment issue can be found at

  Fun Facts

Every Year there is a weekend long event called the Green River Clean Up. Volunteers and other participants help clean the park and river then enjoy a party / BBQ at the end. Great Event for a Great River.

   Run Description [Season: Fall, Winter, Spring]

The Green River Gorge is a Local Favorite of most boaters. This gorge is more widely known for the frequent fatalities of local swimmers who unknowingly drown in the many different undercut areas at low water.

Most of this run has Coal and Sandstone walls which are easily formed and shaped by the river. In many places you can see areas where small caves open up and water cycles through the deep tunnels in the Gorge walls. There are several areas of this river that should be negotiated with care.

The Nozzle is the site of several fatalities and handfuls of swims. With a nice Class III+ rapid just above, many people have difficulty staying in control just before this small chute. Find out more by reading about the rapids on this stretch.

The Upper Green Gorge is runnable at a variety of flows. At lower flows the rapids aren't any harder than 3+, but the remoteness of the gorge still ups the ante a bit. At high water the rapids in the gorge become very powerful and fast. Here's a breakdown:

150-350: Consider it more like Canyoneering. Take an IK because you are going to be walking, still scenic and fun with a six pack.
350-700: ELF. Fun for those who like technical ELF boating. Best in IKs and Alpaka rafts. Be sure to scout Nozzle and portage if needed. Lots of rocks and pinning hazards.
700-900: Very Low. Bone Zone. Technical. Channels up nicely for kayaks, but you'll still scrape and grind in places. Very tight for rafts.
900-1400: Low, The riverbed is getting more filled in, but not too pushy. Still a technical run. Good levels for first timers on the run. But flipping can get you banged up. Lots of shallow spots.
1400-2500: Medium, Very fun range of flows. The rocks are padded out and/or covered and lots of fun wave trains and some nice holes. currents are pushy above 2,000 but very forgiveable.
2500-4000: Medium high, Gets progressively pushier. Expect some big-water class 4 around Mercury, Nozzle, Let's Make A Deal.
4000-6000: High, consider the whole run a half to full step harder. Big and Pushy
6000+: Very high, not recommended unless you're already very familiar with the run at high levels and/or have solid big water experience. Mercury Through Let's Make A Deal become a consolidated crux. Still not as difficult as, say, Robe Canyon at normal flows, but it's big and there are places to seriously avoid. You don't want to be swimming.
1800 - 3000: Premium Raft Levels

This run has great rapids along it's entire length. Here are some of the standout rapids:

LEDGE DROP 1 (III low, IV high): - Just below the KP put-in with a variety of routes.
PARK RAPIDS (III-): below LD1 there's a couple nice boulder gardens still within Kanaskat Palmer Park... below them is the second red warning sign. If you're already feeling overwhelmed, take out here, river left while you're still in the park. It's tougher and remote downstream.
LEDGE DROP 2 (III): starts as a boulder garden then turns right over a sloping ledge
THREE BOOFS (III): Three big rocks (or holes above 2400) line up in the center
SECRET CLASS 4 (III): After a big pool the river hooks hard to the left. An easy, wide open line on the left takes you to the inside of the turn, and two class IV routes can be found on R. Right among large boulders on the outside of the turn. A big sandstone wall on the left collects all the current at the bottom into another flat pool.
THE WITCH'S DILDO (III+): take a straight forward riffle route down the left or the chunkier route among boulders to the right, past The Witch's Dildo.
PIPELINE or Ledge Drop 3: (III+ at lower flows, III with more water) Washes out at high water, trickiest when very low. After a long straight seciton the river drops over a boulder bar and turns right over a 4 foot ledge. Left of Center hands out beatdowns, right is easier if you hug the inside of the turn. At super low levels, Pipeline turns into a fun narrow twisting flume/ledge and is the best feature in the gorge.

Note: When you see powerlines above, you're approaching the crux section of the gorge. There's an eddy on river left just before the river splits around an island and turns left into the start of Mercury. This eddy is a good place to get your group together and give them beta.

MERCURY (III+ low, IV high): This is a straight forward rapid with big waves and holes. The Nozzle is just below. Typically after you pass the island you want to follow the main current back to R. Left. Run down along the left bank and eddy out above the Nozzle on R. Left to look out for the novices in your group.
NOZZLE (IV- low, IV+ high): As stated earlier, the Nozzle has been the site of a few fatalities and several close calls in the past. At some river levels, the Nozzle may seem easy, but it should always be respected. The main hazards of the Nozzle are deeply undercut rocks and pinning hazards at low and medium levels, and massive hydraulics at high water. At very low levels you may want to portage on the left as a very large percentage of the water all goes under the right side undercut. The Nozzle appears just after Mercury, which is what makes Mercury a serious rapid. Staying in control through Mercury is essential to having a good approach to Mercury.

The Nozzle is formed by 3 huge boulders that crowd the riverbed. The middle slot, which is the largest slot, is the Nozzle. The right side has a considerable amount of water going to it as well, but it is deeply undercut, often has wood and is a severe hazard. Some boaters run this right slot, but it's not recommended unless you are keenly aware of the rapid and the danger involved. At low water, the main route becomes narrower and more technical through the Nozzle, and as levels drop hitting the correct slot can be tricky especially for rafts. A lot of the water is moving left to right and boats straying too far right can get broached on the rock to the right of the Nozzle. As levels rise another slot opens up to the left of the Nozzle. This left side is a preferred route at some higher levels when the Nozzle route becomes a powerful hydraulic. The left side has enough water for rafts above 3000, and kayaks can run it at levels below that.

As levels rise, the hazard becomes less about the undercut rocks and more about the sheer power and pushiness as the rocks become covered and huge holes appear.

HAND OF GOD (IV high): Just below the Nozzle near the left wall a hole appears at higher water. At low water its nothing or just a nice little surf wave. The higher the water, the bigger it gets. Stay Right at high water, but not so far right you go over the huge boulder that now forms a huge pour over ledge. It's a big dry boulder at normal flows with a big calm eddy behind it.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL (III low, IV high): The next 100 yards of boogie water leads into Let's Make A Deal. A few giant boulders split the river into 3 slots (doors) and all 3 are runnable, if there's no wood blocking any channels. This rapid can offer some great attainment moves, ferries and eddy hopping to sharpen your skills. At high water a nasty hazard forms on the upstream side of the rock between door 1 & 2 as mentioned above in 'other issues'. It is called Stano Rock. It is a thick slab leaning against the upstream face of the Larger Boulder. It poses a serious enrtapment hazard to be avoided above 3500 cfs or so.
SUNNY BEACH: Not a rapid, just a lunch spot. Grassy beach on both sides of the river with a nice playspot
DEJA VU or FRANKLIN BRIDGE RAPIDS (III+): Last real rapid on the upper gorge, just upstream of the bridge. It splits around an island. Right side becomes very manky. Left side has a nice big hole against the Left Wall.

After the water fall that is cascading over the cliff walls just as you pass under a very high bridge, there is a beautiful gorge of deep flatwater. You'll see a midsteam boulder with a fluffy white hydraulic to the right of it. Thats Paradise baby...
PARADISE LEDGE (III): One of the best playspots around. Click on it in the column to the right to see the list of flow ranges that are most favorable for your surfing pleasure.

The takeout is on the bench river right just above the hole, or you can paddle down another 1/2 mile through a few more easy class III's to a tiny sandy beach on R. Right ("Kay's Landing"). A path leads up into the woods back to the parking area.

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