JoesKayak's Submission - Entered on 4/5/2011 1:37:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 4/23/2017 10:21:30 PM)
TOUTLE RIVER AT TOWER ROAD NE
||NWRFC | FC Page
3rd Party Gauge
||4/23/2017 10:00:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level: 1000 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 3000 cfs
Take the Castle Rock exit from I-5 and head east out Hwy 504.
From the take-out, continue on Tower road on the north side of the river until you reach Highway 504. Turn right and continue until you reach the bridge over the river and put-in. You can also backtrack from Tower Road bridge and come east on HWy 504, the distance is about the same.
You can also head up the SF Toutle road and put-in on the South Fork if you prefer. There is a very nice well developed access spot on the SF with wide turnout and pit-toilets. At lower levels however, the SF will be a scrape.
A few miles from Castle Rock take a left at the Y onto Tower Road. Continue until you reach the bridge, the take out.
See a river corridor in the process of repairing itself after the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
Run Description [Season: rainy]
This is a unique river trip which shows the damage caused from the Mt. St. Helens eruptions. There's some pretty nice rapids too, mostly class III-III+ with the exception of Hollywood Gorge (which can be portaged). 1000-3000 cfs is a nice range, and experienced paddlers with a solid roll can definitely run it at higher levels(expect to find some BIG holes).
Below the put-in you quickly come to the first set of good rapids. Stairsteps comes first followed by Tempest in a Teapot. Both rapids are III-IV depending on flows. Stairsteps is generally easier on the right, and sometimes has a logjam on the left. At high water you can sneak Teapot on the left.
Below these rapids, the river widens out and becomes quite flat for a few miles. This section is quite scenic in a volcano devastated kind of way.
At the end of this section, some scattered boulders start to appear, including a rather large one on R. Right, apparently named "Julie".The river canyons up and eventually comes to Hollywood Gorge Rapids, class IV. This rapid starts with a riverwide ledge split by a rock and then fast currents leading to a "recommended to avoid" hole on the left. This rapid gets real burly at high water, however at high levels a sneak route around to the top ledge opens up on the right. Hollywood Gorge can be scouted or portaged on the bench of rock on R. Right. Below Hollywood, there are a few more class III- rapids and then the river eventually mellows out before the takeout at Tower bridge.
Wood is occasionally a concern on this run. Always keep a look out.