Jed Hawkes's Submission - Entered on 4/11/2011 11:40:00 AM
Notes: river changes due to flood.
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 4/28/2017 6:26:33 PM)
TILTON RIVER AB BEAR CANYON C
||NWRFC | FC Page
3rd Party Gauge
||4/28/2017 5:45:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level: 800 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 4000 cfs
Big pull out at the bridge. Easy Put-in. Take out is at the park after a 2 mile paddle across the upstream end of the lake.
To reach the put-in, drive back out to the Y-intersection and then take the other fork heading north (Cinebar Road). In approximately 4.5 miles the road comes to a T. Turn right and continue east on SR 508 for about 7 miles. You'll cross high over a tributary creek before you arrive at the bridge across the Tilton. There is parking and easy river access on the upstream river left side of the Tilton River bridge.
Take exit 68 (Rt. 12 E towards Morton Yakima) follow for about 12 miles until sign for Ike Kinswa State park, Sign will point you left onto SR 122 (Harmony Rd.). Drive until fork in the road, at fork take the right road and follow for another 1.5-2.0 miles, take left into Ike Kinswa State Park. Park towards back of lot near the grassy field next to the lake.
Park has a gate that they lock. Park hours SUMMER: 6:30 am - Dusk. WINTER 8:am - Dusk. THIS IS HIGHLY ENFORCED. I had a friend get locked in there recently, don't allow your safety meetings to drag on too long or you might spend the night in the park.
This is a very fun and scenic class III run with quality rapids and a few class IV- drops. A favorite among many washington paddlers.
Run Description [Season: ]
There's a lengthy paddle both into and out of this gem of a canyon, but it's well worth it. In the beginning you'll find swift class II for at least a mile or more . Soon enough however, you get into a remote feeling canyon with big fluffy class III drops. The rapids have a powerful feel to them at medium to medium high flows and above, with a few holes at flows of about 1400 cfs and above that should be avoided unless you're looking for action, but they are simple rapids in structure and generally flush you through to large pools below.
Shortly after the first rapid or two you'll come to what used to be a riverwide logjam (see photos). In April 2009 we were able to paddle around this, although it's still there. We encountered no portages throughout the rest of the run.
Elsewhere on the run you'll find a few rapids that have some fun lines. Towards the end of the second canyon there is a broken ledge that has sort of a "picket fence" configuration of boulders. The main route is down the right, but there's also a really nice boof to be found in a route second to the left where the water flows around a curve and over a large boulder.
Any paddler hungry for more vertical than they found upstream should hit this line!
It's a beautiful gem of a run, even though many complain about the flatwater paddle out. Absolutely beautiful scenery, and the class III rapids are great for those who are sharpening their skills in larger volume rapids.
*Jed Hawkes edit 4/11/11
After the big flood there are a few changes on the run, the first wave in surf city doesn't have eddy access anymore, and the wave is not as classic as it used to be. Also a boulder rolled down off the river right wall above the second canyon and created three new waves. At 1750 cfs the first wave created by a constriction between the new boulder and the river left shore is a really low angle wave with a nice pile, mostly front surfing, but maybe with more water it could get a bit bigger, or maybe less water, who knows. Also there are two waves in the wave train behind the initial wave that are pretty good too, surfable in a spud boat and a longboat (corsica S).