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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Washington  :: Kalama River Washington  :: The Upper Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip

The Upper Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip on the Kalama River

The Upper Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Upper Kalama Falls
Take Out:  Gobar Creek
Difficulty:  Class III , Class IV
Gradient:  56 fpm
Run Length:  15 miles
Current Streamflow:  11600 cfs @ 12/14/2016 10:30 AM - TOUTLE RIVER AT TOWER ROAD NEAR SILVER LAKE, WA, reading taken from USGS
Good Level:  600 - 1,300 cfs
Streamflow Comments:  There is no gauge for this river, usually if the Toutle River at Tower Road gauge reads 2,500 this section of river will have enough water. This river holds water for an unusual amount of time.
Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, November, December
Primary Season:  This section of river only runs during the rainy season, usually after a few days of heavy rain.
Permit:  None presently required
Character/Similar To:  Mostly class III boulder garden rapids flowing through clearcut hillsides. Many of the rapids contain good playspots. Expect one class IV rapid called Double Drop about 12.5 miles from the top put in.
Hazards:  Scout Double Drop Rapid at mile 12.5, or take out at Jacks Creek Bridge 1.5 miles upriver from Double Drop.
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan,raft
Land Ownership:  Public forest with possible private logging roads
Wilderness:  No
Location:  In the Pacific Region (WA), 142 miles (2 hours 34 minutes) South of Seattle
Shuttle Logistics: 

Take Out: From I-5 take exit 32 to Kalama River Road and head 8 miles east to the Kalama Falls Salmon Hatchery. In .4 miles east of the hatchery take the left fork and continue 7.5 miles up the road. Look for a bridge to the right; this will be the take out.

Put In: There are a few different access points for this run. To reach the lowest take out/put in continue upriver on Road 6000 from the take out for 3.6 miles then turn right onto Road 6600. In .5 miles you will arrive at the Jacks Creek access point. To reach the next access point, return to Road 6000 and drive upriver for 7.9 miles and turn right onto Road 7300. The access point is the first bridge on Road 7300. The highest put in is another 3.1 miles up Road 6000 at a bridge over the Kalama. Rafts should launch from the Road 7300 bridge and take out at the lowest access point for this run.

Other Resources

Pacific Coast Kayak Clubs
  • Desert Kayak & Canoe Club
  • Paddle Trails Canoe Club
  • The Mountaineers
  • Washington Kayak Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Washington Vacation & Travel Guide