American - 2. Hell's Crossing to American Forks

American, Washington, US


2. Hell's Crossing to American Forks

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 4.7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 82 fpm


Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 05/07/07 @ 530 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12488500 500 - 900 cfs III-IV 00h21m 103 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is a great run that features nearly continuous class III/IV whitewater from start to finish. The river originates from the headwaters in Mt. Rainier National Park and is one of the few rivers in the Yakima drainage without a dam. While Highway 410 runs along the entire length of the run, the river holds your attention making the road only a minor distraction. Dispersed campsites are located along the run and towards the end you will pass a few cabins. The most distinct drop on the run is the big headwall rapid but there is plenty to keep you busy the whole way. The main hazard is wood and you can expect to come up to a few logs that can span the channel. Eddies are few and far between so be prepared and it's a good run to have a skilled probe who can sniff out the wood hazards before you're on top of them.

While this run ends at the confluence with the Bumping River you can continue on downstream to enjoy the Bumping from American Forks down to Sawmill Flat or beyond on the Naches.

Access: The put-in for this section is at the Forest Service Hell's Crossing Campground at Highway 410 mile 83.5. To reach the take-out, drive along the river to Highway 410 mile 88.4 and turn south onto Bumping River Road. You will immediately come to a bridge across the American. This is a potential access or you can continue on in to American Forks Campground and take out at the confluence with the Bumping River which is just downstream of the bridge on river right.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-12-04 06:43:05


Detail Trip Report  Headwall  American, WA(2.52MB .jpeg)

Gauge Information

We have no additional information about how various flows affect runnability (or playability) of this section of river. If you can provide additional information, please either directly contact the StreamTeam member for this reach, or add a 'comment' or a 'report' with your information to help out your fellow boaters.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12488500 500 - 900 cfs III-IV 00h21m 103 cfs (too low)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
500 - 900 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III-IV

Report - Reports of American 2. Hell's Crossing to American Forks and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
> 10 years American [WA] Headwall 530 cfs Thomas O'Keefe



User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 6 2011 (2747 days ago)
luisi5678 (144092)
about 1 log portage, and one hidden log about halfway through that i got hung up on and had to
swim. My boat got away from me. It is a 2008 liquid logic Jefe (white) if you find it please give
me a call at 509-698-5848. Their is a reward. Thanks and God Bless.
May 18 2011 (2765 days ago)
luisi5678 (144092)
May 2011 Ran this around the second weekend of May, there were about 3 log portages, but look for
things to clean up, just had flows at over 1800 so I'm thinking things will clear up. Plan to run
it this weekend so I'll keep things posted.
May 31 2007 (4213 days ago)
Thomas O'KeefeDetails
We ran on May 27, 2007 and found the run relatively clean. There were about half a dozen log moves
requiring one to duck under, boof over, or skirt around narrow passages between branches. The
situation may change as water level varies.

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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General Nonmember Message

Associated News

TAKE ACTION: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Plan Open for Comment
September 15, 2011

Associated Projects

 2. Hell's Crossing to American Forks, American Washington, US (mobile)