Beckler, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||52 fpm|
|Beckler nr Skykomish|
|virtual-6261||900 - 2200 cfs||II-III||00h47m||698.4 cfs (too low)|
SEASON: Winter rains. Put in can be snowed in during the coldest months.
FUN FACT: Another alternative in the Sky drainage.
PUT-IN: Confluence with the Rapid. East of the town of Skykomish, take FR 65 north up the Beckler Valley (the turnoff is at mile 49.6 on Highway 2). The put-in is at FR 65 mile 6.9 where the Rapid flows into the Beckler. There is a bridge across the Rapid River here and space for parking.
TAKEOUT: Highway 2 bridge east of the town of Skykomish where the Beckler and Tye come together to form the South Fork Skykomish. This bridge (Highway 2 mile 49.8) is east of the turnoff for FR 65. You can find parking on the upstream river left side of the bridge. Alternatively you can shorten the run by taking out anywhere along FR 65 where the road meets the river.
SHUTTLE: 6.9 miles on FR 65 and 0.2 miles on Highway 2.
The Beckler River is somewhat of a mixed bag. There's not much of anything to keep experienced paddlers excited and there are plenty of places for beginners to get themselves into trouble. Most of the excitement is just below the put-in and at the FR 65 bridge. In between there are less demanding rapids.
As you're driving to the put-in, check out the rapids near the FR 65 bridge (FR 65 mile 1) as they will give you a good idea of the skills you will need for this run. Few of the rapids provide class III excitement although they often require class III skills to stay out of trouble.
If the quality of the whitewater is secondary and your main emphasis is to get out on a river you haven't seen before then the Beckler River valley is a neat place to visit. There are some good camping spots along the Beckler and Rapid Rivers. If you're looking for more of a challenge consider the Rapid River which joins the Beckler at the put-in.
There are also reports that this river can be fun when the Skykomish is in flood stage. Scout carefully and make your own judgement.
lat/long confirmed with GPS
for additional information see, Bennett, J. and T. Bennett. 1997. A guide to the whitewater rivers of Washington, second edition. Swiftwater Publishing. Portland, OR.