Chiwawa, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (for normal flows)|
|CHIWAWA RIVER NEAR PLAIN, WA|
|usgs-12456500||1100 - 3500 cfs||III||01h05m||140 cfs (too low)|
The Chiwawa is a great intermediate run through the Wenatchee National Forest with continuous
class II and III rapids over most of its length. At intermediate flows there are plenty of great
surf spots. Wood is in play on this run and you can expect to have logs that extend into the
channel. The river is generally wide enough that you can find your way around but in some years
there have been trees across the channel that required a portage so be alert. The other issue to
be aware of is the dense riverside vegetation. At spring flows the alder trees extend into the
river and the banks are generally very brushy.
For those who want a shorter run of the best whitewater you can run just the first 6 miles and take out at the Forest Road bridge. If you have more time it's worth continuing downstream another 4.6 miles. The first couple miles of the lower section continue at the same pace as above with some great surf spots. The action then begins to taper off and you encounter a number of cabins as you approach the Chiwawa Loop Road Bridge. NOTE: The lower takeout is now blocked and there are "Private Property" signs in the parking area. The path down to the river is long and overgrown and there is a lot of wood in the river at this spot. Make sure you thoroughly scout this takeout if you use it.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
A nice surf ledge where the river hits a big wall and heads off to the left.
This alternate access can be used as a take-out if you only want to run the upper half.
This access avoids the fish trap and the float out to the Wenatchee. Access is available on river right under the Chiwawa Loop Road bridge.