Cle Elum, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||24 fpm|
|Cle Elum Below Cle Elum Dam|
|dream-553||1200 - 4000 cfs||II||25h08m||215 cfs (too low)|
SEASON: Late May through early September. Dam release is relatively stable although fluctuations can occur without warning.DESCRIPTION:
As long as there is a good snowpack and the reservoir is full, this run typically has good flows through the summer. This river has fairly continuous class II rapids with some good wave trains. Beginners will find the run enjoyable at the lower limit of flows but there are fewer eddies at the higher limit of flows. Log hazards are a prevelant along the run.LOGISTICS: From I-90 take exit 80 and head for Roslyn/Salmon La Sac. 0.4 miles from I-90 you will cross the take-out bridge over the Cle Elum. Parking options are not great here, but you'll find a pull-out for a couple cars on the river right side of the bridge. There is good access downstream river right of the bridge. To reach the put-in, continue 2.3 miles east from the take-out bridge to the intersection with Higway 903 and turn left towards the north (at this point you're at mile 4.2 on Highway 903 which becomes Salmon La Sac Road). Pass through the town of Rosyln and continue north to one of two possible access points. The first is an informal Forest Service site along the river. At mile 8.6 on Salmon La Sac Road turn left on Winston Road. Follow this road 1.2 miles to an access point right on the river. It is a gravel road and there are several turns that branch off to gravel pits and staging areas but just stay generally straight and towards the end you will go down a hill to the river (you should see a Forest Service sign board and some informal camp sites). The next access is a short way up river but the road to get down the river is in worse shape. You reach it by turning left off Salmon La Sac Road at mile 9.1 on to Lake Cabin Road , and then take a second immediate left following the sign to Cle Elum Dam. Continue 0.5 miles toward the dam and turn left on to an unimproved dirt road (high clearance recommended). From here it's 0.4 miles down to a bridge with a put-in on river left. This site has also been formally developed as a salmon viewing site and it's a great place to watch fish in the fall.