The put-in access for this section is also the take-out for the much more challenging Ohanepecosh
and Clear Fork Cowlitz runs. The turn-off for the La Wis Wis Campground is located along Highway 12
at mile 138, just west of the junction with Highway 123. Follow the campground road 0.5 miles down
the hill, but instead of entering the campground turn right and then take an immediate left to the
day-use picnic area right where the Clear Fork of the Cowlitz joins the Ohanepecosh (Northwest Forest
Pass required). If you are paddling this run in the off season the campground may be closed.
This run can be divided into 2 parts. The first 2 miles down to Jody's Bridge (FR1270) consists of relatively steep class II rapids, with steep walls in the last half mile. The next 5 miles is a broad glacial valley with the usual shallow braids and logs. Expect a portage or two in this lower section.
Either the recommended flow range or the gauge reading is questionable. I did this run at 1520cfs in an inflatable kayak, and it was shallow from beginning to end. In the canyon section, the rapids were shallow and scrapey. In the braided section, there were parts where none of the braids had enough water to make a completely clean run.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Cowlitz- just below La Wis Wis
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