Dosewallips - 3. Six Mile Bridge to Dosewallips State Park

Dosewallips, Washington, US


3. Six Mile Bridge to Dosewallips State Park

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 6.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 38 fpm

Lower Dosewallips Gorge

Lower Dosewallips Gorge
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 12/20/02

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
hads-DWRW1 12.00 - 14.00 ft II-III 5y288d09h27m 10.57 ft (too low)
usgs-12054000 1.80 - 5.50 ft II-III 01h12m 0.9 ft (too low)
usgs-12052210 180 - 2000 cfs II-III 00h25m 67.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

SEASON: November through July with good rain or snowmelt.

FUN FACT: Impressive gorge that can be enjoyed by intermediate paddlers.

ACCESS: From Highway 101 mile 306.0 travel 5.9 miles up the Dosewallips River Road (FR 2610) and turn left (south) onto FR 2620 (unmarked). Follow this road down and across Six-Mile Bridge and turn left to a put-in on river right about 0.1 miles downstream from the bridge. If you want to run the Pinch you can continue up FR 2610 to mile 6.0 and hike down to the river. The bridge and the land immediately surrounding the Pinch is private property. To reach the take-out, return to Highway 101 and go 1 mile south across the Highway 101 Bridge to Dosewallips State Park. You can turn west into the campground to access the river at the Highway 101 Bridge. If the campground is closed, turn east and head for the Hood Canal access.


This run can be paddled by itself or as a continuation of the Middle Dosewallips run. Just keep in mind that the land at Six-Mile Bridge including the shoreline adjacent to the Pinch is private property.

Below the Pinch, the river consists of a few miles of nearly continuous class II/III whitewater with a few fun but short class III rapids. There are waves, small ledges, short boulder gardens, and little holes. Be cautious of wood hazards--it's not uncommon to have a portage or two. About halfway through the run at Wilson Creek you will encounter one of the better playspots on the run at a fun little hole, and then you will enter an impressive gorge section characteristic of the Olympic Peninsula rivers. There is a rapid at the entrance and then the walls close in around you. When the ground is saturated an impressive waterfall flows off the gorge rim that you can paddle through. As you look downstream the river flows straigh into a bedrock wall, but makes a hard turn to the left before opening up. It's a short section of just a few hundred yards but it's a very beautiful place and one of the most accessible gorge sections on the Olympic Peninsula for intermediate paddlers.

There are a few more rapids after the gorge but the pace begins to slow as the water calms down to class I/II and river-side homes begin to appear. If there were a take-out option here most would probably exit the river at the end of the gorge, but it's all private property. As you approach Hood Canal, the channel becomes braided and although there are a few strong eddy lines the rapids are basically over. Once you exit the gorge, expect to take about half an hour to reach the take-out at Dosewallips State Park. Stay alert for log hazards which are prevelant in the lower section. Sometimes you can get through without having to portage, but in other years you may encounter a river-wide log hazard or two.

lat/long very approximate from tiger map server

for additional information see:

  • Korb, G. 1997. A paddlers guide to the Olympic Peninsula. third edition.
  • local expert: Gary Korb & Carol Volk, 4930 Geiger Road, Port Orchard, WA 98366, 206-876-6780
  • Bennett, J. and T. Bennett. 1997. A guide to the whitewater rivers of Washington, second edition. Swiftwater Publishing. Portland, OR.
  • Hood Canal Ranger District, North - USFS Olympic National Forest web site
  • Washington State Parks - Dosewallips State Park

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-11-21 16:21:44


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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 13 2018 (93 days ago)
rscanlon (159565)
Scouted the gorge yesterday (4/12/18). The log jam is still in place and has grown in size. It is a
very sketchy spot as egress from the canyon above the log jam is not possible. At low water, it
looks possible to eddy out and either climb over the logs or squeeze under on river left. High
water could make this a deadly spot. Not a spot to take a class II-III boater at any water level.
If you decide to attempt this gorge, SCOUT the log jam BEFORE you put on.
November 22 2012 (2061 days ago)
omarwj (155050)
11-21-2012 There are two river wide log(s) jammed in the dog leg in the gorge just below the falls.
At this level (600 cfs on Dungeness gauge) the flow was slow enough to get out on the log in the
eddy on river left and portage over the log. Canyon walls are shear in this area and there wasn't
an option to climb out or go back up stream. If more logs gather in this location, it could make
the situation worse.

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