Dungeness, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||125 fpm|
|DUNGENESS RIVER NEAR SEQUIM, WA|
|usgs-12048000||800 - 2500 cfs||III-IV||01h05m||284 cfs (too low)|
SEASON: March through July during spring melt
High quality class 3+ creeking with incredible scenery through old-growth forest. In some years the river has considerable wood hazards requiring portages but in other years it is cleaner. Get a recent report or give yourself plenty of time to scout and portage if necessary. As Korb states, "it will seem like more than three miles."
The run includes a short canyon section and finishes off with a fun class IV rapid, "Mousetrap", that can be viewed by hiking up from the bottom. Once you reach the bridge you can take-out on river right or continue on downstream on the lower run which adds another couple hours.
LOGISTICS: From Highway 101 mile 267.4 take Palo Alto Road south through farmlands and into the foothills of the Olympics. This road is paved all the way and in 8.0 miles the road splits with FR 2860 heading off to the left and FR 2880 heading to the right and down to Dungeness Forks Campground. Follow FR 2880 1.0 miles down to the Dungeness River. You will come to a bridge just upstream of the Gray Wolf confluence at Dungeness Forks Campground (one of the nicer Forest Service campgrounds in the Olympics). The take-out is on river right upstream of the bridge or you can continue on downstream on the lower run.
To reach the put-in, you can no longer use the route described by Korb due to the fact that segment of FR 2860 that went along river right has been decommissioned. Instead continue upstream on river left from the take-out bridge on FR 2880 and then in about a mile turn left on FR 2870. Follow this headed up hill a couple miles to the junction with FR 2860 and turn left to head back down towards the river following the road a little over a mile to a trailhead and a gated road. From here it is less than a half a mile hike down the road to the put-in at the bridge across the river near the confluence with Gold Creek (if you head through the forest straight to the river from the trailhead, the river disappears into hidden gorge that is upstream of the segment described in Korb's guide). Be sure to check road conditions on the Olympic National Forest web site as roads can be snowed in during the winter (FR 2870 is on a bench high above the river at 2200' elevation).
for additional information see:
A comprehensive guide to 75 river runs on Washington's beautiful Olympic Peninsula.