Elwha - 2. Glines Canyon to Highway 101


Elwha, Washington, US

Disclaimer

2. Glines Canyon to Highway 101

Usual Difficulty II-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 4.5 Miles

Elwha


Elwha
Photo of Jan Tackett by Tom O'Keefe

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
ELWHA RIVER AT MCDONALD BR NEAR PORT ANGELES, WA
usgs-12045500 500 - 2000 cfs II-III(IV) 00h42m 1580 cfs (running)


River Description

SEASON: Best after a good winter rain and during snowmelt (November to June), but can be boated throughout most of the year.

FUN FACT: Good training run for most of the year

PUT-IN: At mile 239.5 on Highway 101 take Olympic Hotsprings Road south through the National Park entrance, across the Elwha and up towards the former site of Glines Canyon Dam. The developed access point is in the Altair Campground. Drive through the campground to the boater access at the downstream end. If the campground gate is locked (it is closed through the winter) you can access the river at the bridge. Another good access point, that adds one of the best rapids on the run, can be found by continuing 1.0 mile up the road from the bridge at Altair where a driveway leads down to the old powerhouse site. You can hike your boat down the driveway from the road.

TAKEOUT: There are several good takeouts along Olympic Hotsprings Road within the National Park. Any of the roadside pullouts are a possibility depending on how long you want to make the run. Outside the park, there is private property along the river that should be respected. The last good takeout is near the gauge which is mile 1.1 on Olympic Hotsprings Road. There is an old road bed here with decent river access.

DESCRIPTION:

This run covers the whitewater from Glines Canyon to the Highway 101 bridge that was historically the segment between the two dams. If you use the upper put-in at the historic powerhouse site, the run starts with the last half of Glines Canyon with some fun III- rapids before arriving at a sequence of boulders and ledges creating a fun class IV rapid about 0.5 miles from the put-in (the portage is fairly easy). You can see some of this section from the road (look for a set of wooden steps leading down to the river about 250 yards up the road from the bridge--the rapid is just upstream of this). Shortly after this rapid you cross under the bridge at Altair and the campground that serves as the alternate put-in.

From Altair, the river opens up into a broader valley with plenty of class II whitewater and a couple of III- rapids. You can get a good view of the character of this run on the shuttle run.

for additional information see:

  • Korb, G. 1997. A paddlers guide to the Olympic Peninsula. third edition.
  • Bennett, J. and T. Bennett. 1997. A guide to the whitewater rivers of Washington, second edition. Swiftwater Publishing. Portland, OR.
  • Olympic National Park website

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-02-15 02:36:37

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0AltairN/AAccess Photo
0.0Glines CanyonIVPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Altair (Class N/A)

Elwha River at Altaire

Elwha River at Altaire
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 10/08/11 @ 0 cfs

A river access is available at the downstream end of Altair Campground on river left. The campground is closed during winter and the alternate access is to hike down on the river right side at the bridge. This access avoids the rapids in Glines Canyon



Glines Canyon (Class IV)

Glines Canyon

Glines Canyon
Photo of Jeff Paine by Thomas O'Keefe taken 05/26/11 @ 2060 cfs

Ledge drop in Glines Canyon that continues to change with dam removal and the increased sediment supply coming down the river.




User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 18 2005 (4359 days ago)
Kyle WigginsDetails
There is a log down in the lower part of Fisherman's bend. It blocks the center and right portion
of the right channel. There is a clear route to the left of the log, but the difficulty of the run
is increased because the main flow of the river goes directly into the log's root ball. It is
visible from the road on the way to the put in.


Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.


Or, consider donating


Associated Projects

  • Elwha Restoration (WA)
    The Elwha River will be restored by removing two dams that have blocked salmon and degraded recreational opportunities on one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular rivers.

Documents

Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

June 2017

S M T W T F S
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1

Events
  (iCal)