Hamma Hamma - 2. Hamma Hamma Campground to gorge (Lower)

Hamma Hamma, Washington, US


2. Hamma Hamma Campground to gorge (Lower)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 40 fpm

U Turn

U Turn
Photo of Megi Morishita by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 12/31/11 @ 0 cfs

River Description

SEASON: November to June.

LOGISTICS: At Highway 101 mile 317.9 Take FR 25 (Hamma Hamma Road) as it runs west into the National Forest. Head up this road past Hamma Hamma Campground and go left across the Cabin Creek bridge and then Hamma Hamma River bridge. This is the put-in. To reach the take-out continue a short distance past the bridge and take a hard left on to FR 2480 which heads downstream along river right (this road can be blocked by low elevation snow during winter and unfortunately paddling out to Highway 101 is not an option due to the presence of an unrunnable gorge between the take-out and Highway 101). Check road reports under Recereation, Current Conditions, Hood Canal South, on the USFS Olympic National Forest web site. Follow FR 2480 3.6 miles to a spur road that heads down to the river and the take-out (you will need to scout this out carefully because the spur road is not marked on current USFS maps and the unrunnable gorge is just downstream). An alternative is to take-out just after U Turn and hike out straight to the road (as of 2011 this was a clear cut with skid roads).


The river starts off at the bridge with a fun rapid and after a couple bends the gradient starts to flatten out a bit. You will soon come to an area of active channel migration where you should be prepared to portage log jams that form in this reach.

The gradient starts to pick up again and the character noticeably changes as you pass Jefferson Creek where the additional flow and steeper gradient create some fun class III rapids. You soon come to point where the river drops away in a turbulent furry and disappears around the corner into U Turn. This rapid is difficult to scout but with some effort you can scramble along the rim and get a few views from high above. At medium flows the run starts with a couple of holes at the entrance and then a couple more as you turn the corner before tapering off into a good recovery pool at the end of the gorge. You can take-out here or go another 1/3 of a mile to pick up one more rapid before the river plunges into an unrunnable canyon.

for additional information see:

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-01-06 08:59:22

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0U TurnIVPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

U Turn (Class IV)

Entrance to U Turn

Entrance to U Turn
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 12/31/11 @ 0 cfs

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Associated Projects

  • Wild Olympics (WA)
    A campaign to protect the free-flowing rivers of the Olympic Peninsula.