Kalama, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
If you are in the area and looking for a quick whitewater fix this is a great little run easily accessible off I-5. From the put-in using the fishermen's trail that heads down to the river below Lower Kalama Falls, the river heads right into the biggest rapids on the run. The first couple rapids rate class III to IV depending on flows. After that things start to taper off with a few more fun rapids until the canyon walls start to peel away. Once the road comes into view on river right you are soon at the first take-out option which is Red Barn (a big red barn located near the confluence with Indian Creek).
You can take-out here if you're just doing a short trip or want to run another lap. Alternatively you can continue downstream as far as Modrow Road. This section is mostly class I/II with a few riffles and headwalls near the start that soon taper off. Marietta Falls is a scenic waterfall that cascades in from river left and you get a great view from the river.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-10.8||Lower Kalama Falls|
|-10.6||Fishermen's Trail Access|
|-7.7||Red Barn (Indian Creek)|
|-4.7||Upper Kalama Ramp|
|-2.9||Modrow Bridge Ramp|
Lower Kalama Falls is located immediately downstream of the fish hatchery. Most put-in below the falls for this run. The falls itself is a severe hazard due to the riverwide dam at the end of the falls that forms a deadly hydraulic. A portage on the left side is available but be sure to get out at the first eddy above the start of the falls.
This access trail is the standard put-in for this run. It can be found next to the utility pole at the pull-out 8.2 miles from I-5 before you reach the turn to the fish hatchery.
This access is located 5.5 miles east of I-5 and is recognized by the big red barn alog the road. This access is often used as a take-out for those doing the short run from Lower Kalama Falls down through the canyon. It can also be used as a put-in for those wanting to enjoy the class I/II float downstream.
An impressive waterfall cascades in from river left.
A WDFW Access (requires a parking pass) on river right with a good ramp located 3.4 miles from I-5 and just upstream of the Lower Kalama Hatchery.
A WDFW Access (requires a parking pass) on river right located 2.9 miles from I-5 and just dowstream of the Lower Kalama Hatchery.
A WDFW Access (requires a parking pass) on river left with a good ramp located 1.2 miles from I-5 and across the Modrow Road bridge.