Kalama - 2. Gobar Creek (Gate) to Lower Kalama Falls (Hatchery)


Kalama, Washington, US

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2. Gobar Creek (Gate) to Lower Kalama Falls (Hatchery)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 9.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 27 fpm

What's That Falls


What's That Falls
Photo of Bob Metsker by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08



River Description

This run can be divided into a couple of sections. The first half from the 6450 Bridge (just upstream of the Weyerhauser gate) to the 8100 Bridge contains a number of good class II rapids. The one class III rapid is What's That Falls, a river wide ledge that is easy to scout from river left.

Those just looking for a short class II/III run may take out at the 8100 Bridge but for those who want to check out the most challenging drop on this run, you can continue downstream. The river passes through a mini gorge just downstream of the bridge and then you reach the horizon line at Leader Rapids. This boulder garden has a good line down the left and at higher flows you can pick your way through the boulders on river right. A couple more class II rapids follow but then the pace calms down considerably. You can continue on down to the fish hatchery which is about 4 miles of class I floating, or find a take-out along the road. Pay attention to private property though as there are several houses all along this section.

If you continue on down to the fish hatchery you can portage Lower Kalama Falls on river left and continue on with another two miles of great class III/IV down to Red Barn (the Lower Kalama run).


StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2004-07-09 15:11:30

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-20.46450 BridgePutin Photo
-19.9Weyerhaeuser Gate AccessAccess Photo
-18.1What's That FallsIIIPhoto
-16.8Summer's Creek DropIIIPhoto
-16.78100 BridgeAccess Photo
-16.2Leader RapidsIVPhoto
-10.9Fish Hatchery AccessTakeout
-10.8Lower Kalama FallsPortage Hazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

6450 Bridge

6450 Bridge

6450 Bridge
Photo of Jennie Goldberg by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

A put-in is available on upstream river right of the bridge. This is the put-in described in Bennett's guidebook for the Gobar Creek to Fish Hatchery Run. It is just upstream of the Weyerhaeuser gate so if you find the gate closed you might as well just park outside the gate, and put-in there.



Weyerhaeuser Gate Access

Weyerhauser Gate

Weyerhauser Gate
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

The Kalama River Road maintained by the county becomes the Weyerhauser 6000 Road which is a private timber road that may be gated. You can put-in on the downstream side of the gate.



What's That Falls (Class III, Mile -18.1)

What's That Falls

What's That Falls
Photo of Jennie Goldberg by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

A fun river wide ledge that can be scouted from river left.



Summer's Creek Drop (Class III, Mile -16.8)

summers creek drop

summers creek drop
Photo of bobby brenneman

A fun little rapid as you approach the bridge.



8100 Bridge

8100 Bridge

8100 Bridge
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

This access can be used as an alternate take-out for those who do not want to continue on downstream to the Class IV Leader Rapids.



Leader Rapids (Class IV, Mile -16.2)

Leader Rapids

Leader Rapids
Photo of Jennie Goldberg by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

Leader Rapids is a boulder garden with a route down center left. At higher water you can pick your way through the boulders on river right.



Fish Hatchery Access

Unless you are going to portage Lower Kalama Falls and continue on downstream you will want to take out at the fish hatchery on river right. Be sure not to venture down towards the falls as the banks are lined with blackberries.



Lower Kalama Falls

Lower Kalama Falls

Lower Kalama Falls
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe В© taken 01/05/08

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.




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