Difficulty II
Length 9.5 Miles
Flow Range 1000 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 1270 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/01/2019 12:22 am

River Description

A good class II section on the Methow.

Logistics: Put-in access can be found at the WDFW site (requires a parking permit) in Carlton on the upstream river left side of the Highway 153 bridge at mile 22.4. The WDFW site on the upstream river left side of the bridge at Highway 153 mile 14.1 serves as the take-out.

Rapid Descriptions


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Karen Hensley
6 years ago

The D.O.T. rapid is at the 3rd bridge, counting the bridge at the Carlton put-in as the first bridge. This is right at the Gold Creek Road and it can be scouted from the road as you do the car shuttle. Class II boaters may want to portage this rapid as it has gotten larger over the years, and it can be tricky to rescue in fast flow after the rapid. The rapid is really just two huge waves,with the second one coming in as a lateral from the left. Locals have dubbed this the D.O.T. rapid because they reckon that concrete chunks of the old bridge, left in the water by the Department of Transportation, are what has caused this rapid to grow.

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Karen Hensley
16 years ago

This section can be done at much lower level than 2,000 CFS for canoes and kayaks.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



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Take Action to Protect Methow Headwaters

Thomas O'Keefe

The Methow Valley, located in the foothills of the North Cascades, is one of the Northwest's most popular recreation destinations. It is surrounded by public lands that provide year-around opportunities for outdoor recreation including whitewater paddling on rivers like the Methow, Lost, and Chewuch. A current threat to the valley and the recreational opportunities available is a proposed large-scale copper mine in the heart of the valley. The Forest Service has requested input on a proposed action to declare the Methow Headwaters off-limits to any new mining activities while Congressional leaders work on a permanent solution to protect this landscape.
article main photo

TAKE ACTION: Protect Methow Headwaters

Thomas O'Keefe

The Bureau of Land Management is currently accepting public comment on a proposal to protect the Methow Headwaters from an industrial-scale copper mine above the town of Mazama. The proposed mine would negatively impact the incredible opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Methow Valley. A strong show of public support will be required to secure protection for this river valley.

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Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016 Introduced

Thomas O'Keefe

Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell introduced the Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016 to protect Washington’s Methow River from the impacts of industrial-scale mining. The bill supports the efforts of recreational interests, civic and business leaders, farmers and ranchers, and Methow residents to safeguard the lands and waters of the Methow Valley and protect them permanently from mining.


Thomas O'Keefe


Gregory Knab


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1212053 04/27/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1212054 04/27/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1202240 05/22/13 Thomas O'Keefe photo added, logistics added
1191958 07/12/04 Gregory Knab n/a
1212591 06/01/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position