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Difficulty III+
Length 5 Miles
Gauge RAGING RIVER NEAR FALL CITY, WA
Flow Range 350 - 800 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 10 hours ago 39.4 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 01/25/2019 12:41 am

River Description


Guide Book:A Guide to Whitewater Rivers of WA, J. Bennett (1990)

This run starts off as a class II run as it meanders through the small town of Preston. This section is prone to collection of wood in the river, but generally wood can be seen and avoided. You should expect to get out a few times and portage. The two stand out rapids are about halfway through the run. The river swings near the road, and the class III+ "Cheesegrater" drops through a bunch of rocks and holes. The river lets up a little, and passes under the Preston-Fall City Road. The next class III rapid drops through a dark rock walled canyon as it turns a corner and heads away from the road. After this, the river eases up as it heads to its confluence with the Snoqualmie at Fall City.

This run has big potential for wood. SCOUT before running it!

The Raging is a rainy season run. It generally requires a couple of days of good rain for the flows to get to runnable levels.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Jon Almquist
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5 years ago

A few logs span the river just upsteam of the 86th St. bridge in Preston. You can easily scout this from the bridge during shuttle, and decide if you want to put in here or upstream at the usual "under I-90" put-in. Below here there was one large log limbo move in the braided section just above Icy Creek. At higher levels this limbo might not go, but portaging looked to be straight forward. There was a channel-wide log right at the confluence of Icy Creek that could be paddled over or carried. With more water you might not even notice this log... Everything below here was fairly clean. Sure, there's some wood, but everything was easily avoidable.

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n/a
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8 years ago

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Brian Vogt
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12 years ago

Ran the Raging again, first november after work run ever. This was our first post-flood run. There is new wood in the section below Preston but above Cheesegrater. Visible from the road is a major tree spanning the entire river bed with few easy portage options. Portaging is possible, but will be a slog through the underbrush and hard on gear. Cheesegrater looked clean, but we launched downstream at the gauging station and ran into Fall City. There are many changes in the river bed. Most significant is the rapid in the canyon. The rocks on the left have washed several yards downstream, opening up a high water slot on the left. There is less constriction here and not as much push into the undercut on the right. I'd say it's a little more open in the main line. The island above the canyon goes in either channel, but the left channel could be blocked by a short log, so leave your options open here. The gauge read 400 but felt more like 600-800 of the past. Probably the guage needs recalibration.

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JEFFREY HOLDEN
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13 years ago

April 16, 2006 Flow: 334
After doing the section above we proceeded under the I90 bridge. There is a put in just above.

Logs
We got out an looked frequenly because of blocked channels and logs across the river. The worst spots and places we portaged are where the river branches into a number of channels especially 3 or more. These occur in the wide gravel flats not in the rocky straight sections.

Cheese Grater
We thought we saw Cheese Grater from the road but did not remember it on the river. In retrospect it was a section we scouted a long time. The log in the video shown in the middle of the river was gone replaced by a single log where the paddlers went under the log. In that spot there is a new and lower log. We went left where the log in the video blocks. It is now clear. This was the most exciting, but not the most dangerous part of the river.

Log Jam
A few bends later the river turns left at a high gravel bank. Powerlines cross the river just before. A log comes from the right side followed by another parrallel to the river, and with that having the left channel blocked. It could be very dangerous without a scout. We walked on the left side, then put in above the parrallel log and went right. If look more first, it could be run. Soon after there is another three channel island. The right channel is blocked by a log. The very left channel was clear but check it out first. We landed on the island first.

A few turns later an even worst jam appeared. I pulled in just before commitment point. It looks like you can duck the first log, but beware the second log you cannot duck.

The canyon came next. I walked down along the left. We ran it against the right wall. The sticks we saw at the end of the canyon were easily bypassed on the left. After that it gradually calmed down.

Note that the order may not quite be correct.

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Nick Borelli
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14 years ago

Update from 3/27: The run is clean from I-90 thorugh Cheesegrater. About .5 mile below Cheesegrater the river comes close to the road, then makes a hard left turn. Right around this blind corner is a dangerous root ball and log. There is a thin line starting river left then hard right behind the root ball (and in front of the log), but this is a hard Class III+ move at 600 cfs. At higher flows this will become more dangerous...take out of the left bank gravel bar before you go around the corner and make the easy portage to avoid trouble. Below this, I'm happy to report clean conditions all the way down.

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Brian Vogt
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14 years ago

Ran the Raging 12.12.2004 on a flow of 500 and dropping from 1900-odd. No noticable new wood. The section two corners below Cheesegrater, where the channel is a very narrow slot on river left, with 90% of the river blocked by wood is a bit worse now. Looks like the high water has reshaped the stream bed. It is much more shallow over on the left now. We've never had trouble getting through there even at 300 cfs; at 500 this time, it was much more boney. Approach with caution at lower flows.

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Brian Vogt
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15 years ago

Ran the Raging 8/24/2004 after work. In August ... unheard of. We had ~400 cfs and dropping. Plenty of wood in the run, but no portages. The log in Cheesegrater is still there, so run right. The logjam creating the narrow slot on the left above the canyon is still there as well. The canyon was clean of wood.<br />

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Brian Vogt
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15 years ago

Ran the Raging 1/31/2004 at ~450 cfs. The run was very clean; no portages. You'll see the tree in Cheesegrater, which recommends a right side run over the main drop. The only other wood is a spot above the canyon where there is nearly river-wide wood with only a small channel on river left. There's room, but be on your toes. Not a place to swim.

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Sir Heimer
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16 years ago

Updated info as of Sunday, February 26th, 2003.

We did the Raging at about 900-1000 cfs. It was a big flush, so wood was a concern. We scouted it thoroughly before hand, making sure to visibly clear the canyon. There was only one portage; a river-wide log that could come up on you quick. For the most part, though, as long as you keep your eyes downstream everything can be seen and avoided. We did have to limbo under a few trees. The run was great fun, though!

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Nick Borelli
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17 years ago

Ran the run on 2/23/2002 at about 600 cfs. No portages due to wood at this time, but there is some wood and root debris in the channel - keep alert. This is the cleanest I've seen the Raging in years - the run was a lot of fun.

Gage Descriptions

You can still do this run up to 1000 cfs, and have a good time, but the water is very fast at these levels and it's more difficult to eddy out (an important consideration given the amount of wood that can be found on this run). Around 500 cfs is plenty of water, and you can run it lower than that. Down to 250 cfs is still decent, but the pin hazard goes up a bit that low. Something around 500 is a nice medium level.

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.

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Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191978 03/29/05 n/a n/a
1210902 01/25/19 Thomas O'Keefe photo added