Raging - Preston to Fall City

Raging, Washington, US


Preston to Fall City

Usual Difficulty III+ (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 71 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12145500 350 - 800 cfs III+ 00h24m 12.9 cfs (too low)

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.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-03-29 19:05:54

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 17 2014 (1582 days ago)
Jon AlmquistDetails
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.
November 8 2006 (4268 days ago)
Brian VogtDetails
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.
April 17 2006 (4473 days ago)
April 16, 2006 Flow: 334
After doing the section above we proceeded under the I90 bridge. There is a put in just above.

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

Note that the order may not quite be correct.
March 30 2005 (4855 days ago)
Nick BorelliDetails
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.
December 14 2004 (4961 days ago)
Brian VogtDetails
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
August 25 2004 (5073 days ago)
Brian VogtDetails
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 />
August 25 2004 (5073 days ago)
Brian VogtDetails
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.
January 27 2003 (5648 days ago)
Sir HeimerDetails
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!
February 25 2002 (5984 days ago)
Nick BorelliDetails
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.

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