Skykomish, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||18 fpm|
|SKYKOMISH RIVER NEAR GOLD BAR, WA|
|usgs-12134500||1000 - 4000 cfs||I-II||00h28m||2130 cfs (running)|
ACCESS: The put-in is at the Big Eddy public access at Highway 2 mile 30.4, just east of the Highway 2 bridge across the river. This site has ample parking and a convenient boat ramp. It is co- managed by a couple of different agencies and there has been some question over the parking regulations given different fee systems the participating agencies have instituted.
DESCRIPTION: Starting from the Big Eddy access this is a beautiful section of river with minimal development. The river undergoes a distinct transition at Big Eddy and from this point on and cointinuing downstream the river takes on the characteristics of a large floodplain river. There are forested islands, gravel bars, and lots of salmon spawning habitat. Much of the riparian forest along this section has been protected through the efforts of Snohomish County, the Cascade Land Conservancy, and others.
Although there are few distinct rapids the current is swift and there are a couple of sections with waves and strong eddy lines. The river is popular with drift boat fishermen and experienced canoeists (this isn't a place to learn on your own).
Although you can paddle to Monroe or even continue on down the Snohomish all the way out to Puget Sound (be sure to check the tides), there is an option for a shorter trip down to the Sultan River confluence where a nice day-use park provides convenient river access.