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Difficulty II
Length 9.5 Miles
Gauge SF Skykomish nr Skykomish
Flow Range 1300 - 4000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 51 minutes ago 438.6 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/18/2008 6:31 pm

River Description

SEASON: Throughout the year. Can get too low in late summer or mid winter.

FUN FACT: Mellow river float with a few rapids.

PUTIN: Highway 2 bridge east of the town of Skykomish where the Beckler and Tye come together to form the South Fork Skykomish (Highway 2 mile 49.8). You can find parking on the upstream river left side of the bridge.

TAKEOUT: Barclay Creek at mile 40 on Highway 2. Stear clear of private property. An alternative takeout is available at the bridge to Money Creek campground bridge at mile 46 on Highway 2.

SHUTTLE: Highway 2 parellels the run.


The South Fork of the Skykomish is a mellow float trip suitable for beginners with support from experienced paddlers.

The most significant set of rapids is a wave train that can be seen where Hwy 2 passes through a short tunnel. If you can handle this set of rapids you should have no problem with the run. If you look at this set of rapids and think it looks incredibly boring then go somewhere else or you'll be in for a long day. The emphasis here is not on action, but having a fun day on the river with some fun splashy waves. There are several places along the river suitable for beginners to practice boat handling skills.

The most important part of this run is to be sure you recognize the takeout. It's not difficult to find where Barclay Creek joins the Skykomish, but unrunnable drops are only half a mile downstream.

lat/long confirmed with GPS

for additional information see, Bennett, J. and T. Bennett. 1997. A guide to the whitewater rivers of Washington, second edition. Swiftwater Publishing. Portland, OR.

Rapid Descriptions


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David Elliott
17 years ago

This river can be very fun at flows above 4000, but be aware that it is no longer a mellow float when the level gets high.

There is a rapid about 2 miles below the class III rapid that is important to know about. The river gradually sweeps left and gets steeper, and then makes a sharp right turn. As you make this turn, you will see a giant hole that covers half of the river, and guess what - all of the current is heading right into it.

If you aren't to the right of it with 20 yards to go, start paddling hard. The hole can be punched with some effort.

Gage Descriptions

Historically there was a gauge on the SF Skykomish (stn. 12130500, 1930-1970). The virtual gauge for this run provides approximate flow based on the relative area of the basin and the Skykomish at Goldbar gauge downstream (the river is good between 2,500 and 8,000 on this gauge). The Goldbar gauge is also available through the NOAA hotline 206-526-8530.

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




Thomas O'Keefe


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192007 07/18/08 Thomas O'Keefe n/a