Skykomish, S. Fork, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|SF Skykomish nr Skykomish|
|virtual-6271||1300 - 4000 cfs||II||00h35m||2971.3 cfs (running)|
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.