Difficulty II
Length 7.5 Miles
Flow Range 1000 - 3000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 447 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 10/15/2019 11:37 pm

River Description

SEASON: November rains and spring snowmelt. A consistent performer on weeknights late April through early June.

FUN FACT: One of the most scenic river trips easily accessible as a day trip from the Seattle area.

LOGISTICS: To reach the river take exit 34 off I-90 and head north on 468th Ave. past the truck stop. The Middle Fork Road (FR 56) turns off to the right in 0.5 miles. Continue up this road to mile 5 and the Granite Creek Access (aka Concrete Bridge), which is on the downstream river left side of the bridge. This site is the traditional division between the Upper and Middle runs, but many paddlers looking to spend more time on the Upper Middle's best rapids will continue upstream to Russian Butte View access which serves as an alternate take-out. This site is at mile 8 on DNR land just before you reach the Forest Service boundary at a point where the river comes up along the road, and a short distance downstream of the Pratt River confluence. This access can also be used as a put-in for those who want to start their trip here and then continue down on the easier first section of the Middle-Middle, taking out above First Island Drop (this run is known as "The Mupper" - make sure to scout the takeout, as the access below First Island Drop is full of trees).

For the put-in, you can continue up to mile 10.2 and a site known as Riverbend where the river runs up along the road at an unimproved camp site. This alternative puts you in downstream of Rainy Creek Rapid. For those interested in the full run, continue up to mile 11.3 and a small pull-out along the river known as Bridge View just before the turn into the Middle Fork Trailhead. The Forest Service has asked paddlers to use this site instead of parking at the trailhead and scrambling under the foot bridge. The Bridge View access is suitable for either rafts or kayaks. If you want to put in a couple miles higher and enjoy the incredible backdrop provided as you paddle past Mt. Garfield this is also an option (it also adds one more fun rapid at the Taylor River confluence). Continue up the Middle Fork Road road to mile 12 where you will cross the Taylor River and within 100 yards the Middle Fork Road continues by turning off to the right where it heads up a short hill (it's easy to miss this turnoff as the spur road, which looks like the main road and continues straight, comes to a gated dead end). From this point on the road is in poor condition but accessible by car. At mile 14.8 on this road you will see a pull-out marked by large rocks and a trail that leads into the river about 100 yards. This is a relatively new river access following purchase of this property by the Cascade Land Conservancy and transfer of the land to the Forest Service in 2006.

DESCRIPTION: This is a fun little run with beautiful mountain views. The rapids are not particularly difficult, but there are a lot of them and the current is always moving.

There are a couple of rapids that go right into headwalls. At higher flows, you can run these rapids far right and avoid the headwalls altogether. If you run the main wavetrain, avoid the instinct to try to paddle right at the bottom to avoid the headwall, as you will just get stuck in a huge eddy line and flip like I always do!

The action starts to taper off a bit once you pass the Pratt River confluence but many continue on downstream to Concrete Bridge. You can also extend the run even further by continuing on the first part of the Middle-Middle and taking out below First Island Drop at the old DNR Mine Creek Campground. This adds 3 great class III rapids, as well as some long, sweeping class II+ rapids, and the takeout is no harder than the one at the Concrete Bridge.

with contributions from David Elliott

Rapid Descriptions

Alternate Put-in

Class - Mile - -67.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This put-in allows you to enjoy one of the most beautiful sections of the run at the foot of Mt. Garfield.

Taylor River Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - -65

A couple boulders make a fun rapid just downstream of the Taylor River confluence. You can put in above the Taylor River or on the Taylor River itself to take in this drop.

Headwall Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - -64.5

This headwall rapid comes up just downstream of the put-in where the river pushes up against a bedrock wall. Stay right to continue downstream, splat the wall, or go left to circle into the "room of doom" eddy.

Rainy Creek Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - -64.1

A fun headwall rapid and probably the most challenging drop on this section.

Russian Butte View

Class - Mile - -60.5
An alternate take-out


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Sara Anderson
3 months ago

Wood in play if you put-in above the Middle Fork bridge. It's high enough to pass under at ~1800 cfs, but there are some hanging branches to maneuver through. Right side seemed best. After passing the MF bridge, all wood is visible and easily avoided if everyone is in their boats.

default user thumbnail
Joe Sauve
4 months ago

As of 5/15/2020 the road is open to the end of the pavement. A washout 1/2 mile past Taylor River prevents access to the alternate upper put-in. Taylor River has wood in multiple locations so don't recommend putting in there. Also the main trailheads/developed areas in the National Forest are currenlty closed but you can still access the river via small turnouts including the commonly used access spot 1/4 mile downstream from the footbridge/trailhead.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports



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Opportunity for Input on Middle Fork Snoqualmie Planning Effort (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

The U.S. Forest Service has recently initiated a process to develop a Comprehensive River Management Plan for the 27 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and the entirety of the Pratt River that were designated Wild and Scenic in 2014. Paddlers are encourage to provide input online and/or attend the planning workshops planned for October 11th.

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Congress Passes River Conservation Bills

Kevin Colburn

In the final days of the 113th Congress, several river conservation measures have been passed designating significant new Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in areas vitally important to the paddling community.

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Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road Project Underway Funding Needs Remain (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

A project that has been talked about for many years is finally getting underway. Western Federal Lands Highway Division awarded a construction contract to pave 9.7 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. Construction will begin later this spring and continue through August 2016. We have made recent strides in improving river access but additional work remains. Working as part of a coalition we have secured a grant through the National Forest Foundation but it requires matching funds.

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Middle Fork Snoqualmie Legislation Continues to Move Forward (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

Legislative momentum continues to build for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 112, H. R. 361). Following passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate, the House formally took up the legislation with a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee.

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Two Wild and Scenic River Bills Pass the Senate (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and federally designate both the Pratt and stretches of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic has passed the Senate. In addition, legislation designating Illabot Creek in Skagit County as a Wild and Scenic River has also passed the Senate. Both bills await action in the House.

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Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Wild and Scenic Protections Reintroduced (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA8) have reintroduced their Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (H.R. 361/S. 112) along with cosponsors Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA1). This legislation will help ensure the future of some of Washington’s most popular backcountry recreation areas by designating more than 22,000 acres of wilderness adjacent to the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and protecting nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and 10 miles of the Pratt River as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

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Legislation to Protect Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers Reintroduced (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

Today Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert re-introduced joint legislation (“Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act") that will help ensure the future of some of Washington’s most popular backcountry recreation areas.

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Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road Upgrade Project (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

After a 7 year hiatus the project to upgrade the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road is back on track and Federal Highways has just announced that they will be hosting an open house in North Bend next week (Tue Dec 7, 5-7pm at USFS North Bend Ranger Station). American Whitewater has supported this project to address the ongoing maintenance issues that result in regular road closures. Boaters are encouraged to attend and speak to the value of access to this river for whitewater recreation.

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Wild and Scenic for Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie (WA) Passes House

Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today legislation passed the House of Representatives to add 10 miles of the Pratt River and nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System. Pending action in the Senate this legislation will provide long-term protection for a spectacular whitewater resource.

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Efforts Continue to Protect the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers

Thomas O'Keefe

American Whitewater continues to play a leadership role in efforts to protect the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers through Wild and Scenic River designation, Wilderness designation of the federal lands along the river, and designation of state-managed forest lands as a Natural Resource Conservation Area. Paddlers can take action today to keep these efforts on track.

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AW's Thomas O'Keefe to Testify Before Congress

Thomas O'Keefe

American Whitewater's Thomas O'Keefe will be testifying in Congress this morning (Thur Nov 5) before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

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Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert introduce new Wild and Scenic bill

Thomas O'Keefe

Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Dave Reichert, joined by Senator Maria Cantwell  and Washington State Congressmen Jay Inslee, Brian Baird, Adam Smith, and Jim McDermott, introduced legislation today in the Senate and House that would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and designate both the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act will expand the existing wilderness by over 22,000 acres to include important lower-elevation lands and complete watersheds.

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Pratt Wild and Scenic Proposal (WA)

Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today, Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-8) announced his intention to introduce legislation to protect the lands and waters of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie through expansion of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designation of the Pratt River as Wild and Scenic.
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Tom's of Maine to Support Local Paddlers

Thomas O'Keefe

Local Affiliate University Kayak Club in partnership with American Whitewater received a $5000 grant from National Park Foundation and Tom's of Maine. This funding will provide the resources to initiate efforts designed to formalize and improve river access sites on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River in Washington State.
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A bright future for MF Snoqualmie (WA) access

Thomas O'Keefe

King County recently purchased two sites along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River with the goal of improving public access to one of the region’s most important whitewater resources. AW and local affiliates have initiated a planning effort with King County Parks to manage these sites in a manner consistent with the needs of the boating community.

Thomas O'Keefe


David Elliott



Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213801 10/15/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1201128 03/15/12 David Elliott Added gauge comment.
1205208 08/05/15 Thomas O'Keefe access updated
1202678 09/06/13 Thomas O'Keefe put-in edit
1192013 06/25/06 David Elliott n/a
1196636 11/22/09 Thomas O'Keefe
1200420 07/16/11 Thomas O'Keefe edit
1201308 05/19/12 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits