Difficulty III-IV
Length 7 Miles
Gauge MIDDLE FORK SNOQUALMIE RIVER NEAR TANNER, WA
Flow Range 1000 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 36 minutes ago 679 [CFS] 👍 ℹ️ ⚠️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/26/2019 8:08 pm

River Description


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

FUN FACT: The most convenient intermediate whitewater to Seattle.

CURRENT ISSUES: Future management of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie is currently being discussed by several regional user groups and agencies. Check MidFORC's web page for the latest news.

LOGISTICS: To get to the river (takeout) take exit 32 off I-90 and go north for 0.6 miles. At the T junction turn right onto North Bend Way and go 0.7 miles. At this point, past the spot where the river runs near the road, turn left onto SE Tanner Road. Take this road down 0.5 miles to a gravel pullout on the right hand side. Powerlines crossing the road and leading down to the river mark the access corridor to the river. There is a gate across the dirt access road that runs along the powerlines to the river (about a 50 yard hike). To get back to the put-in, go back out to North Bend Way and travel 0.2 miles past the boat/rv storage facility and turn left onto SE 140th. Take this 1.1 miles to the left hand turnoff for Middle Fork Rd. Follow this road 3.5 miles to Island Drop (also known as the old Mine Creek Campground) where a bend in the river comes up against the road. This is a good put-in that avoids some of the upstream reach that gets a little boney below 2000 cfs. If you have more time or the water is higher you can continue up to mile 5 where the concrete bridge crosses the river. A put-in is available on the river left side of the bridge.

DESCRIPTION:

The river starts out from Concrete bridge through shallow boulder fields that make for good class II rapids above 2000 cfs (you can see a lot of this section from the road on your drive to the put-in). At lower levels things can get a little boney although you can still run from here. The river continues on this easy pace with one clean III- rapid before you reach Island Drop which is a good class III. Take the river right channel around the island and get in line for the play spots at the bottom. Many paddlers come straight to this put-in and a few spend all their time here. It's not the greatest park-and-play spot on the planet, but it's convenient. The waves here are not intimidating and the lack of any significant danger downstream makes this a great place for beginning play boaters to learn.

Dowstream from Island Drop the river alternates between class II boulder gardens and fun class III drops. As you reach A Frame Drop (you'll see the A Frame house high above the river) the gradient starts to pick up as you get closer to House Rocks. You can recognize House Rocks by the long sequence of rapids and a couple of large boulders near the middle of the channel. At the lower range of water levels the drop has two distinct sections with some calmer water in between (first pitch still, second pitch movie). It's not all that more difficult than the preceeding class III drops, but the length of the rapid and the sequence of moves that need to be made to avoid holes make it class IV. At higher levels the drop turns into a freight train of monster waves and powerful hydraulics but some good sneaks develop along the sides for those so inclined. Boat scouting is required as the land along river left and right is privately owned.

After House Rocks, the run begins to taper down with a couple more class III rapids mixed with class II boulder gardens. As the density of homes begins to increase significantly on river left you are nearing the takeout. Look for the powerlines across the river and takeout at the access corridor here (be aware of the private property on either side of this corridor).

Rapid Descriptions

Concrete Bridge (Granite Creek Access)

Class - Mile - -56.5
The Forest Road along the Middle Fork crosses the river at the Concrete Bridge marking the start of this section. American Whitewater worked with King County to provide formal access to this site on the downstream river left side of the bridge.

Cable Car

Class - II+ Mile - -55.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A fun drop on this first section. At the bottom of the rapid just above the cable on river left is the gauge.

First Island Drop

Class - III Mile - -54.5

First Island Drop is a fun rapid although many folks use this as an alternate put-in. The old Mine Creek Campground runs adjacent to this rapid and is now a day-use site. The island itself is now gone after being largely washed away in the November 2006 floods, and the rapid itself is much easier than it used to be. There used to be a trail down to the pool below the rapid, but the 2007 floods filled it up with trees and removed a lot of the pool, so now people have to walk through the creek and picnic area and put in near the end of the rapid.

 

A Frame

Class - III Mile - -52.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
A fun drop where the river takes a hard bend to the right.

House Rocks

Class - IV Mile - -51.3
The most challenging drop on the run with a couple sections through large boulders.

Second Island Drop

Class - III Mile - -50.6

Fun options down the left side although the island itself is now gone after being  washed away in the November 2006 floods.

Tanner Road Access

Class - Mile - -49.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Take-out along Tanner Road.

Comments

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BradR
|
14 years ago

For those from out of town, the water on this run seems to stay freakishly cold year round. Full drysuits in July are not uncommon. The middle is also really bad for fogging up my glasses. One of these days I'd like to paddle thru house rocks and be able to see where i'm going. Great run tho!!

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Sir Heimer
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16 years ago

Someone should change the minimum suggested level to around 800 or so. This run is commonly done that low and a ton of good play spots open up at flows between 900-1000.

Gage Descriptions

Middle Fork Snoqualmie. Best at levels between 1000 and 4000 cfs. About 1800 cfs is a good play level. The river can come up fast and levels around 7000 cfs make for a fast run with powerful hydraulics. At these higher levels the river pushes IV+ in spots.

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.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1993-02-20 Low Fatality Other Read More

Alerts

News

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

4/7/2014
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 Road Upgrade Project (WA)

11/29/2010
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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Efforts Continue to Protect the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers

11/20/2009
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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Alternative E for Middle Fork Snoqualmie Environmental Health & Recreation (WA)

5/9/2002
Jason Robertson

143thumb.jpgAmerican Whitewater endorses Alternative E on the environmental assessment for the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Watershed Access Travel Management Plan because it holds the best promise for improving the quality and health of the river ecosystem while providing for paddler experiences throughout the watershed.
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Access on the Middle-Middle

12/4/2000
Tom O'Keefe

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David Elliott

Treasurer

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Thomas O'Keefe

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192014 01/16/09 David Elliott n/a
1212034 04/24/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1213096 06/26/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1195203 05/31/09 Thomas O'Keefe Added gauge info.