A 219 day old warning about this river was added. Click on comments below to read it.

Snoqualmie, S. Fork - 2. Twin Falls State Park to 436th St. Bridge


Snoqualmie, S. Fork, Washington, US

Disclaimer

2. Twin Falls State Park to 436th St. Bridge

Usual Difficulty II+ (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 31 fpm

Clay wall rapid


Clay wall rapid
Photo taken 05/18/10

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
SF SNOQUALMIE RIVER AB ALICE CREEK NEAR GARCIA, WA
usgs-12143400 300 - 2500 cfs II+ 00h33m 450 cfs (running)
The gauge is located about 20 miles upstream of the put-in. It is accurate during the summer months, but during and after rain events it reads low.


River Description

FUN FACT: Convenient beginner whitewater to Seattle.

SEASON: Fall rains and spring snow melt, but can run into mid-summer.

ACCESS: To get to the put-in for this run, take exit 34 off of I-90. Turn south at the bottom of the exit ramp, head 0.5 mile on 468th Ave. SE., then turn left on SE 159th St. (look for the small sign that points to Twin Falls State Park). This turn, which is easy to miss, is just before the bridge across the river. Follow SE 159th St. 0.6 mile to its end at Twin Falls State Park. The put-in itself is easy and very accessible. It's about thirty feet from the parking lot. The take-out is on exit 32. If you are heading west on 90, from the put in, take a left at the exit and drive until you get to the big bridge crossing the river. Park on the side of the road here.

DESCRIPTION:

This is a class II/II+ run depending on levels, but stay alert for wood hazards. Be especially careful in the section below the 468th Ave bridge. Stay left at the first island and look for wood before going into any channels. There is a mile or so of very active riverbed that changes annually.

The highlight of the trip is in Waskowitz Canyon, which can become a single long class II+ boulder slalom at higher flows. You will pass under a footbridge, pass the camp (on river right), and then enter an area with houses on river left. After you go under the next bridge, houses begin to appear on river right, and the canyon will open up. After a small rapid that makes a sharp left turn, there is a long pool and a weir. There are several runnable slots in the weir, mostly left of center. The easiest portage is on the far left (the old portage on the right has become overgrown with trees). The main hazard here is not the rapid, but logs that get caught on the weir during high water events.

If you really want to add spice to this run, instead of putting in at the parking lot hike the trail towards the falls, upstream, about a half mile or so. You will come to an area where the trail starts to ascend uphill. Right before this is a small trail that leads down to the river into Percolater Pool. This pool is at the bottom of the second of two class V drops, and makes a great put-in for the lower run, which is class III boogy water to the parking lot, where it calms down to class II. Upstream of this section the river drops 454' over a series of waterfalls.

It is also possible to extend this run. There are access points at two bridges in North Bend, and it is even possible to continue the run to the confluence with the Middle Fork. As you near the confluence, the gradient slackens significantly. In some years, this results in unpassable logjams, so be careful!

for additional information see

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

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-03-19 19:27:46

Editors


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 24 2017 (180 days ago)
Jennie GoldbergDetails
from paddle trails canoe club Trip Report: April 23, 2017 exploratory trip on the SF Snoqualmie to
check out the tree blockages. 1) Just below the Camp Waskowitz amphitheater (past the ped overpass)
full blockage from river left. Stop at the camp to scout. Go extreme right to a gravel bar to
portage back to the river. Once back in the river, go to river left as soon as possible, avoiding
the usual rocks. 2) About 200 yards downstream, another tree blocks about 3/4 from river right.
Need to be on river left and you can pass beyond it. Not a problem as long as you stay to the left.
March 16 2017 (219 days ago)
Handcharge (158914)
There's a fresh channel spanning log, maybe 2.5' diameter, just downstream from the first
footbridge across from the Camp Waskowitz fire pit. At 2,000 cfs we ran over the center of the log
but at lower levels you will probably have to portage.
March 26 2015 (940 days ago)
Thomas O'KeefeDetails
From King County Water and Land Resources Division: Suggested language. There are significant wood
hazards from RM 0 to RM 2.1 downstream of the leveed reach of the South Fork Snoqualmie through
North Bend. These hazards include a full spanning logjam at RM 0.8 and other strainers and wood
accumulations both upstream and downstream of the spanning logjam. River users should use extreme
caution in this reach.
February 8 2015 (986 days ago)
donaldcheyette (156240)
There is a large tree on river right around the bend after the large clay wall. It was passable on
the left side at 850 cfs, but at higher flows I would expect the main flow to push harder into the
log.
April 15 2014 (1285 days ago)
Zlatkovsky (156398)
Floated down the river this weekend (April 13, 2014) in two Alpaka packrafts with my dad. We are on
the lower-intermediate level in terms of packrafting/kayaking experience. Water was at 335 cfs
(recommended range, per site, is 300-2500) -- and at 335 it was still good to float, but I wouldn't
have wanted it to be any lower. We put in at the parking lot to Twin Falls, and got out at the 436
Bridge, just as the entry here describes. Float time was just under ~1.5 hours, including a couple
of quick stops at a few eddies. It felt shorter than the 5 miles described (not sure if it actually
is shorter than 5 miles, or was merely our perception because of the many fast-paced sections).
*************** The first ~.5 miles from the parking lot (to first bridge over river) had an
intermediate amount of waves and wave trains: enough to keep us ready for whitewater, but not too
bad. The next mile or so was quite placid and with beautiful scenery. But then the next few miles
compensated handily for the relaxation, with lots of rocks to dodge (at least at this low water
level), constant maneuvering, and fast-paced action. The river drops surprisingly a lot in those
places: you can really see the gradient. Despite the dodging and a few rocks we each ran into,
neither one of us ended up in the water. *************** There were a couple of fallen trees on the
banks and partially on the river, but none that blocked the river fully. All in all, beautiful
scenery, and good fast-paced action.
March 6 2014 (1325 days ago)
Matt MuirDetails
Mark Ruebel, of the River and Floodplain Management Section, King County Water and Land Resources
Division, warned on 3/6/14: "We have received a report of a hazard tree on the South Fork
Snoqualmie River at RM 6.9 immediately upstream of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail Bridge. The tree
spans the channel and is partially submerged in the center of flow (2-26-14). The King County
Sheriff's office has investigated the hazard and has recommended monitoring of the hazard tree and
potential pruning if the tree does not relocate prior to late spring."
January 12 2014 (1378 days ago)
dwrippe (156075)
Approximately 200 yards upriver of the parking lot at Twin Falls State Park a large tree has fallen
across the entire width of the river. This will only be an issue for folks who hike up into the
park to put-in. There is a large eddy on river right upstream of the tree, making it easy to avoid
the tree. An easy portage and a couple of smaller eddies on the downstream side make the fallen
tree more of a nuisance than a hazard. At higher flows (1000+) you might be able to paddle right
over it. The rest of the river up to the Percolator Pool is clean and clear.
May 7 2008 (3454 days ago)
David ElliottDetails
There's really no info in the guidebooks about the South Fork below the class II+ run, but it's
worth knowing about. The SF is runnable down to the confluence with the Middle Fork. There are a
few rapids, but they are mostly above the first bridge in North Bend. After that, the gradient
begins to slacken. A couple of miles below the last bridge, the river turns sharply left and you'll
probably see some snags, which are dropped by the river when the current slows. From that point
until the confluence, there will be several logjams, which may or may not be passable. This stretch
changes drastically from year to year, and there's no way to know what it's like.

In this stretch, it's possible to see herons and bald eagles. Once you reach the confluence with
the Middle Fork, the main Snoqualmie continues down into the town of Snoqualmie. You can take out
at the confluence, or continue down to another convenient takeout. This run is best at over 1000
cfs, but it's probably not a good idea to run it over 1500 cfs unless you've already run it once.


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