This run is a bit hard to classify. The rapids aren't harder than II+ or III-, however it is continuous and fairly steep and usually has some log hazards so it is not a very good beginner run. It's best suited for those with more advanced skills (catching small eddies on the fly, and other skills essential on woody runs).
That said, it is a very scenic and lively run. It can be run as a backup plan to the lower class 3 section when it's running a bit too high for comfort, as this run generally needs higher flows to be runnable.
I ran this run from the Ice Caves bridge at Big Four down to the gravel bar at the bridge. Starting at Deer Creek is a better idea, just to avoid the worst logjams at low water.
This run is steep, and filled with logjams, but the logjams just move the water into another channel, so if you are careful, you never have to portage. Despite the steepness, the rapids are all class II with a few II+ rapids. It's very strange to have such a steep river without bigger rapids.
This run can be combined with the run down to Verlot, but remember: When this run has enough water to make it exciting, the run below it becomes closer to class IV, especially in the long rapids in the middle of the run.
This run uses the SF Stillaguamish at Granite Falls gauge, but is far upstream from that gauge so you can expect only a fraction of the water as shown on the gauge. Also this section comes off higher peaks than lower tributaries so you usually need higher flow on the gauge for rain events versus snowmelt. 6 Feet is marked as the miminum, but that is for snowmelt. For rain you probably want a higher flow than that.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The Mountain Loop Highway parallels this run allowing for optional put-ins/takeouts.
The standard put-in is a roadside pullout near Deer Creek.
The standard take-out is at Red Bridge campground.
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