Stillaguamish, S. Fork - 2 - Mallardy Creek to Verlot (Middle)


Stillaguamish, S. Fork, Washington, US

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2 - Mallardy Creek to Verlot (Middle)

Usual Difficulty III+ (for normal flows)
Length 9 Miles

SF Stilly


SF Stilly
Photo of Dawn Meekhof by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 11/21/09

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
SF STILLAGUAMISH RIVER NEAR GRANITE FALLS, WA
usgs-12161000 5.20 - 7.20 ft III+ 00h26m 8.14 ft (too high)


River Description

FUN FACT: Good class III run with camping and hiking nearby

SEASON: After some good winter rains and through the early summer (October through July). The run tends to be flashy in the range of levels of interest to boaters. Flow can change dramatically over the course of a day and levels that look good in the morning can be a totally different story by afternoon.

PUT-IN: Just upstream of Wiley Creek Campground at a pull-out where you can find good river access. You can put in any place upstream to lengthen the run with more class II action. Red Bridge campground is another possible access point.

TAKEOUT: Verlot Campground is one good access point. If you want to cut off some of the class II at the end you can also take out at the Mountain Loop Highway bridge across the Silliguamish just east of Verlot campground.

SHUTTLE: Follow Mountain Loop Highway as it parallels the river.

DESCRIPTION:

This is a good class III run with fairly continuous action and a lot of good spots to practice technique. It's a good run for those just making the jump to class III whitewater.

Depending on how far you go upstream, the run starts out with good class II whitewater. The rapids are not difficult but there is a lot of wood on this run and there are several points where solid boat handling skills are critical to stay out of trouble.

As you approach Wiley Creek (a small stream that empties into the river from river right) the pace begins to pick up a bit with some more challenging slalom style boulder gardens. The real class III action arrives with Wiley Creek Rapid. You can recognize the entrance by the distinct S bend which ends in a large pool up against the side of the road (this spot is easily recognized from theroad and can be scouted on your way to the put-in).

The river picks up speed as it plunges through the boulder field and resistant bedrock of Wiley Creek Rapid. Although the rapid is generally considered a straight forward class III+, those looking for more of a challenge can create their own slalom course through the rapid to spice things up a bit (once you start climbing above 6' on the gauge this rapid does approach class IV as some more significant holes begin to form). You can find a user friendly playspot on river left at the end of the last drop. It's particularly good spot for those just building their confidence and trying out their first moves.

A short distance downstream the river once again passes through a series of boulders and ledges similiar in character to Wiley Creek Rapid. With good water, the rest of the run consists of II & III rapids until you reach the Mountain Loop Highway bridge. About 1/4 upstream from the Mt. Loop bridge, there used to be a very large logjam, which washed out in 2011. There are still remnants of logs in the river here, so be aware. There is a steep class 3+ rapid just above this spot. At higher levels you may find a sneak line down the left of this rapid. You can identify the approch to this rapid when you see a few houses on river left. After the Mt. Loop Highway bridge, the pace slows a bit, but there are still a couple good holes to surprise you.  Watch for a few homes on river right before you reach the takeout at Verlot Campground.

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: 2012-06-21 15:38:30

Editors

Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Wiley Creek RapidIII+Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Wiley Creek Rapid (Class III+)

Wiley Creek Rapid

Wiley Creek Rapid
Photo of Dawn Meekhof by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 11/21/09



User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 20 2012 (1949 days ago)
fatcat (154528)
Floated this section on 6/3/12 on my 14ft cataraft. River at 6.5ft and I would consider this a
minimum for large rafts unless you like bouncing off rocks in the rapids below Wiley Creek. 3.5-4hr
float at this flow. One logjam above Wiley Creek nearly spans the river so we portaged around it,
otherwise no log issues.
May 3 2011 (2363 days ago)
Lowell MeyerDetails
Ran the SF Stilly on 5/1/2011 from about halfway between Wiley Creek and the Red Bridge down to
Verlot Camp. There are two log jams just above Wiley Creek that require portaging, though each is a
short and easy portage. Still, I'd recommend putting in as close to Wiley Creek as you can to avoid
them (and the flat water above). The gauge was at 5.3 feet, which was just barely enough. It was
pretty rocky and technical at that level, and I'd really recommend at least 5.5 as a lower level.
We didn't run aground anywhere, but we came close, and certainly hit and slid over a ton of rocks
at such low water. Overall-- had a blast. The run was more fun than expected, and there was a lot
of fun and action. One last note-- the big log jam near the end has been broken up over the winter,
and there are no longer any major obstructions near the end of the run.
November 22 2009 (2889 days ago)
x (1)
I'd like to add a variation to Tom's 'fun and clean' comment. As Joe mentioned in his warning,
there's a class III 'screaming left hand turn' type rapid with a logjam backing it up just before
the bridge takeout. Not a hard move, but a horrible place to flip. Boaters without solid
boat-handling skills should scout this one.
November 22 2009 (2890 days ago)
Thomas O'KeefeDetails
Log described below upstream of Wiley Creek rapid is still there--an easy portage around the left
or squeeze under. Otherwise the run is clean and good fun at 7'.
March 22 2009 (3134 days ago)
David ElliottDetails
Spring 2009 - There is a new logjam above Schweitzer Creek, which is about 1/4 mile above Wiley
Creek. At 5.7', we were able to huck over a small log and duck under a huge log, but at any higher
flows this would not be possible. The logjam is obvious and you do have time to get left to
portage. Also, there are trees down across the river above Boardman Creek. Your best bet is to put
in at the roadside turnout above the Wiley Creek campground.
July 7 2008 (3392 days ago)
Joe SauveDetails
The high water this spring washed out several of the wood issues that were present early this
season, however the big logjam is still there.... About 1/4 mile upstream of the Highway bridge
just past Verlot is a large logjam that has been there for years. You can sneak it, but most of the
water flows into it and there are strong currents here, so it is a very dangerous place to be
swimming. Also, the long rapid preceding the logjam is more difficult (class III+ with big
consequences). Boaters making the jump to class 3 should definitely have support from experienced
paddlers in this section, or take out upstream... There is a easy take-out above this rapid. On the
drive up, just go over the bridge past Verlot, continue about 1/4 mile and look for a pullout where
the river comes close to the road.
February 2 2004 (5009 days ago)
James AmandusDetails
I am not sure if this gauge is correct. However on 01-Feb-04 we ran this section at 7.38ft on the
gauge and I would not hesitate to run this at a level higher. We ran dry a few times and others we
had to almost walk. I would recommend this at around 8ft
October 10 2002 (5490 days ago)
David ElliottDetails
Keep in mind that if the section above this one is easily runnable, this section will be on the
high side. In other words, if you decide to combine the upper and middle runs, be prepared for a
challenging day.

Also, be aware the Wiley Creek Rapid isn't just the stuff you can see from the road. When you are
scouting, you are seeing the end of a very long rapid. The one below it is even longer.

When you make it through these two rapids, it's a real rush, because you know you have really
accomplished something.


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