Stillaguamish, S. Fork, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||III+ (for normal flows)|
|SF STILLAGUAMISH RIVER NEAR GRANITE FALLS, WA|
|usgs-12161000||5.20 - 7.20 ft||III+||01h00m||5.36 ft (running)|
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.
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.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Wiley Creek Rapid||III+|