Green, Washington, US
1 - Headworks to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
||II+(III) (for normal flows)
Railroad Bridge Drop
Railroad Bridge DropPhoto of Toria Matteson by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 04/25/08 @ 890 cfs
EVENTS: The annual Green River Cleanup takes place in spring every year and is coordinated by
Washington Recreational River Runners and Friends of the Green River.
SEASON: October to May after heavy winter rains. The best flows often come in fall or spring.
LOGISTICS: If it's your first time, a map is helpful to make sense of the roads here. In
Summit, at the junction of Maple Valley - Black Diamond Road (Highway 169) and Kent-Kangley Road
(Highway 516), head east towards Georgetown on Kent-Kangley Road. In approximately 3 miles, turn
off to the south on Lake Retreat-Kanaskat Road. In another 3 miles turn on to Cumberland-Kanaskat
Road to the right up over the railroad tracks, and then cross the bridge over the Green River.
Follow the road as it turns to the west (headed downstream) a short distance to the turn-off into
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Once you've entered the park head toward the right and a parking
area with a short path that leads to the river. A large sign board warning of dangerous rapids
downstream (the class IV gorge run) marks the takeout on the river. Those who want to run a
couple more good class III rapids can use an alternate take-out in the park (head left instead of
right as you approach the river). To reach the put-in, head back out the park and drive upstream
along river left. Just before you reach the bridge you crossed on your way in, you will see a
turn-off for Headwords Road which parrallels the river. Follow this road upstream approximately 2
miles to a put-in. The preferred access is just upstream of the security gate but through an
agreement that was negotiated by Friends of the Green, American Whitewater, and local boating
clubs with Tacoma Utilities, boaters can obtain a pass from the security guard to access the
put-in (if you need to reach the security office by phone they can be reached at
This is a good run for beginners led by a more experienced paddler. As with other dam release
runs in the region, extensive brush along the banks becomes an annoyance during rescue
situations. Most of the rapids are class II with the exception of Railroad Bridge, a class III
ledge marked by a distinct horizon line after you float beneath the railroad bridge. The
preferred line is down the tongue on river left but the details of the line change with flow. Be
sure to scout from river left if you are unsure of the line, but stay below the high water mark
and off of private property. Over the course of the run there are several good eddy lines to
practice boat handling skills and some nice surf waves downstream of the highway bridge.
Paddlers in the region should note that the increasing demands of urban growth and endangered
salmon have been the focus of management priorities on the river, but after a day or two of
intense winter rains you are nearly always guaranteed to find this run with water.
An important consideration on this run is finding out when the water will be flowing. Although
discharge from the dam often remains constant through the weekend, the engineers do sometimes
adjust flows over the weekend at high flows of most interest to boaters.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-12-14 02:02:07