Green, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||II+(III) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||26 fpm|
|GREEN RIVER AT PURIFICATION PLANT NEAR PALMER, WA|
|usgs-12106700||1000 - 3000 cfs||II+(III)||01h14m||500 cfs (too low)|
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 360-886-1601).
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.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-57.9||Railroad Bridge Drop||III|
Railroad Drop is a bedrock ledge that extends across approximately 2/3 of the width of the river on river right. The preferred line is down the main tongue on river left where there is a break in the ledge. At lower flows (around 1000 cfs) you will encounter a shallow bedrock shelf towards the bottom of the main tongue. To avoid it, you want to execute a strong left to right move as you enter the tongue. As flows increase however (above 2000 cfs) this line to the right takes you dangerously close to the terminal hydraulic that forms at the base of the bedrock ledge that extends from the center of the river to nearly the right bank. If someone gets caught in this hole that approximates a feature characteristic of a low-head dam, it is extremely difficult to execute a rescue because it is beyond throw rope range for most rescuers. At these higher flows it is safer to follow the main river left tongue down the middle being sure to cheat to the left rather than straying over to the right. Another factor to be aware of if boat scouting is many experienced paddlers grab the eddy behind the large boulder about 200' upstream of the ledge. Be aware that if you grab this eddy you are right above the terminal hole at higher flows. It's a good place to get set up but you need to make a hard move across the eddy line when you peel out to hit the preferred line down the left tongue. A more conservative line at higher flows is to start from the river left shore and bypass the option to grab the eddy behind the big boulder. The rapid can be easily scouted, especially at lower flows, when you can get out on the bedrock on river left and scout or portage. Stay below the high water mark and off the private property that borders this rapid.
Policy memo regarding decision on adjustments in project releases to accommodate whitewater rafting and/or canoeing.
Settlement Agreement between Friends of the Green, City of Tacoma, and King County regarding mitigation measures for construction of Pipeline 5.
Map illustrating access to the put-in for the Green River Headworks.
Letter from Tacoma Water to Friends of the Green outlining access guidelines for Headworks put-in for the Green River.
Washington State Parks Management Plan for the Green River Gorge (Draft).
Green River Headworks Access Temporarily Unavailable (WA)
February 23, 2011