Big Quilcene, Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||V+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||165 fpm|
|BIG QUILCENE RIVER BELOW DIVERSION NR QUILCENE, WA|
|usgs-12052210||200 - 350 cfs||V+||01h02m||94.6 cfs (too low)|
SEASON: November to June dependent on water withdrawal for Port Townsend (diversion dam at Tunnel Creek). Best after heavy rain or a good snowmelt.
LOGISTICS: Although the upper section ends at the large bend near Rainbow Campground, paddlers continue on through the lower run and take out river right at the pull-out at Highway 101 mile 296.9. To reach the put-in head north from the take-out on Highway 101 about half a mile and turn west on to FR 3039 (Penny Creek Rd.). Take this 1.4 miles and then turn left on to FR 3057. In 1.8 miles head left again on to Spur Road 40. Follow this road 2.3 miles to a spot where you can find river access. Check road reports under Recereation, Current Conditions, Hood Canal North, on the USFS Olympic National Forest web site
The run starts out with a short class II warm-up, but once you drop over the first 16 foot, double-ledge falls--Casserly's Cascade--you are committed to the gorge. This drop was named in memory of Justin Casserly who made the first descent in the late 90's (Justin drowned while paddling in Mexico). Logs can make sections of the gorge unrunnable so get the latest beta or scout carefully. The run consists of several class IV and V drops in a vertical-walled canyon. As you paddle past the trail access from Rainbow Campground the run continues on the Lower Big Quilcene. Pictures and a trip report can be found in Dan Halsey's account published in the Jan/Feb 1999 issue of American Whitewater.
lat/long very approximate by tiger map server
for additional information see:
A comprehensive guide to 75 river runs on Washington's beautiful Olympic Peninsula.