SEASON: November to June dependent on water withdrawal for Port
Townsend (diversion dam at Tunnel Creek). Best after heavy rain or a
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
Quilcene. Pictures and a trip report can be found in Dan Halsey's
account published in the Jan/Feb 1999 issue of American
lat/long very approximate by tiger map
for additional information see:
Information provided by Ryan Allen:
I ran the Big Q again this summer (2001) and found that it was fairly clean of logs, definitly less wood than when I was in there a couple of winters ago. We only portaged one drop which was one of the last rapids in the gorge it had about a 10-15 foot steep slide on river left. The runout of the drop has a log about two feet over the water that you maybe able to roll under but it looks boney. The portage is easy over some rocks and wood in the middle of the river and you can put in and run a slot that puts you right below the wood.
A comprehensive guide to 75 river runs on Washington's beautiful Olympic Peninsula.
Check the DOE realtime gauge. Look for flows of
300 cfs or above. There is a USGS
this river (stn.
12052210, 1994-, 49.4 sq. mi.) now available
on-line. You can get
an estimate of Quilcene discharge
from the University of Washington's Hydrometeorological Modeling
and Forecast Group page.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
The extensive road network in Olympic National Forest has deteriorated over the last few years with the reduction in logging intensity and corresponding lack of routine maintenance. The road failures have resulted in destruction of aquatic habitat and reduced access. Repair work and decommissioning has begun with the introduction of a new road management plan in fall 2002.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!