Difficulty II
Length 12.5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 11/17/2019 4:50 pm

River Description

SEASON: November to May


A few class II rapids. Be aware of trees.

lat/long approximated by Tiger map server

for additional information see

  • Korb, G. 1997. A paddlers guide to the Olympic Peninsula. third edition..
  • local expert: Gary Korb & Carol Volk, 4930 Geiger Road, Port Orchard, WA 98366, 206-876-6780

Rapid Descriptions


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8 months ago

Did this with packrafts and a bike shuttle up the Shaffer Grade. Put in at old bridge site at RM9 and floated to Cougar Smith Rd. The lower 4 miles of Canyon were the most scenic. GPS said 13 miles in 5 hrs. Satsop gauge was at 2200cfs.

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Nick Newhall
13 years ago

If you're looking for something a bit different and longer than your normal class 2 run then this might be the ticket. The heavy rains of the 2006-2007 season have left this run in relatively good shape. As is typical with any Olympic Peninsula river, wood is an issue. But thankfully the only wood encountered that required portaging and/or technical boat handling occurs before entering the canyon on this run (~first 4 miles) in the braided channel portion of this run. You'll know when you are entering the canyon as a very large water fall will appear through the trees on river left and a large cliff comes out of the water. From here down the scenery gets better and better. Moss covered trees and more green than you could ever imagine will surround you. To add to this the water is absolutely clear and is fed by countless springs coming from either side. While not technical in nature, opportunities do arise for the occasional surf on one of the many small wave in the canyon. The overall geology is sandstone, with some very interesting rock formations and lots of clay in the upper portion of the reach. Upon reaching the confluence with the West Fork Satsop, take a moment to look around. You'll also notice the water gets much greener at this point. Where these 2 rivers meet is truly one of thos special places. From this point you have about 3.5 miles to the takeout. If you head out, a minimum of 500 cfs is recommended otherwise you'll be scraping or carrying more. And plan for a full day and arrive early. The shuttle is long (~25 miles one way) so plan accordingly. All in all a nice wilderness style river for the class 2 paddler and/or those wanting something easy and long.

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Visual. Flows of around 500 cfs are good. The Satsop gauge near Satsop gives you some indication of what's happening in the basin. The Canyon River runs about 15% of the Satsop gauge.

Directions Description

To reach the take out:

From Highway 101, take the Brady, WA exit onto Middle Satsop/Matlock-Brady Road and proceed for 10 miles to the north. Turn left onto Boundary Rd W (RD 7365) for 4 miles, then turn left into RD 7370 for 2.8 miles to reach the takeout.

To reach the put in:

Tavel back up RD 7370 for 2.8 miles and turn left onto Boundary/RD 7365. Travel north on RD 7365 for 3.5 then turn left onto RD 7371 which almost immediately crosses the MF Satsop. After 0.9 miles turn left onto RD 2368 and continue north for 3.5 miles where you’ll run into a gate straight ahead.  From here you have a few options:

Option 1 is to hike or bike your gear past the gate and continue 1.75 miles on RD 2368 and RD 2260 to the put in.

Option 2 is to turn right at the gate and proceed uphill on a newish road for 2.6 miles. Turn left onto RD 2365 and go downhill for 0.65 miles to put in via a short bushwhack right at RM10.

Option 3 is to go just past the gate on RD 2368 and turn left on unmarked logging road which takes you about 1/4 mile and leaves you with a short bushwhack to the river around RM7.5.

No Accident Reports






Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213913 11/17/19 Water1 directions to the river
1193108 02/23/01 n/a n/a
1213912 11/17/19 Water1 directions to the river
1213914 11/17/19 Water1 updated image position