Palouse River - 1. Hooper to Palouse Falls State Park


Palouse River, Washington, US

Disclaimer

1. Hooper to Palouse Falls State Park

Usual Difficulty III+(V) (for normal flows)
Length 11 Miles
Avg. Gradient 31 fpm

Little Palouse Falls, Wash.


Little Palouse Falls, Wash.
Photo of Chris Fee by Blake Blakely taken 05/08/03 @ low

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
PALOUSE RIVER AT HOOPER, WA
usgs-13351000 900 - 3000 cfs III+(V) 00h20m 127 cfs (too low)


River Description

Lat/Long very approximate. Scout the take-out carefully upstream of the falls where the river takes its 185' plunge into the Palouse Canyon.

River description and photos available at Oregon Kayaking.

Video of Tyler Bradt's world record plunge over Palouse Falls.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-11-10 00:33:01

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 24 2010 (2737 days ago)
Ben HayesDetails
Most years there are a couple of weeks when the Palouse runs above 1,500 cfs, but with the pathetic
snow-year and early irrigators, this looked like it might be our only chance to head out. Luckily
for me, my wednesday afternoon class was canceled (for non-related reasons), and with the cars
loaded up, we headed off just after lunch. Here are some picture, and continue reading for a full
description of the wonderful whitewater-fest that followed. There are a few issues with this run,
such as the fact that it is dead center in the middle of nowhere, and the shuttle alone takes over
an hour. But to make up for that, it's got 3 fun waterfalls (not counting the really big one at the
takeout). We finally got on the water, to see that the irrigators were already pumping the meager
amount of water that was flowing down the channel. After about a mile of flatwater, from the put-in
at the bridge in Hooper, we came to an area where the river channeled out and there was a
dilapidated farmhouse on the left bank surrounded by dead poplar trees. There are two channels on
the first falls. The left channel seems really shallow, so we've always stuck to the far river
right bank. This time, however, the water was low enough that the furthest right chute was too
shallow. We opted instead for the furthest left chute, still in the right channel. It's easily
scouted from the island in the middle of the river, and after a few folks went pretty deep, we
decided that hitting the bottom isn't too much of a concern, although penciling in is still a bit
sketchy. After the first falls its a bit over a mile to the slide. At this water level (the gauge
was broken, so somewhere around 600), there was a semi-runnable spot right in the middle, but it
looked pretty shallow so none of us opted to run it. There's an easy portage line down the left
bank. If you decide to portage on the right, bring a long throwrope or be ready to huck your boat
off of a cliff. A few more miles of flatwater through a beautiful canyon, under a bridge, and past
a ranch, and you get to the last rapid. You'll be able to hear it, and there is grafitti on the
some rocks on the right when you want to take out and scout. This one is easy to walk, as the
takeout is right there, but it's runnable at higher water. Just be careful of the 185′ waterfall
about 1/4 mile downstream. The hike out goes from the last rapid through a level area, up an
enormous embankment to the railroad tracks, left along the tracks for about 100 yards, then up a
trail to the left to a road that leads to the parking lot. This is a great run for someone who is
stuck in Eastern Washington without much else to do. 800 cfs is definitely on the low side, I think
it would be most fun over 1500. To get there, drive E from Walla Walla on highway 12 to the left
turn for "Starbuck". Take this road NE, cross the Snake River at Lyons Ferry, go up the hill, and
turn right into Palouse Falls State Park, the takeout. To reach the put-in, take a right out of
Palouse Falls State Park, drive until you go through a town. At the end of the town is a big
intersection. Take a right and drive for about 5 miles. There will be a right turn for "Hooper".
Take this turn, cross the bridge over the river, turn right on a dirt road immediately after the
bridge, and voila, your at the put-in. Photos of the run can be found at
http://www.cohophotography.com/2010/palouse/


Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.


Or, consider donating