Whatcom County produces another diamond in the rough!
After an incomplete pre scout mission the day before, Hale Hanaway, Ryan Bradley
(Pouchy), Drew Braugh (Queen B), Wade Pruett, and I (Keith Robinson) teamed up on 4/
12/03 for what we think was the first Descent of Skookum Creek. After a short but sweaty
hike up the logging road (road is gated and mangaing agency has no vehicle access
policy), we got to where we assumed we'd be above the gorge. Then we took an old
over-grown logging road to the right. After following that for a couple hunderd yards, we
bush wacked down to the river. There could be better access by hiking up further (on
either one of the roads), but we have yet to check this out.
Once on the river, we had zero warm up before a trashy class IV that lead right into
an eight foot class V shoot. Ryan Barkley was the only one to run this one. I guess the
mandatory log pin didn't look that bad to him. From here on, the run begins to gorge up
and the rapids get cleaner. Expect to make some wood carries in the beginning. To sum
up the run, it has four big ledges spread throughout. They all vary in difficulty. The first
one described above only Ryan ran, the second one was good fun, except one of our
party split his forehead open on it, the third was big and runnable, but we all walked it,
and the fourth had issues, but we all ran it. In between were lots of class III and IV
boulder gardens, that rounded out the run nicely. The run ends at the South Fork Nooksack. We are all
pumped on the run, and can't wait to see it with a litte more water.
Lat/Long very approximate
Chris Tretwold and I (Andy McMurray) ran the run with two portages on two of the major rapids. Both were clogged with wood and both rapids appeared runnable sans wood with the moves looking fun. The rest of the run was some micro-gorges with great 4-6' boof ledges and slots. The whitewater inside such a beautiful place was worth the effort.
Logistically, the gate was open which after talking with a DNR officer about our intentions, we learned that the it has been open for much of the fall this year. We followed the directions above for put-in access: a logging road on the right after a mile or so on the main road, then bush bashing down a few hundred yards.
Complete Recreation Plan Document with Appendices.
Summary of Recreation Plan.
These are the low recommended flows (on SF Nooksack Gauge), since no one has run it with more water yet. For what we think was the first Descent, we had just under 1,100 CFS on the SF Gauge. This was about 2.6 on the stick gauge at the water diversion intake for the fish hatchery on Skookum Creek. This level was low but filled in which made it ideal for a First Descent.
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.
Hale just above Pouchie's Palace
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Following a two and a half year process, the Upper Nooksack River Recreation Plan, has been finalized. This new, comprehensive plan will help guide the management of recreation and natural resources along the upper Nooksack River system in Washington state. The plan recognizes and supports the economic and health benefits of recreation, along with protection and restoration of the natural and cultural values of the upper river basin.
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