Canyon Creek (S.F. Still. trib), Washington, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||76 fpm|
|Max Gradient||120 fpm|
|SF STILLAGUAMISH RIVER NEAR GRANITE FALLS, WA|
|usgs-12161000||4.80 - 5.50 ft||IV-V||00h16m||4.6 ft (too low)|
This run has always required a sense of adventure, but the requirements have increased in recent years. Previously, a hike in on a FS trail and hike out on a logging road were involved, but now a bridge closure has added 2-3 miles of additional hike-in on the road, plus the land at the take-out now belongs to Weyerhauser, who restrict access. Now you'll either need to get a permit from Weyerhauser to park at thier gate and hike out on their road, get permission to take out at Masonic Park or just run the next section of class 2+ for approx. 4 miles.
A run for those with a sense of adventure, since it includes a walk in on FS road and trail to the put-in at the confluence of the North and South Forks and a 1/2 mile hike out on a logging road. (You could continue on through the next section for 4 miles of class 2 instead). The run starts with some class 4 and class 3, then settles down into some flatwater through some beautiful gorges. After the flatwater the river takes off downhill through an exciting 1/2 mile section of continuous class 4-5 ledges and boulder gardens. After the 4/5 section the action lets up to class 3+, eventually slowing down to class 2 with a couple logjams in the last few miles. Still, if you don't mind working for your rewards, this may be just the trip for you. Just make sure to get an early start!
Update: Unfortunately the bridge over SF Canyon Creek is currently closed as of 2016
which adds an additional 2.5 miles of hike in on the road.
First known descent in March 2004 by Mike Tennant and Jeff Bowman.
2nd known descent in March 2004 by Mike Tennant, Dan Bogh and Joe Sauve.
No other known runs of this section. Please post comment if you have any information about other descents of this section.
TAKE-OUT: Head east on the Mountain Loop Highway from Granite Falls about 5 miles and look for the sign marking the entrance to Masonic Park, and gated timber road. Masonic Park is members only, so unless you're a member of the Mason's you'll need to use the Weyerhauser Bridge as your take-out (Permit from Weyerhauser required, currently $75/year https://www.weyerhaeuserhuntinglands.com/permits). Park near the gate in a wide turnout, careful not to block the gate. The creek is 1/2 mile from the gate, so save some energy at the end of the day for the walk back. Easiest access is on the downstream river right side of the bridge. This will be the first bridge you come to on the run.
Alternatively continue down the next (class 2+) section: Middle Canyon Creek
PUT-IN: Continue east on the Mountain Loop Highway approximately one mile and turn left onto USFS Road 41 (also called Green Mountain Road, and is across from the trailhead for the Old Robe Trail)). Continue approximately 9 miles on 41 to the bridge over the South Fork. Park here and continue on foot 2-3 miles and turn left onto Road 4140. The road from here on is fairly rough and overgrown. After .3 mile the road splits, go left and continue another .3 mile. Just before the road ends there is a small parking area on the right, just enough for a couple vehicles. Park here and walk 100 feet or so down the road to find the trailhead. There is a trail-marker a little ways from the start of the trail. From here it is about 1.5 miles hike (almost all downhill) to the creek. This is a USFS trail, but a relatively obscure one and doesn't receive alot of maintenance. Expect to drag your boat over some logs (all part of the fun). The trail ends near the confluence of the NF and SF of Canyon Creek, the put-in.
For an easier alternative, the lower 2 miles of this can be run as a class 3 run. See below in the comments for access info.