White Salmon River (Lower)
|Stretch:||Husum Street to Northwestern Lake Rd|
|Difficulty:||Class II to II+ (III).|
|Flows:||500 to ?,000 cfs. Check out American Whitewater's current flow gauge.|
|Gradient:||37.5 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Access at Husum Street|
|Take-out:||Boat ramp off of Northwestern Lake Rd|
|Shuttle:||2.3 miles, less than 5 minutes one way|
Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip - Day 11b:
You have an option on this section, put in above Husum Falls or below. I am guessing if you are going to run just this section, the likely answer is below. If that is the case, you might also look to put in below the next ledge which is pretty darn sticky and maybe actually worse of a rapid than Husum Falls itself. Downstream, the river enters a small canyon and meanders. It then enters a residential area before coming to a road bridge which contains the boat ramp which marks the old take-out. The reason I say “old” take-out is the same that this is called the “Lower.” This was the top of the lake formed behind Condit Dam which was famously removed in 2011. This marks the end of this section because before, you couldn’t paddle any lower as there were major access issues to getting into the canyon below the dam. Now however, you can continue on down into the Lower Lower.
Other than Husum and the drop just below put-in, I would say the 830 cfs felt a little low on this section. Overall, this run dragged on for me. I was happy when we finally got into the Lower Lower. I would say the only time I would bother with this run is if I was doing the section above and below it. Otherwise, I personally wouldn’t bother again. But for sure, as just about every run… it is worth doing at least once!
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- Rattlesnake (III- to III). I thought this hole, at our flow, was the biggest on the run and most likely to give beginners trouble. It is immediately below put in. We ran right but I think you could also run far left. I guess at some flows it is a nice play spot.
- Mini Gorge (II to II+). A nice small gorge with mellow rapids keeps you busy.
But then it mellows out to open class I to II from there down to take-out.
Take-out: From White Salmon, take WA-14 for 2.8 miles towards the coast. Just before crossing the White Salmon, turn right on WA-141 and continue for 2.1 miles before turning left to stay on WA-141. Follow it for an additional 1.9 miles before turning left on Northwestern Lake Rd. In 0.3 miles this crosses the river, the access is on the far side.
Put-in: Continue up WA-141 for an additional 2.0 miles. Park just before the bridge over the river, on the left.
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