Wind River, WA – Upper run

 

The Wind River in Skamania County Washington is one of the larger volume rivers in the Columbia Gorge. It has two distinct sections of whitewater separated into the Upper section and the Lower Section. This report focuses on the Upper section. Starting in Stabler/Hemlock and taking out just North of Carson off Old-Detour Rd. About 3/4 of a mile below the put-in the rapids start with Initiation, a long rapid with several different lines.  The following pictures were taken about 5.7ft on the put-in gauge.

Splitting the rocks at the top of Initiation
Splitting the rocks at the top of Initiation

 

Matt King at the top of Initiation
Matt King at the top of Initiation

 

Initiation still going...
Initiation still going…

 

Below Initiation class IV rapids lead quickly down to Ram’s Horn. Ram’s Horn has a big hole in the center/right at the bottom of the rapid and usually run left.

Rams Horn - largest single rapid on the run
Rams Horn – largest single rapid on the run

 

Below Rams Horn the canyon continues to keep you on your toes with fun and challenging rapids.

Matt lost in the serenity of paddling the Upper Wind River.
Matt lost in the serenity of paddling the Upper Wind River.

 

Running the center line at 'Balls to the Wall Right'
Running the center line at ‘Balls to the Wall Right’

 

'Balls to the Wall Right'
‘Balls to the Wall Right’

 

'Balls to the Walls Left'
‘Balls to the Walls Left’

 

Climax is the last significant rapid and offers a few different lines, the center is commonly run.

Running the left line at 'Climax'
Running the left line at ‘Climax’

 

Below Climax the whitewater tapers off and you have about 3 more miles of class III with the occasional class IV rapid.

Whitewater below Climax
Whitewater below Climax

 

Matt playing in one of the many waves below the main canyon
Matt playing in one of the many waves below the main canyon

 

Last rapid before the take-out - Under or around
Last rapid before the take-out – Under or around

 

The take-out is just north of Carson, WA. Take Wind River hwy out of Carson, take a left on High Bridge Road then almost immediate right on Old Detour Rd. drive pas the asphalt and down the hill to the river.

Put-in: Go back to Wind River hwy and continue north to the community of Stabler, take a left across the river, then the next right to swing back around to the river and the parking area.

Alt. Put-In: If the river is running at a good medium flow then you have the option to put in on Lower Trout Creek. Take the left at Stabler then continue another mile to Trout Creek and the old site of the Hemlock Dam.

Flows: Rough estimate – 5ft to 6ft is a low range. 6ft to 7ft is a good medium. Over 7ft. the river starts to get pushy and rapids start to blend together with little recovery time and powerful holes. There is a stick gauge at the put in and an online gauge HERE.

Other whitewater nearby Wind River

Top of the Rock – Headwaters

Money Drop/First Falls

Little White Salmon River

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