(FR 43 Bridge to Pacific Crest Trail)
Trout Creek is a great run if you are looking for something a little harder in the Wind drainage. This run is similar to the hardest drops on the Wind River but is much steeper and more constricted. Often times there is only one runnable channel so be sure to scout before committing to a drop.
The creek at the put-in is shallow and placid. As boaters travel further down the creek the rapids and gradient gradually build into some fun Class 3-3+ drops. After about a mile of these easier rapids, the floor drops out as the creek begins to descend at over 300 fpm through a dizzying array of boulder gardens and small ledges. Many of these drops are extremely congested at low water which increases the potential of pinning. At high water eddies are virtually non-existent and boaters risk careening downriver out of control. The gradient eases off after about a mile which allows boaters to catch their breath before the take-out.
Logs, undercuts and continuous rapids can be dangerous in the steepest part of the run. There is a good chance of pinning or broaching boats.
How to get there
Take-out (GPS:45o48.678'N, 121o57.374'W)
To reach the take-out, turn onto Wind River Road 5.6 miles east of Stevensen, WA and drive 7.2 miles to Hemlock Road. Turn left and go 1.3 miles to Forest Road 43. Turn right and go 1.45 miles to a small footbridge across the river.
Put-in (GPS:45o49.339'N, 122o00.985'W)
The put-in is at the bridge over Trout Creek 4 miles further upstream on FR 43.
Visual. Check the bowl-shaped rock below the hiking bridge at the take-out. Water 6 inches below the bottom edge of the bowl is considered a minimum flow. The difficulty of the run increases dramatically with higher flows. Also, Trout Creek generally runs when the EF Lewis is at least 1500 cfs.
Check out Jason's description of this run.