Guidebook Title

Upper Upper Washougal
(Prospector Creek to Stebbins Creek)

Upper Upper Washougal Info BoxThere are a variety of quality runs in the Washougal drainage including Stebbins Creek, NW Fork, and Big Eddy. The Upper Washougal is a great run for advanced boaters looking for some challenging boulder gardens and fun waterfalls.

River Description (Kayak/Canoe) Just upstream of Prospector Creek is a narrow plunge that tends to push boaters against the right wall and a fun 10' waterfall. The waterfall should be run down the center in order to avoid the shallow landing on the right and left sides. The crux of the run is the steep, congested gorge immediately below Prospector Creek. The gorge starts out with a fun, ledgy class 4 rapid and builds into solid class 5. Scout each drop carefully as several have dangerous undercuts. These drops get extremely pushy and difficult to portage at high water. Once through the gorge, the river continues to drop through some fun boulder gardens before the next major horizon line. This drop can only be run on the far left as the right side drops onto and through a nasty boulder pile.

The river is class 2-3 below this ledge although several more fun ledge drops, including a riverwide 10'-foot falls, spice up the remainder of the run until boaters arrive at Doc's Drop. Scout this 20-foot broken falls before the run as the lines are difficult to see at river level. The far right can be rocky at very low water. The far left side is also runnable.

Undercuts and pin spots abound in the gorge section below Prospector Creek. Wood in any of the rapids in the gorge would be extremely dangerous and difficult to avoid.

How to get there
Take-Out (GPS:45o41.475'N, 122o07.364'W)
Cross the Columbia River in Portland and take Washington 14 east to Washougal. Follow Washougal River Road through town. After crossing the Washougal River, continue upstream another 13.4 miles to Dougan Falls. Turn right immediately after the bridge at Dougan Falls and continue another 2.5 miles to the bridge over Stebbins Creek.

Put-In (GPS: 45o41.475'N, 122o07.364'W)
To reach the put-in, continue another 1.8 miles upstream and stay right at an intersection. Travel another 3.9 miles and turn left immediately after crossing Deer Creek. Follow this road along Deer Creek until it ends. Depending on road conditions you might have to hike a short distance to the river.

Visual. Look at Doc's Drop near the take-out. If Doc's is runnable there is probably a minimum amount of water upstream but a better level is if there is water flowing across the entire face of the falls. You can also see some of the lower river on the shuttle to get a feel for the level.

More Info
Check out Jason's description of this run.