We’ve been receiving a number of phone calls recently from people looking for beta on the Klickitat River: is the road clear, is there snow, what’s the wood like, water levels, etc? We were on the Klickitat River yesterday, so we can give a good report on how things are looking after the recent high water.
Let’s start with the drive in: the road to the put-in outside of Glenwood is clear. No trees, and no snow. In fact, it looked dry. Glenwood has obviously not been receiving the rain that we have been getting in the White Salmon valley.
At the put-in we were all scrambling for sunscreen. It’s been a while since we’ve paddled in the sunshine. The river was running about 1900 cfs. It’s been dropping steadily in the colder weather, but we’re hoping it comes up next week when the predicted warm spell hits.
The Crew at the put-in. Sunshine and no mud!
On the river, the Klickitat looks just like it has for the last couple of years. Generally speaking, the Klickitat is as wood free as it ever is (which is not really very wood free). The log jams and blocked channels that are problems every year are still blocked. However, we didn’t encounter any new problem wood spots. We didn’t encounter any portages or any new logs that weren’t an issue last year.
The major log jam in what we call “The Islands” is still a serious hazard. This log jam occurrs relatively early in the run where the river splits through a couple of different channels. The majority of the water flows down the river right channel, which would look like the obvious choice to a boater not familiar with the river. The river right channel is terminal. Take the small left channel up against the cliff wall and stay left! Fortunately, the narrow left channel was clear of wood as of yesterday. The little orange circle with an arrow point left hanging in the trees on river left above the islands is still there as a marker.
This is the log jam at “The Islands.” This is a very hazardous spot!
This is the view upstream while standing on the log jam. At higher water levels the eddies are gone. You need to be in the left channel before you come around the bend!!!
Roughly a mile downstream, the river splits into different channels again. In this case, you need to be in the rive right channel. The center/left channel is blocked with wood. These channels have been blocked for years, so this is not new for boaters familiar with the river.
The low head dam at the fish hatchery looks like it always does: strong recirculation, metal pieces sticking up randomly, and super shallow on river left. For our commercial trips at this level, we are walking our guests around at the fish hatchery, and R-1’ing the rafts through the tree lined small channel on river right.
So, there it is. Some quick beta on the Klickitat. The one thing to keep in mind is that this is the report as of yesterday, at 1900 cfs. We are expecting warmer weather this coming week, which should lead to rising Klickitat levels (keep your fingers crossed). If the water comes up, there is plenty of wood lying around on the banks and in the shallow water that could start moving.
We’ll be out there this weekend. Maybe we’ll see you on the water!