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Old 06-19-2012   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 212
Best Class III/IV in PNW 7/14-7/28

I have two weeks to travel around in the pacific northwest starting July 14. What are the best class III/IV rivers this time of year? I'm familiar with most of the runs in Oregon since I used to live and guide there but suggestions are welcome. I'm most interested in Washington and SW British Columbia, Idaho and Montana recommendations welcome too. I'll have limited space in my truck so I can only bring one boat, river runner or creeker?

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Old 06-19-2012   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
We're getting a late runoff in MT.

The Alberton Gorge (III+) near Missoula, MT is almost always great about that time of year, and this year should be no exception. It has great spots at a variety of flows.

The Middle Fork of the Flathead (III) near West Glacier, MT is often starting to get low by that time, but should still be at very fun levels this year. It's always gorgeous, but most fun at 3,000-6,000cfs.

Play boat/river runner.

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Old 06-19-2012   #3
littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 12
PNW potential

Check out ProfessorPaddle, they will get you hooked up. Skykomish near Seattle is going to be good bet for the summer.
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Old 06-19-2012   #4
Banks, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
Wenatchee is pretty good and you have a choice of class VI on down to class II depending upon which stretch and water flows. It should also be pretty nice and warm plus Leavenworth is a fun place. Depending on flows, the Sauk is fun as is the Skykomish (Boulder Drop is a class IV-V.)
A nice thing about these rivers is no permit required so you can just go.
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Old 06-19-2012   #5
Edmond, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 55
I would check out the green river gorge. Its a release so make sure there is water. A very worthwhile experience. The takeout has a great play feature called paradise hole. Its good. The gorge has awesome scenery. The whitewater during the crux of the run is busy and a blast in a playboat. Also, the takeout is on private land with a gate. There is a lock on the gate with a combo. I lived there for a few years but its been a while since I have used the gate. I pmd some guys on professor paddle and they were helpfull in guiding me in. The land owner is there often and very cool. If its running its way worth it. No hike in but a little 1/4 mile vertical hike out.
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Old 06-24-2012   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 212
How about the Olympic Peninsula?

Anyone ever done any whitewater on the Olympic Peninsula? Dungeness, Elwha, Queets, Quinault, Skokomish? Will any of those still be flowing in mid-late July?
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Old 06-25-2012   #7
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The Bitterroot, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 451
By mid July Montana should be down a bit and it would be worth it to check out the Yaak and Kootanai rivers up by Libby. Both are WAY more fun than the Alberton gorge if you are only bringing a creek boat. The gorge is fun in a play boat. The Yaak has one IV+/V- but it is a huge horizon and easy to scout/portage. I would imagine it will be down a bit by then but expect pushy IV if it is still above 6'. The Kootanai is dam released so it can be hard to predict but brakes down like so: 5,000-9,000 main drop is boney but sweet boof line opens up, super wave is flushy, whole run is IV-ish. around 12,000 the usual line on the falls is in and safe and super wave is in and bouncy and can window shade you for a few seconds. rest of the canyon is beefy solid IV. 20,000 and up hold the f%&^ on. super wave is a brick wall. I have never paddled it this high and have heard it compared to the Zambezi and Futa by people who have been to those places. expect a few house sized waves and mystery moves in a 80 gallon creek boat.

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class ii, class iii

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