I am a class 3 rafter and have wanted to do a trip with my wife through northgate canyon for several years but have never been able to get consistent info. on what the difficulty level of the canyon is at approx 1200 cfs. Any info would be helpful
just duckied Northgate Sunday for the first time,the flow was 1260 or possibly up a little.There is one easy 3 about 1/2 mile in then it,s 1-2 for 5- 6 miles,pretty canyon.Cowpie rapid is where the action picks up to 3-3+it'smostly rolly wave trains with a few widely spaced boulders.This is followed up by more 3 leading to Narrow Falls 3+/4- just after the horizon line is asteep short stretch of big offset waves,we didn't scout I bombed down the meat and flipped,easily self rescued,my friend took a more conservative line with no problem.I don't think this would flip a raft unless you were totally inept,the run out pushes you towards a cliff on the left maybe a little dangerous but not terrifying or anything., after this it mellows briefly before tootsie roll and stovepipe both long 3's consisting of long non technical wave trains at the bottom of stovepipe is an island stay left if you want to takeout at 6 mile gap,a short but steep trail leads up to the parking area we saw some rafters carrying up as ateam effort 4-6 people semi strenuous hope that helps
Northgate at 1200 is pretty casual... with one exception. NarrowFalls is a class 3 rapid with potentially NASTY consequences at that level. If you swim, you can wind up trapped against the wall on river left, even if you are out of your boat. A friend of mine was there for about 10 minutes this spring. She was NOT amused! That said, there is a spot river left, downstream of the main part of the rapid but about 20-30 feet upstream of the wall which makes a good place to position someone with a throw bag. This spot can be reached from the left bank upstream of the rapid, or paddled to once someone has run the rapid. So, with a bit of preparation it can be run relatively safely. Just be sure you know where you are on the river.
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