The Washougal River rises quickly after rain and drops quickly when the rain ends. The Big Eddy section is probably the most commonly run stretch due to the easy access and fun rapids. Big Eddy (IV) is a bit more difficult than the rest of the Class II and III rapids on this section of river.

The Washougal River Road follows the entire run and there is a turn-out to scout Big Eddy. There a few other access points along the road allowing you to do a shorter stretch.

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: There is river access where Salmon Falls Road (also known as Highway 140) crosses the Washougal River at 10-Mile Bridge. You can carry down the side of the bridge on river right near the Washougal River Mercantile. If you have rafts it's easier to use the public access on river left found a few hundred feet down Sportsman Road. Washington Discover Passes are required to park here.

Mile 1.65: Another public river access with a boat ramp is on river right. Washington Discover Passes are required to park here. This is the best put-in for rafts and catarafts.

Washougal River access at mile 1.65

Washougal River access at mile 1.65

Mile 2.6: Big Eddy (IV) is the biggest rapid on this stretch. There is a big eddy before the rapid on the right as the river bends sharply to the left. When you scout be aware that there is some private property on the right bank.

Mile 4.85: Cougar Creek Rapid (III) is a fun rapid at the confluence with Cougar Creek.

Mile 6.1: Kerry's Kartwheel has a huge hole on the right side at higher flows.

Mile 7: River access at a fishing area on river right. It's a steep walk up a hill to the parking area so most rafts continue downstream to Hathaway Park.

Mile 7.8: The Little North Fork of the Washougal joins in on river right. This is a fun place to surf rafts and catarafts.

Val Shaul surfing the Little North Fork of the Washougal River

Val Shaul surfing the Little North Fork of the Washougal River

Mile 9.9: Take-out at Hathaway Park in the town of Washougal. There is a good boat ramp here for rafts and catarafts.

Written by
Zach Collier and Michael Hughes

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