East Fork Humptulips River

Paddle 16 miles of Class III river through narrows and a gorge on the Olympic Peninsula with options for shorter runs. The river nearly always has dependable flows through the summer and the winter rainy season and is a good bet when other rivers are too low.



  • Forest Road 2206:  The road to the put-in is at mile 12.9 (just west of the bridge). This is Forest Road 2206 and it heads north along the west side of the river. Follow it up to mile 3.2 where a faint trail (an old logging spur now blocked by a berm) heads down into the forest. In a hundred yards the trail becomes less distinct but keep right and follow the elk trails down the hill and reach the river in about 5 minutes.
  • Donkey Creek Road/Forest Road 22 Bridge:  At US-101 mile 112.6 (~4 miles north of the bridge across the Humptulips River) look for the sign to Wynoochee Lake Recreation Area, and drive Donkey Creek Road (Forest Road 22) east 12.2 miles to a spur road that leads down to the river. The road ends in 0.4 miles at a nice campsite and river access at a fun rapid. To shorten the run a bit, there is a good pull-out at Forest Road 22 mile 12.6 where the river comes up near the road. Before setting up a shuttle, most continue on to mile 13.0 where Forest Road 22 crosses the river. This allows for a visual check of the flows and allows taking out on the upstream river left side of the bridge.

  • Rock Creek Mouth:  This is both the take-out for the upper section(s) and the put-in for the lower section. Put-in near the mouth of Rock Creek. Bring your high clearance rig and prepare for an adventure. Take a spur road off of A Line Road and prepare for potential bushwacking to the river. 
  • A Line Bridge:  From Aberdeen head north on US-101, take the East Fork Humptulips Road Exit at mile 108.4 (just south of the US-101 bridge across the East Fork Humptulips River) and follow it several miles to the A Line bridge across the river.


The Narrows Run

The upper reach, known as the "Narrows Run", is 4 miles from the Forest Road 2206 access to the Forest Road 22 Bridge, with an average gradient of 24 fpm.  This reach contains a beautiful gorge and is one of the true gems of the Olympic Peninsula. Flowing through a narrow gorge tucked within a narrow strip of old growth forest gives one a sense of the true beauty of the Pacific coastal rainforest. The first section is characterized by a meandering channel with some impressive log jams. After the first mile or so the river squeezes over a boulder-choked ledge and into a canyon at the mouth of Flatbottom Creek. The only possible run through this drop is the fish ladder on river left. It's not the most elegant drop, but you can get down it. Alternatively you should be able find a spot to seal launch into the pool at the base of the fish ladder. From this point down to the bridge, the river is constrained between tight bedrock walls of polished basalt.  The gorge is characterized by Class III rapids around boulders and through little chutes. The primary routes are a bit technical, but not terribly demanding and there are good recovery stretches between drops. Although the rapids are straight forward, there are occasional logs so don't commit to anything you can't comfortably boat scout. Some sections of the gorge are very narrow and there are couple of impressive waterfalls. One of the best rapids comes just upstream of Goforth Creek which enters as a waterfall on river right.  The river opens up a bit after it passes under the bridge and there are a couple more fun rapids before the takeout. In late fall the clear water makes for some great salmon viewing.

The Falls Section

A 5.5 mile Class III reach from the Forest Road 22 Bridge to the Gorge, with a gradient of 23 fpm. This is  a short gorge with small rapids. Be aware of the undercut slot at the "Falls" which may need to be portaged.

The Gorge Run

A 6 mile Class III reach from the bottom of the Falls Section to Boise Bridge, with a gradient of 21 fpm.  The primary feature of this run is the narrow and beautiful gorge throughout.


  • Difficulty: Class III River
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • East Fork Humptulips River: The Narrows Run
  • East Fork Humptulips River: The Falls Section
  • East Fork Humptulips River: The Gorge Run

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