Hager Creek

A beautiful, sculpted waterpark canyon with slides, jumps, and technical ropework near Packwood. This canyon is rated v3a3III at moderate water levels, and v4a4III in early to midsummer.

GETTING THERE

From SR-12, 2 miles southwest of Packwood, turn east onto Forest Road 48. This road is across the street from the Crest Trail Lodge and is easy to miss. Drive 2.8 miles and park at the second switchback. If you plan to take the lower exit and use a car shuttle, leave cars at the first switchback.

APPROACH

From the parking area, hike uphill into the forest skirting the edge of the creek for several hundred feet along an use trail. At ~2,100 ft, continue following the use trail and drop into the creek.

DESCENT 

Hager Creek has about ten drops that can be done as slides, in addition to 14 or more mandatory rappels.  The features in this canyon are back to back, from start to end.  While the canyon is smaller than most Pacific Northwest canyons and is considered a "waterpark" canyon, it packs a punch with  narrow constrictions that create hydraulic features that should not be taken lightly. Participants must be confident swimmers, comfortable with slides up to 20 feet, and have strong rappel technique and balance. Leaders should be prepared for advanced rigging techniques including traverse lines with intermediate points, rebelays, and deviations.  See full beta on Ropewiki for the most up to date route information.

Upper Section: This section is about 80% of the canyon and consists mostly of short rappels, jumps, and slides into beautiful pools. There is one drop near the end that requires bypassing via a traverse line. 

Lower Section/Final Sequence: This section requires advanced rigging and strong rappel technique to complete. For groups that are not confident about the advanced techniques in this lower section, it is possible to scramble out of the creek on canyon left before Rappel 11, the "Dance Floor" rappel, and hike faint trail parallel to the creek back to the cars.

EXIT

After running the full route, climb out of the creek on canyon left using a series of roots and branches up the hillside. Hike the faint trail that parallels the creek back to the cars. This exit should take 15-20 minutes.

EQUIPMENT

Standard canyoning equipment including wetsuits or drysuits. The majority of this canyon is spent in and out of very cold water, with some waiting time at some of the drops. Plan for cold conditions, even on hot days. Groups should have at least one dive mask or a pair of goggles for checking pools before jumping or sliding. A single 100-foot rope is sufficient for the many small rappels in the upper canyon. Two 200 ft or one 200 ft plus two 100 ft ropes are ideal for the longer, technical rappels in the final sequence. Carry extra webbing and quick links.

TRIP PROFILE

  • Slides: Up to 10
  • Rappels: 14+
  • Longest Rappel: 80 feet
  • Approach: 0.1 mile
  • Exit: 0.2 miles 
  • Time: 5-7 hours total

NOTES

  • This canyon is rated v3a3III at moderate water levels, and v4a4III in early to midsummer. 
  • For more information visit the Hager Creek listing on ropewiki.
  • Difficulty: Basic Canyon
  • Length: 0.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • 2,000 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Packwood No. 302
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