Trip Report    

North Fork Nooksack River

The NF Nooksack Near Glacier gauge was reading 850 CFS. This was a fun level. We were able to easily scout all class III rapids in the upper canyon section. The reach from Gallop Creek to Milepost 27 was a blast of nearly continuous class II ramps with fun wave trains.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The canyon in the upper section had 7 distinct class III drops.  The class III drops were all fairly straightforward with the exception of the first one which was a mandatory portage due to wood.   After exiting the canyon, there was one more surprise class III rapid where Glacier Creek enters. This was the most menacing with a chaotic and big wave train.  


    The class II reach from Gallop Creek to Milepost 27 was an extremely fun class II stretch. It had nearly continual ramps of fun wave trains, very rare holes to avoid, alternating with brief smooth floats.  It required constant mental acuity to read the river and pick your way down the braided river. Highly recommended for solid class II boaters. 

The first big drop comes in 0.7 miles into the run at a 90 degree right turn. There is obvious wood on left and right.  Best to eddy out on the cobble bar on river right here and portage.  In addition to the wood on left and right, there is more wood down center that isn't apparent from the top. This is the real problem as it would likely catch and hold any paddler or swimmer who came down the ledge drop.  There may be a line in center that one could take, but extremely high risk.  

We scouted all of the rapids in the canyon on river left.  We were able to find green water to avoid the big holes and breaking waves. No swimmers. 

The class II reach had some wood, easily avoidable. Only 2 or 3 holes on the entire reach that were fairly obvious.