Trip Report    

Sauk River: White Chuck River to Darrington

The Sauk River Near Sauk gauge was 5900 CFS when we put in and 5700 when we took out. It was pushy and challenging III+ from White Chuck to Whirlpool with some big holes and breaking waves.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • At this flow level, for experienced class III boaters only, especially from White Chuck to the bottom of Whirlpool.  The upper section from the put in to the bottom of Whirlpool rapid, has 7 class III drops, some of which are long and continuous, particularly Jaws which is three drops in quick succession and very little opportunity to self rescue in between drops. 

    From Whirlpool down to Backman County Park was fairly active class II+ rapids with a couple III- rapids and a fun step down.

    From the campground to the take out at the Prairie Road bridge was class II and finally a chance to relax. 


In our group 3 out of 4 paddlers went swimming a total of 9 times.  Some of the swims were long with no chance for group rescue due to the continuous nature of the rapids.  In all cases, the swimmers were able to hold onto boat and paddle and make it to eddies on the shore.  

Top photo of David after a long and bumpy swim finally able to catch a midstream boulder eddy and recover. 

Middle photo of Jeannie ever smiling even after her head was underwater a few seconds. 

Bottom photo of Jon on left bank after a long swim in the upper section.