Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Sea Kayak - Mayfield Lake, Cowlitz & Tilton Gorges

A great winter trip through two beautiful gorges.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Mayfield Lake level was about 1' lower than normal.  Cowlitz River flow was fairly strong due to recent rains.  Having wheels to get the boats to the water is very desirable on this  trip.

This trip has always been a winter favorite and this day did not disappoint.  We had Ike Kinswa Park all to ourselves and used the edge of the swim area  to launch. We got off on time and headed up the Tilton for about a mile until the current got too strong a little past the narrow gorge.  Then headed back past the launch along the shore of the park to the mouth of the Cowlitz.  We stopped for lunch on the east side of the south projecting point of the park.  At this water level, it was difficult to get out due to an extreme drop off just under the surface - the beach looked inviting, but the drop off made for a couple of very wet exits.  Exiting at the point would have been easier. The sun broke out during lunch to warm us all up!

After lunch we paddled up the Cowlitz to just past the Hwy 12 bridge.  At this point the current in the main stream was close to 3kt, so we turned back. We had a short break on an island downstream of the bridge and then paddled back, arriving back at the launch at 3:50pm.

Old growth trees, great moss gardens, small waterfalls and a feeling of remoteness much of the time highlight this great winter paddle.