Trip Report    

Whitewater Packraft - South Fork Stillaguamish River: Boardman Creek to Verlot

The Silly Stilly paddled at low water: fun, boney, and quite technical. More difficult than I remembered.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The Granite Falls gauge showed 5.6ft during this paddle.  5.5 is about the lowest recommended.  AT this level, the river is not pushy, but there are plenty of rocks to paddle around and plenty of rocks to bump over.  It is a good class III warmup

Snow, warming temperatures, and pending rain meant that forecast river levels were changing daily.  We considered several river sections and did not make a final decision until the morning of our trip when we could read the actual levels.

For all of us, it had been a while since we paddled class III and we wanted some good practice without too much challenge.  The middle section of the Stillaguamish S Fork (aka Silly Stilly) provided this.

The initial section from Broadman Creek has numerous rapids in class II to class III- and some mellow sections.


This changed at the Wiley Ledge rapid.  We scouted this rapid on the drive up.  Above it, we could see the marks for our route.  Here I am approaching the drop.


There is a right turn in the middle and I never make that as well as I intend.

Below Wiley, there were numerous class III rapids.  More challenges and fun paddling.

At the large, constructed bank, heavily silted water entered the Stillaguamish.  Downstream from there the water was completely opaque.  I felt this added a half class difficulty to all rapids. 

The final significant rapid, "Ski Jump" looked more chaotic from the road so we got out of our boats and scouted.  It was more chaotic.  


Did a flood move some of the boulders?  There were a couple big waves and current that passed close and through logs on the right bank.  I don't remember so many waves or that the current was so close to the logs.  We all chose to walk around this section.

We had a couple swims this day, though nothing long.  We adjourned to a pub in Granite Falls to debrief.