water wacko's Submission - Entered on 7/3/2012 9:35:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 6/18/2013 11:22:19 PM)
QUINAULT RIVER AT QUINAULT LA
3rd Party Gauge
||06/18 23:00 PDT
Minimum Recomended Level: 150 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 350 cfs
Access is fairly easy for this run. Established USFS Campground at the takeout with facilities and potable water in the summer. A pit toilet is open during the winter. The campground does not collect fees in the winter months. This run requires a hike-in so you can carpool to the river and save on gas money!
Trailhead is .5 mile up the road from Graves Creek Campground. Hike approximately 2.5 miles to Pony Bridge on the Quinault River-Pony Bridge-Enchanted Valley Trail.
From Hoquiam, WA take Hwy 101 North for 56.6 miles to the turnoff for South Shore Road at Lake Quinault. Continue for another 19 miles until you reach Graves Creek Campground.
First portage of Dolly Falls is impossible to scout prior to putting on. Make sure you have a low enough water level to portage Dolly Falls on the right side. The wood situation can greatly decrease or greatly increase the difficulty of portaging this drop on the right side. Keep a heads up for wood on this entire run!
Unscoutable OP Gorge! Great option when flows are low elsewhere if you are up to the challenge. Free camping and complete solitude at the take out in the winter months!
Run Description [Season: Later Summer/Fall]
--- Submitted by: Jon Crain on 12/20/2011 ---
This description is to provide some beta on the run but not spoil the fun for anyone who wants to get in there and have an adventure. The East Fork of the Quinault is definitely an adventure.
Approximately .25 mile from the put-in at Pony Bridge you will encounter a three tier drop, Dolly Falls, that Korb describes as the crux of the run. Scouting this drop (or any other part of the Gorge) prior to putting on is almost impossible. You may get a glimpse of the run out by bushwhacking from the trail on river left where it starts to descend for the last time to Pony Bridge. During that scout you might get a few decent looks at other parts of the river but donít count on it. Arriving at Dolly Falls there will be a mid stream boulder with a slot on the left and a small eddy/wood pile on the right. The left is a nasty pocket with old growth lodged in the exit for spice. Probably runnable but most will pass and make the portage on the right. Korbís assessment that the wood situation can greatly decrease or greatly increase the difficulty of portaging the first drop of Dolly Falls on the right side is correct. If you commit yourself to this point there is only one way out. Come prepared with the appropriate gear and skills to safely move around this hazard. Dolly Falls is a three tier drop with the first being the left side pocket/right side portage and the second drop being a totally unrunnable log/sieve pile at runnable flows (150-350cfs). Continue portaging right and put back in to run the third and final drop of Dolly Falls.
After the Dolly Falls portage you will encounter numerous class IV/V ledge drops and quality boulder rapids. It is possible to boat scout most of the rapids but some have boulder strewn entrances with the main flow narrowing down to boat wide exit slots. The rapids that end in slots are prone to collect wood and others are very undercut or completely caved out on both sides so a scout is a good idea. About halfway through the run there is a high quality bedrock class V rapid. Portage is available on the right if you donít like what you see. After this the class IV/V boulder rapids and ledges continue to the very end where the walls recede and you can see the opposite bank of the river where Graves Creek enters the EF Quinault. Overall, the EF Quinault is well worth the effort. The hike in is fairly easy; most will knock it out in about an hour. Expect total time from the start of the hike back to the truck at Graves Creek campground to be about 5 hours. Wood situation was manageable as of 12/19/11.