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Mashel    2. Eatonville to Nisqually River confluence™ ©
Class II-IV
Avg Gradient 65 fpm
Max Gradient 77 fpm

River Mapplet
Zip Code : 98328 General Area
Put In Longitude : -122.24279 Putin
Put In Latitude : 46.8672981
Take Out Longitude : -122.34929 Take Out
Take Out Latitude : 46.8679008
County : Pierce Shuttle
   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from MASHEL RIVER NEAR LA GRANDE, at 6/18/2024 10:56:53 AM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
MASHEL RIVER NEAR LA GRANDE, n/a 2.74  108   USGS - NWIS 06-18-2024 09:45:00
Minimum Recomended Level:  300      Maximum Recomended Level:  1800  


Difficult put-in due to road closure, about a 0.6 mile walk to Railroad Canyon. Takout is easy at the Hwy 7 bridge. parking pull-outs at both locations. But, high meth addict area so be aware of anything valuable left in car.

  Putin Details

Park at the second dirt road pull-out on the left just past the bridge that crosses the Mashel as you leave Eatonville on Alder Cuttoff Road. If you start going up a big hill, then you missed the pullout. Hike about 0.6 miles in to Railroad Canyon. When you come to the railroad tracks, walk left down the tracks towards the Canyon and watch to the right for an old overgrown steep path down to the river. This is the put-in for the Railroad Canyon rapid. If you want to skip that section, then simply follow the road to the left of the tracks down to the river. (Donít forget to scout the Canyon from the rail bridge first, as the rapid is typically blocked with deadly log jams.)

  Takeout Details

After running the last class III+ to IV- gorge, watch for the Hwy 7 bridge that crosses the Mashel. The bridge is on a very sharp hairpin corner, easy to find on the road, with ample parking on shoulder. We donít go all the way to the Nisqually as there is no access anymore to that location. (you would have to paddle 10 miles of flatwater to civilization.)

 River Alerts   ( Add Alert ) Pinned Forum Threads
 As of 15Feb2014, there are two minor log issues, both visible from the Center St. / Alder Cutoff Rd. Bridge. At 900cfs we were able to limbo the upstream log RR. The one just downstream required an easy step-around. Railroad canyon has two easy (no ducking required) limbo moves at this level, so it''s good to go. - Posted by: jalmquist on 2/18/2014 3:53:00 PM -  [Remove Alert]

There are no forum threads pinned to this run.

Features on this run

Feature Name Class
Broken Bridge III-IV
Sewer Hole II
Add a Feature | Re-Order Features

  Other Issues


Watch the Nisqually river after heavy rains and when itís flow spikes to over 3.5 ft on the gauge, the Mashel is runnable. Also a riverwide old growth log is just downriver from the bridge on Alder Cuttoff Rd. near the putt-in area and it is possible to gauge flow with it. This is just from our experience and the log may have changed over the years, so just use as reference. When you can go under the log, the river is between 300-500cfs, even with log, 500-700cfs, over log, 700-1000+cfs.

There is a gauge on the Mashel at the takeout: but not sure what a good range of flows on this gauge is yet. Also, since it's at the end of the run it will show a much higher flow than what you put-in on since several tributaries including the Little Mashel river come in along the run. On 3/13 the gauge showed 800 and rising a bit. It seemed like a med-low flow. Actual flow felt more like 300-400 on the upper stretch and was a bit bumpy, but down below the confluence with the Little Mashel it was plenty of water.

  Fun Facts

One of the best playholes is next to the sewage treatment facility in Eatonville, the rock that creats the hole has a strangley colored substance on it?

   Run Description [Season: After heavy rains.]

More of a creek run than a river, but a fun relatively easy class III to IV section. A few small playholes and waves are scattered throughout the run. The first gorge, Railroad Canyon, offers a fast exciting flush and beautiful moss covered canyon walls, the next few rapids offer unique challenges of their own, like Old Log, Broken Bridge, Sewer Hole, and Final Gorge (the class IV finishing rapid). Also watch for the man-made logjams (LWD) in the town on Eatonville just upstream from the Hwy 161 bridge.

This river is graded a IV because of the difficulty to gage flow and the ever changing wood hazards that exist. Two main hazards persist to exist, the first is Old Log, described in the hazards section, the second is Broken Bridge rapid, see rapid description. The final gorge consists of 5 or 6 class III to IV- rapids separated by small pools in a scenic canyon.


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Beta Trail    
SubmissionBeta Submitted BySubmitted On
James's 3/19/2012 Run SubmissionJames3/19/2012 3:49:00 PM
James's 3/19/2012 Run SubmissionJames3/19/2012 3:46:00 PM
James's 2/27/2012 Run SubmissionJames2/27/2012 11:44:00 AM
JoesKayak's 3/14/2011 Run SubmissionJoesKayak3/14/2011 9:22:00 AM
JoesKayak's 3/14/2011 Run SubmissionJoesKayak3/14/2011 9:19:00 AM
James's 4/9/2007 Run SubmissionJames4/9/2007 8:26:00 PM

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