Monday, March 21, 2011

Fun on a Washington Classic!

Photo copyright Dave Hoffman

One nice thing about living in the Columbia River Gorge is the vast array of rivers that lie within an hour's distance of driving. Friday, with the day off work, and rivers high after the week's storm, I headed out to enjoy one of the gem's of the Columbia Gorge: Hagen Gorge.

Hagen Gorge is a class IV/V creek located above the NF Washougal in Washington state. Getting to the put-in requires following a local through the maze of back roads, and "hiking" half a mile or so through a snow-filled clearcut. The hike-in gives you a chance to enjoy the view and take in the beauty of the area.

Hiking in (Photo by Kim Russell)

The put-in (Photo by Kim Russell)

Upon reaching the river, the flow tends to look very minimal, however after the initial mile or so of boat bumping, and boulder pinning there's some pay off... after the portage.

The only mandatory portage on the run:

Photo Copyright Dave Hoffman

Photo copyright Dave Hoffman

In the gorge, there are four main rapids: Haagen-daaz falls, Euphoria Falls, Teakettle Falls, and Crack in the Earth.

Haagendaaz Falls (Photo by: Kim Russell)

Euphoria Falls: A twenty five foot slide, followed by a 10 ft falls (Photo taken from another trip)

Myself in my Diesel 80 on the top slide of Euphoria Falls (Photo Copyright Bryon Dorr)

Myself at the bottom of the slide, setting up for the falls (Photo copyright Bryon Dorr)

Waiting for the stroke... Photo copyright Dave Hoffman

There it is! Photo copyright Dave Hoffman

Next up is TeaKettle Falls

Loving the Diesel 80 on Teakettle (Photo copyright Dave Hoffman)

After Teakettle, the river pours over a fifteen foot falls and through a turbulent slot just wide enough to fit a boat. Beyond this rapid, there's about half a mile of boogie water until the takeout. If you are in the area, I highly recommend Hagen Gorge. It's about as much fun kayaking as you can have in a mile and a half :)

Quick video from the day:

Dave Hoffman is a talented photographer with and eye for unique camera angles. To see and shop photo from Dave Hoffman, follow this link:

Kim Russell

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