Kayaking from High Bridge to Hoover

A self-supported trip created by Michael256

Trip Overview

We had a leisurely paddle down from High Bridge to the Hoover Water Access Site using sit-in Kayaks (a couple Pelican Mustang 100x and other similar kayaks). We started down the river at 11:30, stopped for lunch at the junction of the Skykomish river, took a short detour up the Skykomish, then had a little adventure in a side channel past the 522 bridge. We got out of the water by about 2:45 at the Hoover Water Access. When we went, the gauge "Snohomish River Near Monroe, WA - 12150800" https://waterdata.usgs.gov/mon... was at 8140 ft3/s. The water was mostly flat on the Snoqualmie and Snohomish rivers, rarely moving fast enough that we would not have been able to go upstream if we really worked at it. There were only a few logs and branches sticking up to avoid.

Around the High Bridge boat launch the current was quite slow, so most of the group paddled upstream a bit while waiting the 50 minutes it took to shuttle the truck down to the Hoover Water Access Site.

At the Skykomish, we landed on a river rock island and walked upstream maybe 500 ft. to enjoy the swift water flowing back into the big lazy river. It was still class I, though someone in our group managed to find at least one bump big enough to splash themselves.

There were a bunch of mud dauber swallow nests under the 522 bridge at the top of the columns

After crossing under the 522 bridge we took the narrow channel on the left (southwest) side of the river. It was a nice change of pace from the big river with a few spots of swifter flowing water (too fast to easily paddle back upstream), interesting birds living in holes in the dirt bank, and lots of shade from big trees. Unfortunately, big trees on the bank tend to fall in. At the entrance to the channel, a strainer blocked the main current on the left side, so we had to paddle with purpose to get to the right of the main current before being pulled into the trees. At lower water levels, the open passage on the right might not be there. Later, there was a tree crossing between the banks, maybe 20 feet in the air, and several others threatening to fall across the water. Maybe 3/4 of the way through that channel there was a log jam that completely blocked the surface of the water. There was a grassy bank on the right where we were able to land and climb over the logs to restart on the other side. Some honey bees in the grass caused some of our party to attempt to get out closer to the log-jam and got stuck against the logs a bit. One was able to climb onto the logs and pull her kayak back to shore. The others were gently pinned to the logs and sat there waiting their turn to get helped across. The moderate current wasn't enough to seriously threaten capsizing and pulling anyone under. A rope did come in handy top help keep the kayaks from floating away as people climbed back in on the other side. If the current was much faster, or if a new tree falls in a section with faster current or hard-to-climb banks nearby, it could be more of a problem. This channel didn't have too many sharp curves, so you shouldn't get caught too much my surprise.

If in doubt, stay in the main channel and it should be an easy trip (though I guess technically I can't vouch for the part of the main channel that we skipped).

Getting out at the Hoover Water Access Site isn't great. Its a steam slippery trail and pretty easy to miss. Continuing on to Snohomish is an option with a nice boat ramp, but the river becomes tidal somewhere around the Hoover Water Access. You'll want to check the schedule and time your trip if you don't want to have to fight the current all the way "downstream".

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 6/21/2024
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing, Rafting
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location