The Waterfall Run on the Upper Washougal

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First of all, I do not necessarily recommend this run as a missed line could result in a broken boat or boater. Also, I don't think this run ever has enough water except at flood. The falls consist mostly of big, shallow slides, so the more water the better.

You can see all of the falls on the drive up, and you should definitely scout each of them carefully and take the proper safety precautions. Put in at Docs Drop, an impressive and complex twenty footer. I have run Doc's both on the left and right side and prefer the left side.

John (highlighted on the right) scouts Doc's Drop. The day this photo was taken we were in the area checking out other runs and Doc's was much too low to run, but you get the idea. The other photos in this report were taken at about double the flow shown here.

Jon Fowlkes runs my preferred line at Docs, on the left.

About three quarters of a mile downstream from Docs is 6 foot Reeder Falls, which more like a chute than a waterfall with a variety of routes. Reeder is easy to scout on the drive up as it is visible immediately upstream of the second roadbridge.

Jon Fowlkes runs Reeder Falls

Just below Reeder is Naked Falls. Scout Naked carefully as it is very easy to get disoriented above it. I don't know if Naked would ever have enough water unless there was a flood (hence the name).

The right side of this one has shallow spots with the bedrock actually breaking the surface in places. If you choose to run this side like at medium to low flows like we did be very careful because once you start the long slide above the final drop it is very difficult to steer, so if you start with a bad line you're stuck with it! I'm sure staying on line gets easier with more water. The middle of Naked is a mess of unfriendly holes that vary from ugly to nasty the further left you go. Don't even think about running this drop near the left wall- in between our runs over the falls we watched some debris get recycled over there for about forty five minutes...

John runs Naked Falls. This drop has a very narrow line as most of the landing zone is about three feet deep with the exception of where John is going over. We chose this line because the hydraulics in the middle looked pretty burly to us.

Below Naked are some nice surf waves and lots of mellow floating. About a half mile below Naked John spotted a creek on the left that ended with a long slide so of course he hiked up and ran it. After a lot more flat water we came to the last big horizon line, Dougan Falls. Dougan is just above the takeout at the bridge. This one is a real no-brainer if you run down the right side and is a lot of fun- a big, steep slide into a ten foot vertical drop.

John runs Dougan's Falls