Nisqually White Water Kayaking (McKenna to Yelm Hydro Plant)


I had the pleasure to run the Nisqually river just before the rain set in. It was a lower water run (1000 cfs) with many boulders to dodge but a great day all in all to be on the river. The float time was around 3 hours as the water level was low and provided class II rapids throughout.

We started at the McKenna park on the right just after you head over the bridge of the Nisqually headed East. At this flow the river is a class II rating.

WARNING – about ¾ of the way down the river there is an old bridge structure that has a log jam across the entire river minus about 4 feet on the far left side of the river. Watch for this and stay way left up against the bank.

We saw a great flock of Canadian geese and had the pleasure of being within feet of them many times as they paddled, flew and then landed near us. I will bring my camera next time!

Even at 1000 cfs the float from McKenna to the Yelm Hydro Plant is great fun. I have run it up to about 3500 cfs and recommend it at closer to 3500 cfs if you are a class III boater. At 1000 cfs it is a fun class 2 float with a remote feeling and great views.

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