Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hagen Creek, Washington

Video by Tony Skrivanek.

Having recently moved out to the Pacific Northwest I've been busy exploring and paddling as many new creeks as possible. After a dry autumn and several low water runs down the Green Truss, Little White, Wind, Ohanepecosh, and Cispus the rains finally hit and I hooked up with local paddling guru and Oregon guidebook author Pete Giordano to check out Hagen Creek. With quality class 4-5 whitewater, easy access, and a location less than an hour outside of Portland I was surprised to learn that the first descent of Hagen was made just 2 years ago. Before our run Pete explained that although Hagen had been known for some time it had always been passed by as paddlers looked for first descents to the north and east. Although Hagen itself is quite short it packs in many interesting ledges and slides and is home to a great 30' cascading falls named Euphoria. You are then dumped into the best part of the Upper NF Washougal where several technical 15-20' falls with names like Tea Kettle and Double Drop await. So whether you're an expert level creeker or someone looking to build your skills on some fun (and easily portagable) class 4-5 rapids then keep Hagen Creek on your short list the next time water's rising!

Joe Stumpfel

Photo by Rachel Crowder.

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