Rapid Rating


River Mileage

About Wildcat Rapid

Once passing Tyee Camp on river right, there will be a short flat section to float. At the end of this section an island splits the river, indicating the start of Wildcat Rapid. Both channels are runnable, but the right channel is more common. Detailed below is the line through the right hand channel.

How to run Wildcat Rapid (right channel)

Enter just left of center in the right hand channel. At water levels lower than 2,000 CFS the channel is quite shallow, so take shallow strokes as to not pop an oar. About midway down the channel the passage constricts and the current picks up speed, flowing right under willows that overhang on the right back. Work to stay just left of these willows, but not so far left that you set yourself up poorly for the following move.

The island and willows end as the two channels join back together. As soon as the willows end, make your way all the way to the river right side to avoid getting stuck or wrapping on Alligator rock (a sleepy wrap rock located river right of the major rock pile in the river’s center). Run down the rest of the rapid by paralleling the right bank, and once you pass alligator rock on your left, you’re through!

Lower than 2,000 CFS: At lower water levels, the second half of the rapid becomes more technical. After the willows end, you still want to maneuver to the right side to avoid being pushed up against Alligator rock, but you first must navigate a few shallow rock clusters. For the smoothest line, pass to the left of the first small rock cluster located just after the willows end. As soon as this is cleared, pull hard to get to the right to avoid Alligator rock. The alternative is to pull to the right before the first rock cluster, placing yourself up against the right bank. At lower water, this right “sidewalk” becomes quite narrow, and unless you are in a small craft that can be easily aligned, it is easy to get hung up on rocks. That said, it is much preferred to be momentarily stuck here than wrapped in the center of the river.