Wild Stillaguamish v.3.0

My first visit to a wildly flooding Stillaguamish River was in November 1990. I hiked down the Old Robe Trail to the river. I had a film camera and ventured down to the tunnels. The water level had crested and was dropping though it was only a matter of feet below the old railroad grade. The noise in the narrow and deep canyon was deafening. There was a big tree in one of the tunnels. Trees flew by as I looked on from the old grade. It was one of the most amazing things I have seen. I had to cross several small creeks on the way in and they were running inland. A lake formed inland of the railroad grade. Here are a few photos from that trip. My report and the rest are at the link above.

Stillaguamish Muddy Creek On The Grade Looking Down River Narrow Canyon

I returned to the Old Robe Trail for another big flood in November 2006. This time the railroad grade was washed out far before the canyon. The water seemed to be even higher than in 1990. I came equipped with a digital camera that also took movies. I was disappointed to not be able to reach the canyon but the water went far inland and the wild river was very impressive. The flood did much damage to the old railroad grade/trail making it difficult to reach the tunnels even in summer. This flood did far more damage in the mountains as a lot of new snow was washed away by waves of warm rain.

After visiting the river I hiked back up to my car and drove down through Verlot to the bridge over the river near the Mt. Pilchuck Road. The bridge was closed and part of the bank at the approach was completely undermined. Chunks of asphalt fell into the river. The bridge was closed for a time until it could be repaired. Here I and a host of others could stand over the river and really take in the amount of water flowing by.

In the summer the river bed is a wide swath of gravel with a narrow stream down the middle. Now the water was well above the banks and not all that far below the level of the bridge. It was worth the drive and standing around in hard rain to see it. The little stream most people see can turn into a raging torrent under the right circumstances. I took a few movies of my trip, one which was shown on a local television station. This second flood visit was just as impressive as the first one. Here are a couple movies.