Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Whitewater Boating

Our 2011 license to operate the Jackson Hydro Project includes a provision to provide an average of four opportunities for whitewater boating per year. Scheduled events, which occur in the spring (typically April) and fall (September), will have two weeks' advance notice. Unscheduled events that are tied to heavy rainfall and are more opportunistic in nature will also occur but with a shorter advance notification of 48 hours.


UPDATE 9/6/2017 - Due to the high hazard fire danger in the Spada Basin, the whitewater boating event for 9/9 is CANCELLED. The District will work with American Whitewater and National Park Service to schedule another event.


During September 2017, there will be two scheduled whitewater flow releases. These releases will occur on the first two Saturdays (9/2 & 9/9) of the month. These releases will peak at between 700 and 900 cfs for a 3-hour period and then be followed by a gradual return to normal minimum flow levels. The peak will occur between 10 AM and 1 PM. The option for shuttling to the top of the Sultan River Canyon Trail will be facilitated by the PUD between 830 AM and 1130 PM. Outside those hours, individuals will have to hike in from the Gateway Recreation Site. 

Note: all boaters MUST portage around the Diversion Dam and not over or through it. With completion of fish passage at the Diversion Dam and the associated changes to the stream channel, portaging now requires exiting the river approximately 400 feet further upstream than prior to passage. The portage trail is clearly marked and flagged.

Boaters should pre-register indicating intent to participate in our whitewater boating event. Please pre-register with your name, address, phone number, and email address below (all fields are required). If the event is cancelled due to limited interest (pre-registration of less than 6 individuals), you will be notified by phone or email.

Before you participate, you must fill out, sign and return the PUD Whitewater Release form (see Related Documents to the right). Completed forms must be delivered to the PUD staff person, stationed at the put-in location, on the day of the event. Upon receipt of a completed form, you will be issued a numbered, yellow wrist-band. This wrist-band is required and mandatory for all persons intending to participate in the event.

Pre-registration / Reservation Form

Please indicate which event you are registering for:
First/Last Name:
Street Address:
Zip Code:
Phone Number (with area code):
Email Address:
Verify email address:

Sultan River Aerial: Diversion Dam to Culmback Dam

The video above is March 2015 aerial footage of the Sultan River, starting at the Diversion Dam to Culmback Dam, depicting presence of large woody debris and log jams.

Related Documents

Related Information

Sultan River Access

Vehicle access is available on the Culmback Dam Road to the Gateway Trailhead. From there, you can hike for a mile to the trailhead for the new Sultan River Canyon Trail. From the trailhead, it is another mile to the river and kayak put-in location at river mile (RM) 15.5. NOTE: Boaters who put-in at this location must portage around the Diversion Dam (RM 9.7). This is mandatory.

Put-in and take out access is also available at the Powerhouse (RM 4.5) and at PUD’s property at Trout Farm Road (RM 2.7).     

Another put-in and take-out option exists at the Diversion Dam; however, due to safety and logistical concerns, this alternative must be approved and coordinated with the PUD, City of Everett, and American Whitewater staff well advance of any whitewater event. 


Sultan River Flow Study

Sultan River Flow Study Descriptions

  • Intro, Parts 1 & 2: Culmback Dam to Sultan River Canyon Trail
  • Segment 2: Sultan River Canyon Trail to City of Everett Diversion Dam
  • Segment 3: City of Everett Diversion Dam to Jackson Powerhouse
  • Segment 4: Jackson Powerhouse to Trout Farm Road


(M-F, 8am to 5pm)