Chinook Creek

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Chinook Creek Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
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Chinook Creek Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3C II (v3a4 II)
Raps:‌4-6, max ↨130ft
Exit: ↑900ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Condition Reports:
10 Sep 2023

"Last trip report was from 2020, but curious to know when its been run since then as all the raps were found to be bolted now. Cleaned some of the old

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Best season:


Another nice friendly canyon in Mt. Rainier National Park that parallels the seldom-visited East Side Trail. Chinook hosts a number of beautiful falls, culminating in a big 130ft drop. Access is surprisingly easy. A competent fast-moving team could probably run this in 3-4hrs. Chinook might be nice when combined with another short canyon in the area... possibly Panther Creek or Klickitat just down the road.


From the parking area, take the East Side Trail downwards about 0.5mi. Leave the trail and walk 500ft (it'd be a stretch to call it bushwhacking) into the creek just before the first drop. There is a nice area to suit up just before you drop in.

  • Checkpoint is the creek at the drop-in.


Immediately below the place where you drop in, the adventure begins.

  • 25ft low-angle drop. Downclimb DCR.
  • R1 Double anchor DCL, 40'. Anchors are tucked on side of rock facing down canyon.
  • R2: Single anchor DCL. 40 foot of rope needed for the horizontal. Two short drops through a fun narrow slot. (Might be downclimbed by the sure-footed in low water.)
  • R3: 70ft. Double anchor DCR tucked on side of rock facing down canyon.
  • Two short drops maybe 10-15ft each. Downclimb the first DCR, the second DCL. (Or rappel.)
  • R4: 20ft from a single anchor DCR

R5 and R6 compose Chinook Creek Falls. Given its magnitude, bit surprising this falls doesn't have a legit trail leading to it.

  • R5: Single anchor DCL. 40ft to a pool above the big drop.
  • R6: Double anchor DCL. 100ft to a large platform at the base of the falls.

Below the big falls, it's possible to downclimb through several more short tiers (you may need to crisscross and climb out of the watercourse), or rappel from any number of large boulders on either side. Pass through a shallow V-slot (entertaining) and another tier or two to a final pool with a great view back of the big falls. This ends the technical section.


After the last rappel, head downstream about 200yrds. The creek degenerates here into a field of boulders, fallen logs and unstable debris. Keep going until it's easy to step out of the creek into the forest DCR. In August 2020, there were several very large cut logs lying in the creek which were a good signal that you're at the exit. Look for a faint user trail that leads up the slope all of 30 seconds to reach the official East Side Trail. Again, no bushwhacking. Follow the East Side trail right/upwards about 1mi, 900ft gain back to the trailhead and your waiting vehicles.

Red tape

None. You do not need to pay the MRNP entrance fee to access this canyon.

Beta sites

Trip reports and media


This canyon was first descended on July 7 of 2017 by Luca Chiarabini and Barry Specht and Tiffanie Lin.


Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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