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Raps:4-6, max ↨60ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Shuttle:Optional 2 miles
Rock type:Granite and Basalt
10 Sep 2023
"The most clear and pristine water I've ever seen in WA. Amazing rock types. Good flow. Very aquatic in nature. 2 noteworthy rappels, 2 jumps about 15
Ruth Creek is a fantastic half day outing with a very favorable approach/egress. There are a series of nice narrows and slot corridors hiding down in the creek and crystal clear blue pools, making this one of the most scenic canyons in the area. Due to it's large flow volumes, Ruth Creek is probably only viable a couple weeks each year to descend.
Caution: Ruth Creek is a high flow canyon. It was first explored in Fall on a particularly dry year once temperatures had begun to fall at what is likely it's lowest possible water discharge. Middle or even late summer could still retain flow rates too high to safely descend this canyon.
If using a car shuttle (preferred), from the Goat Mountain Parking Lots/bathroom, head into the forest on the north side of the parking lot by the sign and head north through the forest for 500 feet and then hike down to the creek. There is a weakness that allows walk-in access at 48.8978, -121.6429.
R1: - 15' from log.
R2: - 12' from log or meat anchor, tight constriction and gnarly unstable log jams, or jump.
R3: - 10' tight constriction with jumbled logs/sieve. Ramp on RDC side leading to Bolt to bypass unsafe logjam.
R4: - 10' into a turbulent section of canyon, or downclimb DCL into small hole and then through the curtain.
R5: - 60' Bolt DCR, with redirect for high flow. Swimming disconnect into a deep cauldron. Note: this pool circulates counter clockwise. Once off rope follow the RDC wall with feet on the wall. Can feel like a pushy swim. This rappel has been jumped from a slippery ledge for a 25' jump.
R6: - 60' Bolt, DCR, dry rappel into pool. Watch for unstable rock while rappelling. Pool at bottom is chest deep.
Walk the river gravels for a few minutes and the cars come into view at the Nooksack Cirque Trailhead. A small 50ft long social trail leads to the parking lot.
Trip reports and media
The First Canyoning Descent of Ruth Creek took place on September 3rd, 2022 by Andrew Humphreys, Tiffanie Lin, Jake Huddleston, Kevin Steffa, TreC Kwan, Michael Henson, and Erik Bernhoft. A car shuttle was not utilized.
Not unsurprisingly, kayakers had descended the final falls, starting between the two larger rappels.
The Second Descent which added 2 additional rappels, the car shuttle, and explored the upper narrows took place on October 2, 2022 by Andrea Lubeck, Robert Lane, and Erik Bernhoft.