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siouxon creek factoids

Posted: November 14th, 2021, 5:15 pm
by querulous
A couple of weeks ago, the first clear day after our first extended rainy period, I tried to cross Siouxon creek at the lower trail ford. I got most of the way across, but there was a deeper waist-deep channel against the far bank which I chose not to attempt. With my day's agenda upended, I made my way downstream on the south bank a little less than a mile, to where a big unnamed trib comes in on the north side at a little above the 920 foot contour. The gradient gentles a bit there and I was able to get across just above the confluence; max depth about crotch-deep.

When I got home (after a day of roaming federal and state lands on the north side) I checked out the USGS gauges. There is a gauge on Canyon Creek near Amboy: ... 0060,00065, which I suspect is highly correlated with the Siouxon's flow. My crossing attempt at the lower ford, and later out-and-back crossings downstream, happened at 500-550 cfs on that gauge.

So here's my suggested rule of thumb: the lower trail crossing is feasible (or attemptable) when the Canyon creek gauge reads ~400 cfs or less. Looking at the multi-year history of that gauge, Canyon creek runs intermittently at or below that level even in the rainiest months (December-January, say). But one had better check before heading out. Mid-fall and spring the odds improve, but one should still check if it's been rainy or if snowmelt might be peaking. During the summer dry season (July through September) an easy crossing is pretty much guaranteed. During our just-concluded big rains, for context, that gauge peaked just over 6000 cfs, and is still running around 1500. It could be a while before anyone gets across.
Siouxon creek around the 920' contour: crossable, with effort
Other tidbits, the gate at the junction of FS 57 and FS 5701 is now open, so you can drive all the way to the former "lower trailhead" at the big switchback bend of the 5701 road, Dispensing with almost a mile of road walking. The road is still (by intention at least) closed beyond that point. It's a physically weak barrier, though, and the four-wheeler element would bust it with ease if they had the motivation. It's not clear to me if they do, though: the closure might survive. We shall see.
a closure, but a feeble one

Re: siouxon creek factoids

Posted: November 14th, 2021, 5:40 pm
by Chip Down
Interesting. I've only been there once, many years ago, memories have faded. I know it was about this time of year, as I recall following a snowy road to a high point. I've often wondered what that high point was. Nothing on the map seems to match my memory. Anyway, my creek crossing was tricky, but no big deal, was a dry-boot affair with a little strategy. But yeah, try that right now and you'll risk getting swept away.

Re: siouxon creek factoids

Posted: November 14th, 2021, 8:15 pm
by Sugar Pine
Good to hear the forest service has eliminated that road walk to the trailhead!

Re: siouxon creek factoids

Posted: November 18th, 2021, 10:53 pm
by sheilakpdx
We were there yesterday. Just past the gate (which was open) we came to the Upper Siouxon TH where we parked and saw the barricades as shown. We hiked at the start of Siouxon Trail #130 for 3.25 miles to the junction to the old lower Siouxon trail TH. The upper trail was in great condition and unburned. The rest of the hike was in and out of burn (both sides of the creek) up to the junction of Siouxon/ Chinook trails which is where we stopped. The last creek crossing had tree fall, a lot of water and slick/icy rock to cross so we opted to call it lunchtime. On the hike back to the car we saw 3 people. 14.50 miles RT.

In warmer weather and lower water levels, would be interested in seeing how much further we could go to see Chinook falls. I also understand the trail may not be passable/cleared to that point.