Canyoneering Olallie Creek, Mt. Rainier

Packwood, Washington

Details

Distance

2.5 miles

Elevation Gain

700 ft

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Description

Added by Travis Poulson

Untamed and primitive, this canyon will test your skills and awaken the wild parts of your soul.

Disclaimer: Canyoneering is a dangerous and technical activity. Don’t enter any canyon without the skills to match it, or the knowledge to navigate it. Be sure to check the flow of Olallie creek to ensure that it's safe.

In an area where canyoneering isn’t hugely popular, here lies a canyon that is relatively unknown. This means you have the place completely to yourself. And you get to enjoy it as an unspoiled, undeveloped, unique place within a national park. It isn’t hard to imagine a day in the future when Olallie Creek is canyoneered frequently and under tight scrutiny from the park.

The adventure begins just a short distance inside the park from the Sevens Canyon Entrance. A shuttle is required. Leave a vehicle at the Grove of the Patriarchs Trailhead and continue up the Stevens Canyon Road a half mile to a pullout at 46.7560, -121.5634. From here, it’s a 2 mile hike up the beautiful Cowlitz Divide Trail. 

The hike itself is worth your time, but throw in a full day canyoneering and you’ve got yourself a good adventure. After 2 miles, head due north and bushwack down to the bottom of the canyon. When you reach the river, gear up and put on your wetsuit. A thick (7-9mm) wetsuit is highly recommended – this water is cold!

The next several hours are incredible. Crystal clear waterfalls flowing through dense emerald foliage and it’s all yours. There are 17 rappels (longest 200 feet), countless downclimbs, multiple swims and deep narrows. Be careful as you enter one particularly challenging section where the river siphons through a 4-foot crack.

The canyon ends at a footbridge on the East Side Trail. Turn right and follow it back to your shuttle vehicle about 1.5 miles along a flat, easy path.

The entire adventure will take about 7 hours.

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Features

Fitness
Rock Climbing
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

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