By Mike Grijalva
The paving of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie road has added a new pleasure to our local outdoor access. The road that used to be ugly with potholes, is now a smooth paved slide glide upstream. A few different access points for put-ins are present, but there are few. We drove the 5.7 miles up from concrete bridge to the trailhead parking lot and carried about 150yds, across the bridge and down the river left side downstream. Obviously none of our tax dollars were squandered on a boater put-in. A jumble of rocks is not a good access, but with help from our friends, we made it to the water. From here on is a lovely class 1-2 float in a gorgeous valley with amazing peak views that are now visible and you float down. There are trees in the water in a few corners, and at low water you would have to float near them in current, or carry around for safety. The top mile has most trees, with a few lower down the section . The speed slows down as you near the end of the float to concrete bridge Allow 2-3 hours for this section, and probably 1k cfs would be a good minimum level to float without carrying shallow cobble bars and corners with wood. A better put-in is at a pull-off just before the trailhead parking lot, that goes right to the river edge. Other take out are available, and I would suggest the lower half of this run if you are taking a novice, because it is slower, easier, and less dangerous, but the views are fine.
Safety Issue: I would expect that people with inner-tube equipment and mentality will try to float this section. Keep an eye out for in experienced floaters who may be planning on launching in this zone with no PFD, no protective gear, and no knowledge of what they are getting into. Help them be safe.