Length: 5.6 miles
Flows: 400 – 800 cfs
Gradient: 86 ft/mi
Put-in: Saddle Road (Private)
Take-out: Steven’s Bridge
Shuttle: about and hour
We were first enticed into paddling Goose Creek after hearing that it was the best run in the Smith drainage. We were lucky enough to find a sunny day with good flow and decided to make our way up there. After the 4wd road to put in we were almost exhausted, but we found energy for the many great rapids along this run. The put-in road is on private land and is not maintained for public use but we did fine with a Toyota Tacoma and a good driver.
To reach put in drive up the South Fork Road and take a right onto Gasquet – Orleans Road a few miles past the Stevens Bridge. Go 2.4 miles up this road to Saddle Road which should be on your right. From here you’ll go four wheeling 3.1 miles down to the creek. Hopefully you remembered to leave a car at Stevens Bridge for take out. We left a 2wd at Stevens Bridge and a mountain bike at the beginning of Saddle Road.
This run starts off as typical Smith River bedrock creeking until Gander which is an intimidating class IV+ double drop. A bit further down the walls of the creek become more steep as we enter the most difficult section. The crux of this section is the rapid Honker which is a messy rock jumble down the middle or a six foot drop on the right next to an undercut. There is a marginal portage route on the left. The rapid Ugly Duckling is a fun one that comes in the last mile.
From here you will paddle the creek down to the South Fork of the Smith and take out at Steven Bridge. If you want some exercise continue down the Stevens Bridge Run of the South Fork Smith.