Landslide Poses New Access Challenges for Washington’s Icicle Canyon

Popular whitewater run's upper sections may be inaccessible through this season

By Tim Mutrie

A landslide last week hit Icicle Creek Road, near Leavenworth, Wash., closing the road at the site of the slide and barring boater access to the upper section of Icicle Canyon, the deepest canyon in Washington state and popular Northwest Class IV/V whitewater kayaking run.

“Looks like only the Middle and Lower sections of Icicle will be open due to the landslide,” a paddler familiar with the situation told CanoeKayak.com. “Depending on how fast the landslide gets cleaned up, there may not be access this season to the upper section.”

The landslide washed trees, boulders and debris onto the road, according to a story by Lauren Braden posted on the Washington Trails Association website on April 3. Hydrologists and engineers are now assessing the damage.

“The upper portion of the Icicle Creek Road has been closed for more than two years after massive flooding washed away a huge swath of the road in 2008. The Forest Service has relocated that portion of road and hopes to reopen it by this Fall 2011, possibly earlier,” the story says.


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