White Chuck River


The swift waters of the white Chuck River, photographer Ken Larson


The headwaters of the White Chuck River begin at the tributaries fed by the snow melt of White Chuck Glacier, on the slopes of Glacier Peak at about an elevation of 7000 feet.  As it flows lower down the mountain slopes it is fed by two major tributaries, Kennedy Creek and Glacier Creek.  

  The wild & untamed White Chuck River, photographer Kim Brown

White Chuck River gets its name as a collaboration of the English and Native American languages, "White" because of the whiteness that the glacier gives to the water and "Chuck" from the Native American meaning water.  There is a good view of White Chuck Mountain where the Sauk and White Chuck rivers meet from the White Chuck Bridge on forest road #22, this is the road that heads to the White Chuck Bench Trail. The beginning of this trail starts off on an old logging railroad grade has several wonderful vistas of the river and surrounding mountains.


White Chuck River & White Chuck Mountain, photographer Martha Rasmussen

After 22 miles the White Chuck River becomes a tributary of the Sauk River.  At the confluence of the two rivers is a popular boat launch for whitewater rafting on the Sauk River.   This beautiful untamed wilderness river will alter its coarse every couple years washing out forested lands and sending the logs rolling all the way out to the Skagit Bay.  It claimed two bridges, a large section of road and a campground in the floods of 2003 and 2006.