Rapid River (Washington)

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The Rapid River is a tributary of the Beckler River in the U.S. state of Washington in the United States. It is 13 miles (21 km) long,[1] with a drainage basin of 41 square miles (106 km2).[2]

The Rapid River originates at 47°49′19″N 121°7′28″W / 47.82194°N 121.12444°W / 47.82194; -121.12444,[3] at Grouse Lake, many miles east of the Beckler River. The Rapid River flows east, then turns south, southwest and west. It collects a tributary stream flowing from Lake Janus and the west slopes of Jove Peak on the crest of the Cascades. Other tributaries flow from Union Peak, also on the Cascade crest. The Pacific Crest Trail follows the crest and parts of the high Rapid River basin. Both Jove and Union peaks are on the high crest of the Cascade Range, separating the Rapid River's drainage basin from the Little Wenatchee River drainage to the east. While the waters of the Rapid River ultimately empty into Puget Sound those of the Little Wenatchee enter the Columbia River via the Wenatchee River.[4]

From its source near the crest of the Cascades the Rapid River flows southwest and west, collecting numerous headwater tributaries. One tributary stream joins from the north and two lakes known as Cup Lake and Saucer Lake. The Rapid River makes a northward bend. Near the northernmost part of this bend the North Fork Rapid River joins. The North Fork rises miles to the north, its headwaters flowing from Pear Lake, Peach Lake, and Grass Lake, close to Wenatchee Pass on the Cascade crest. Some of the larger mountains in the Rapid River's basin include Valhalla Mountain, Scrabble Mountain, Scorpion Mountain, Sunrise Mountain, Evergreen Mountain, Grizzly Peak, and Fortune Mountain.[3][4]

In terms of river size and streamflow, the true source of the South Fork Skykomish River is the Rapid River and Beckler River, even though the South Fork keeps its name above the Beckler confluence.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Hydrography Dataset". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 4 September 2010.  ArcExplorer GIS data viewer.
  2. ^ "Watershed Boundary Dataset". USDA, NRCS, National Cartography & Geospatial Center. Retrieved 4 September 2010.  ArcExplorer GIS data viewer.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rapid River
  4. ^ a b General course info mainly from USGS topographic maps accessed via the "GNIS in Google Map" feature of the USGS Geographic Names Information System website.
  5. ^ Beckey, Fred (2003). Cascade Alpine Guide: Climbing and High Routes: Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass (3rd ed.). The Mountaineers. pp. 32, 31, 48. ISBN 0-89886-423-2.