Every report I had heard of Etna Creek sounded
same. All sources said it was fun, small, and had lots of wood. I put
on expecting lots of portaging, and ended up with a surprisingly
pleasant day. From where I put in, Etna Creek is steep and very
continuous. The run is more or less a two to three mile boulder garden
broken up by a short hundred yard bedrock gorge. Recent flooding made
Etna Creek have no mandatory wood portages, and perhaps three rapids
with avoidable wood. This could change every year.
Take out is easy enough to find, take Highway 3
and then turn onto Main Street. Follow Main Street until the very edge
of habitation and take out at one of several dirt roads that lead a few
yards to the creek. Continue on up the road until you see some corrals
on your left, if you go over a bridge you have gone too far.
The bridge actually goes over Mill Creek, and if you put-in
the corrals you are on Mill Creek and will have one quick log portage,
or you can just put-in below the log portage that lies just downstream
of the corrals. Within a few hundred yards Etna Creek will come in and
more than double the flow. No outstanding features on this run, but it
is pleasant and worth paddling at least once. There is rumor of
waterfalls and lots of wood higher in the drainage.