Last spring we shared my epic battle against low tide in the mud flats of the Skagit River mouth. On that trip I left the South fork of the Skagit River and paddled out into the shallows of the Puget Sound. After a long day of paddling (and walking in the sand dragging my kayak) I eventually made it up the Swinomish Channel to the town of La Conner.
What I didn't know at the time, but suspected, was that there was a shortcut into the Swinomish…this would have cut at least an hour off of my trip…or more…it's called the Hole in the Wall.
To prove the Hole in the Wall exists, we put in at the sweet little public launch kayak dock under the bridge in La Conner and paddled south to check it out. Tides/currents are a big deal when paddling in the Channel, make sure you check - it feels like paddling upriver if you're going against it.
Above, paddling next to McGlinn Island…below, a shot of Ika Island past the wall. Also, here's a link to a great aerial photo of the entrance to the Swinomish (and just how shallow it can get).
There it is. The Hole in the Wall. We paddled through it - the current was swift. While we were there we saw a small powerboat make it through as well. Just know that at low/ebbing tide the other side of the wall could turn super shallow.
Our paddle back was a breeze thanks to the current pushing us along. Once you hit the bridge you know you're back to for launch site. Check out our spring Skagit to La Conner post here…don't forget to check the tides!
~Paul, Amber, Ann ETC
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