But for vast stretches, the Cispus River is a serene waterway that frames the reaches of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and provides a soundtrack that calls to the outdoor lover in all of us.
Beginning in the Cascades and ending at Lake Scanewa, the Cispus flows more than 50 miles and carries several tributaries that eventually connect in the Cowlitz Basin. Fishing along the river is possible but is just a bit tougher, although anglers have been known to enjoy returns of brook trout in the waterway.
Public access to the Upper Cispus River can be gained by taking U.S. Highway 12 to Randle, then taking State Route 131 south to Forest Road 23, then heading up Forest Road 21, which parallels the river. Trout fishing is predominant in summer and fall. More information on the status of the river can be found on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s website.