Luhr Beach to Nisqually Reach

Launch Point

Luhr Beach

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Max Difficulty:  SK III
Paddle Length/Time  8.9 nm/ 10.2 sm / 4 hours
Tide/Current Station  DuPont Warf / Nisqually Reach
Destination  Nisqually River


NOTE:  A Vehicle Use Permit issued by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is required for parking at Luhr Beach

Canoeists, kayakers, and small boaters should beware of hazardous tides, shallow waters, wind, and weather conditions around the Nisqually Delta. There is a boat speed restriction of 5mph in all Refuge waters

Launch from Luhr Beach boat ramp, check the tides there can be as much as a 14' tidal exchange.  It may be impossible to return to Luhr beach at extreme low tide - plan wisely.  For this paddle I recommend that you depart at high tide.  Paddle around the mud flats explore the marshes...head up the Nisqually and find a place to rest along the river.  Make sure you have plenty of water under your keel on the return trip watch the tides to make3 sure you'll make it.

The Nisqually River Delta, a biologically rich and diverse area supports a variety of habitats. Here, the freshwater of the Nisqually River combines with the saltwater of Puget Sound to form an estuary rich in nutrients and detritus. These nutrients support a web of sea life - the benefits of which extend throughout Puget Sound and beyond. Together with McAllister and Red Salmon Creeks, the Nisqually River forms one of the largest remaining relatively undisturbed estuaries in Washington.  The estuary of the Nisqually River has been set aside especially for wildlife. Waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, marsh and water birds...all are attracted to the mosaic of habitats found on the Nisqually Delta. A five-mile long dike currently separates saltwater habitats from freshwater habitats and creates a land of diversity for more than 300 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

Salt marsh and Open Mudflats are washed by the changing tides of Puget Sound. The salty water brings rich nutrients to the variety of clams, crabs, worms, and shrimp living in the mud, while these creatures in turn feed shorebirds, gulls, ducks, and herons.

Paddling through this area you can see many types of bird life and other animals.  there is a large population of seals who swim and play around the mud flats.

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