I ran this last Sunday, July 6, 2014. I would have classified it as a solid medium flow but it was my first time running it (and hiking the trail for that matter), so that might not be right. The Mendenhall gauge for that day was at ~8’. I’m sure that’s not a good reference point, but it’s all I got.
The trail in to the cabin took a couple hours. This trail is definitely not as well maintained as the Herbert Glacier trail. Expect some of the boardwalks to be REALLY slick.
Overall, I thought this definitely felt like “more” than the Herbert (which I had done the previous Sunday). As both johnz1967 and hippotour mentioned, there is significantly more wood in the Eagle River (this year) than the Herbert River. I think some jet boaters have been putting in a lot of time to clear out some of the river-wide logjams in the Herbert. I was able to sneak around the majority of the wood at the flow level I experienced, but there were a handful of sections that required manageable portages. I was doing a lot of eddy catching and scouting.
I hiked all the way to the cabin on the lower lake and put in there. The cabin was a pleasant spot to gear up somewhat out of the bugs. It’s a pretty short paddle down to the river outlet where I took out and scouted as I knew there was a significant waterfall early on. I’d say the section above the falls is 1/4 mile of class 2/2+ water. As hippotour mentioned, be ready to catch an eddy and walk the falls. I did this on river left as it looked a bit more mellow on that side. The right-hand side didn’t look like there were many eddies. I suspect there’s a trail from the cabin to below the waterfall on the lake/river-right side. So if you didn’t want to paddle the short section of the river before the falls, you could probably gear up and put in just bellow the falls.
After portaging the falls, I put in just below this in fun class 2/3 water. The holes seemed manageable (or dodge-able), the waves were fun and there were definitely eddies to catch. I did a lot of scouting due to concerns about wood and because I was alone. Some more experienced paddlers might be more comfortable reading-and-running this entire section in a solid push… Through the majority of the whitewater section of the river, I chose what I perceived to be the more conservative route (alone, wood concerns, etc.). A little ways down the river pinches and there’s a large boulder right in the middle. I went to river right of this and got a really fun, pushy ride (pleasure nozzle?). It was definitely the highlight.
After the rapids, the river mellows out quite a bit but as both previous posters mentioned, there’s a lot of wood to be on the lookout for and dodge. Ultimately, I only had to portage maybe 3-4 times (including the nasty log jam at the very end) but I was in and out of the boat a lot scouting.
About 100 yards before the highway bridge, there is a huge, river-wide logjam. Take out before this and head back to the trail. I actually climbed up and over the log jam and ran into some jet boaters who have been working on getting this log jam cleared up (quite the task!). I thanked them for the work they’d done on the Herbert River and gave them some upriver beta. It looked like their plan was to open up a slot on river left. I took out on river right directly under the highway bridge.
The entire trip took me between 5 and 6 hours but, again, I was in and out of the boat quite a bit scouting. Here are a few videos: