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Wednesday, January 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Pend Oreille River’s Z Canyon a paddler’s hot spot

Peewee Falls into the Pend Oreille River near Boundary Dam (David Crafton)
Peewee Falls into the Pend Oreille River near Boundary Dam (David Crafton)

PADDLING -- Kayaker David Crafton and friends have been exploring trips from my hiking and paddling guidebooks. Last weekend they packed their boats and  headed down the Pend Oreille River from Metaline downstream into the spectacular Z Canyon.

NOTE: The Metaline Falls and hydraulics downstream from the Highway 31 bridge near Metaline can be dangerous any time of year. Scout the waves and powerful eddies from the bridge BEFORE launching.  If they're over you head, pick a downstream launching point on the east side of the river just below the falls at Deadmans Eddy. 

Crafton's photo above show's what Peewee Falls looks like this week, still runnng pretty big.  It comes down to a trickle you can almost boat under in August of dry summers. You can reach the falls in an out-and-back trip from Boundary Dam Campground.

Here's Crafton's post-trip post on my Facebook wall with a notable observation and prompt for lingering at the trip's takeout

Rich, thanks again for another awesome weekend! We did paddle route #77 Pend Oreille River (Z Canyon) last weekend from your other guide book "Paddling Washington". What an amazing trip

You really should mention the Dam spillways during spring run off. Anyone going up there during the spring melt needs to do the dam tour. Spectacular!

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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