Posts tagged: whitewater rivers
RIVERS — Local rafter Tanner Grant compressed his recent six-day whitewater rafting trip on Idaho's main Salmon River into this 11-minute video, listing all the rapids in the 80 miles from Corn Creek to Carey Creek for river runners to view.
He also succinctly shows some of the attractions along the River of No Return from pictographs and hot springs to Buckskin Bill's Museum.
Note that when they launched on July 24 the river was running at about 2,800 cfs, which is considered a low-water run.
RIVERS – The best time to float the Priest River comes and goes, but the next couple of weeks will be worth checking out.
At its extremes – up to 10,500 cubic feet per second and down to 165 cfs – the river is basically too high for safe passage except for experts or too low to float without dragging a vessel over the rocks.
During summer through early fall, when most people would be lured to portions of the river downstream from Priest Lake, the water generally is too low to float without bouncing and scraping along the rocks.
However, inexperienced paddlers running inflatable boats can have a safer, enjoyable float at flows in the 600-1,000 cfs range in the Eight Mile Rapids stretch from McAbee Falls downstream. (See description below.)
Prime times for experienced paddlers farther upstream are:
Read on for more details and notes on flows from Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club diaries.
RUNNING RIVERS — My wife and I and a dozen friends in our would-be rafting group feel your pain if you didn't draw a coveted permit to reserve a launch date for one of Idaho's four famous wilderness whitewater rivers.
We bombed, too.
The competition is stiff for the annual drawing to run the Salmon, Middle Fork, Selway or Hells Canyon of the Snake. But it's funny how some groups never get drawn and others seem to luck out and draw a permit every year.
Everyone who applied this year has received a query from the Forest Service, which is considering a weighted lottery for river permits roughly similar to that used in most states for issuing hunting permits. In other words, every time you apply and don't get selected, you gain chances that give you better odds in the next year's drawing.
It' a good idea? If you have a stake in this, read these details from the Forest Service and email them your thoughts.
North Idaho outdoorsman Todd Hoffman said he's already replied the Salmon-Challis National Forest with these suggestions for a weighted lottery:
- Cap preference points to five.
- Limit trips to one per person per year.
- Allow pooling of applications and preference points.
- Set preference points to zero for any one who draws a permit or who participates in another permit holders trip.
- Release any unused commercial launches to private boaters.
- Create an online follow up lottery for cancellations.
- Implement smaller caps for trip sizes, but create more launches.
WHITEWATER — Remember the mechanical bull riding made popular in Urban Cowboy?
A pair of boaters in a 14-foot cataraft got a feeling for that rotating, jerking motion as they ran Slalom Rapid and got hung up in Seymour's — a keeper wave on the South Fork Payette. The river was running 5850 cfs.
RIVERS — You don't have to wonder what it like rafting the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers this week.
Local adventurer Tanner Grant has put together a nice 12-minute video — rapids are labeled in the flick — made with his Go-Pro cam as he ran the river last weekend.
His group put in at Minam at 5,000 cfs and took out at Troy at 4,600 cfs.
The river was running at perfect rafting flows, he said.
go with the flow
RIVER RUNNING – If you want expert advice on the reliable periods to find sufficient flows in area whitewater rivers, check out the ROW Adventures trip schedule. After all, they’ve been rafting area rivers for more than three decades.
The regional snowpack was about 119 percent of normal last week and some drainages are even highter, said ROW founder Peter Grubb.
His crews plan to run:
Spokane River Bowl and Pitcher now through July 6 (they ended July 20 last year).
Moyie River now through around June 12.
St. Joe River, starting around June 14 through July 4.
Clark Fork River, starting around July 5 and running through summer.
Grubb said he moves the same crew of guides and equipment to each river as it becomes ripe for rafting.
“We call the crew our migrant wave farmers,” he said.