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Smith Creek Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Kootenai River

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Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!
Smith Creek Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Smith Creek Bridge
Take Out:  Dam
Difficulty:  Class V
Gradient:  282 feet per mile
Run Length:  Six miles
Good Level:  150-250 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 

Flows of 150 to 250 cfs are more manageable. Over 250 cfs, beware!

Season Comments:  April, May, June
Primary Season: 
Hazards:  A large avalanche path marks the entrance to a stretch containing an unrunnable 20 ft. waterfall. Portage is high on the left bank. Rapids must be scouted with other possible portages depending on the flow.
Land Ownership:  Check for private property below Smith Falls.
Location:  In the Rocky Mtn Region (ID), of
Shuttle Logistics: 

Drive north from Sandpoint on Hwy 95. Turn left on Hwy 1 and another left into Copeland. Turn left on County Rd 45 also called West side Rd. This road turns into 281; follow up the canyon past the dam to bridge.

Smith Creek on the Kootenai River

Some of the best steep creeking in the Northwest! The run starts with an easy mile of Class II and III whitewater and then jumps to 350 feet per mile for the next three miles. This results in an endless series of long granite water slides, complex rapids and bizarre hydraulics created by huge granite slabs and giant boulders. The gems of the run are two long sections beginning at approximately the third mile. "One Thousand Moves per Mile" rapid lives up to its name instigating an athletic scramble of must-make moves and tight, steep drops. Linking up with "Too Much" the cascade ends with a 50 foot slide. The next 3/4 mile quiets down to a IV+ and continues until the portage marked by an avalanche portage on river right. Stay high and left until past the nasty 20 footer. The run continues with some class IV/V rapids until the power plant.

Last Edited by josho on 5/18/2011

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