Other Whitewater Trips on the Lochsa River

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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in Idaho  :: Lochsa River Idaho  :: Tributary-Big Sand Creek Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Tributary-Big Sand Creek Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Lochsa River

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Tributary-Big Sand Creek Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Swamp Creek Trail
Take Out:  Colt Creek Cabin
Difficulty:  Class IV , Class V
Gradient:  160 feet per mile
Run Length:  4.5 miles
Good Level:  300-600 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 
Season Comments:  June
Primary Season: 
Water Craft:  kayak,wwcan
Location:  In the Rocky Mtn Region (ID), of
Shuttle Logistics: 

Turn off Hwy 12 onto Elk Summit Road, one mile east of the Powell Ranger Station. Drive over the White Sand and Crooked Fork bridges to FS 360. Continue about six miles to the top of a ridge. Turn right up the Savage Pass Road; continue six miles to the Colt Creek Cabin Road, FS 359. Turn left; follow for another six miles to the river. Head a couple of miles down the Swamp Creek Trail to where it hits the creek.

Tributary-Big Sand Creek on the Lochsa River

This is a steep wilderness run that should be run by experts only. The run begins fairly mellow at the beginning but quickly transitions to a class IV with an undercut and a left 90 degree turn. The gradient falls out with an 8-10 foot runnable waterfall early on. The middle section drops 260 feet per mile with long continuous rapids some containing blind corners. A mandatory portage called "Pancake" is followed by a stout class V. Class IV rapids continue for about a mile past the confluence of the White Sands with a mile or so of class II-III run out. Watch for wood along the entire run. The scenery is incredible with spectacular granite bluffs towering over the run. Hiking out would be highly difficult.

Last Edited by bradgoet on 5/26/2011

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Idaho Rivers United
  • Travel Guides
  • Hamilton Montana Online
  • Idaho Vacation & Travel Planner
  • Salmon Idaho Online