St. Louis, Minnesota, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||35 fpm|
|ST. LOUIS RIVER NEAR SKIBO, MN|
|usgs-04015438||100 - 800 cfs||I-II||01h09m||366 cfs (running)|
|Likely good boatable flow. Gauge is new. We need your input! Add a comment or report about boatable flows. Gauge (101 Sq.Mi. drainage) is right at take-out, so should very accurately reflect actual flows.|
Put-in: above 1650'
Take-out: at 1510'
Total drop: ~140'
Topo maps reveal a series of marked rapids on this stretch, and satellite view seems to show additional areas of likely rapids. We have no specific knowledge or information other than what can be gleaned from Google satellite views. Thus, class/rating is strictly conjecture (until/unless we get first-hand info from someone). The river looks to be fairly good sized and fairly 'open' (not badly overhung by trees, therefore appears fairly clear of problems with deadfall -- obviously subject to change).
Resolution on Google Satellite view is pretty good. Go to the 'Maps' tab, click 'Satellite', double-click near the put-in (not on the icon, just right near it), and zoom in to near maximum resolution, then drag/scroll to do a 'virtual walk' of this stretch of river.
Have your seen this stretch? Have you boated it? Can you provide any details? Add a comment or report! Photos (if you have them) would be great!
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.4||marked rapids #1 - Upper Island Drop||N/A|
|4.6||marked rapids #2 - Downstream of RR||N/A|
|6.5||marked rapids #3 - Islands and shoals||N/A|
|7.1||marked rapids #4 - Lower Island drop||N/A|
(This is more than seven miles upstream of listed put-in. There does not appear to be good access to this location. There may be logging roads or other means (which are not 'known' to Google and not apparent on satellite view) that will get you here. They are being listed/shown here only for information for any more intrepid explorers.)
Coming west out of Seven Beaver Lake, the river turns sharply south along the railroad. The topo map shows a marked rapids here. Nothing is particularly obvious from satellite view other than that the river narrows significantly through here.
At this location on the topo maps, there is a marked "Portage"! This suggests there may be some good rapids or falls in the next section of river which early explorers needed to portage in their craft. Sounds like it could be an opportunity to explore at good water levels!
Another marked 'portage', suggesting another stretch of potentially interesting river!
Greater flow appears to go left of an island at this location, lesser flow goes to the right. Check out each for possible run/play. After a brief pool, the gradient picks up again. The river drops more than 20' in less than a half-mile (from above the island to the end of the boulderbed below the mid-pool). OK, that's not major gradient, but it should be good for some good low-grade rapids.
After passing under the Duluth-Masabi Rail line a number of islands will be encountered. The river hooks to the left (south) and narrows considerably. There are apparent ledges and boulderbed down to the next wider pool.
Apparent ledges and boulderbed, and a series of islands to split the flow.
Another large island splits the river. Rocky rapids appear to populate both channels.