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Difficulty II-IV+
Length 3.45 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 01/09/2010 6:28 pm

River Description

Quick Facts:
Location: approximately 7.7 miles ENE from Grand Marais, MN.
Shuttle Length: 3.8 miles. (See details in "Directions" Tab.)
Character: Wooded up, underbrushed up, boat-assisted/hindered hike.
Drainage area at put-in: approximately 10 or 11 square miles.

Put-in elevation is approximately 1330'.
Take-out elevation is approximately 602' (Lake Superior mean elevation).
Thus total elevation change is approximately 728'.

Information (lat, lng, elev, total drop, run length, shuttle length) adjusted and/or verified from best manual extrapolation of online data (via, distance measuring tool, and other resources). 2009.05.06

OK, this is in here largely to save anyone else the trouble of thinking about an 'exploratory' on this creek (or, at the least, to warn them what they are getting into if they do). One of my buddies had 'topo-scouted' this run, and saw that it has the gradient and drainage area to make it (at least theoretically) a possibly worthwhile run. On a 'week of rivers' outing, we decided to check it out. Finding it with what looked like a reasonable flow, we set our shuttle and put in.

What ensued was (first) an 'access paddle' (on the initial lower-gradient portion of the run) wherein numerous stretches of the creek had so much over-hanging shrubbery that we coined the term 'kung fu boating' -- using your paddle more like a martial arts 'bo staff' to fend off the brush as you battle your way down the stream. It was so bad, it also was used to describe other rivers: "Yeah, I was on a real 'Kimball-fest' the other day," or "Yeah, it was at least a 4 (out of 6) on the Kimball Scale."

Once we broke free of the overgrown undergrowth area, we were 'treated' to a snagfest. We'd get ashore to scout a blind drop (not wanting to be in this narrow creek past some 'point of no return' before some big drop or unavoidable snag or sieve), leaving our boats at the top, scouting our way down, only to find our caution merited (usually by unavoidable wood), whereupon we would trudge back upstream, shoulder our boats down to some point which appeared relatively boatable for some distance, only to boat a couple hundred yards (or feet!), to repeat the process, with nearly the same result -- more wood and more unrunnable gradient. After enough 'triple-trudges' through the woods (leaving boats ashore, scouting downstream, walking back upstream to boats, to then carry them downstream to some point, only to boat another short piece of river), we finally decided to cut our losses and end what my friend called 'boat assisted hiking', and I called 'boat hampered hiking'. We did our best to head due East to hit the road and hike back to our shuttle vehicle(s).

So, I have no other awareness of any attempts at running this creek. (Anyone have any reports?) For anyone so inclined, it might be a candidate for a non-boating-season hike (with trimmers, a handsaw and/or other gear?) to scout and make it more ready for possible attempt at a run.

Rapid Descriptions


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Directions Description

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Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.



Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1197052 01/04/10 Rob n/a
1197054 01/05/10 Rob
1197075 01/09/10 Rob
1197053 01/04/10 Rob