Yaak, Montana, US
2. Yaak Falls to Kootenai R.
||IV-V (for normal flows)
Yaak River near Troy MT
4.40 - 6.50 ft
The Yaak is one of the coolest runs in Montana. Access is easy, but the canyon has a remote feel.
Green, mossy canyon walls and huge trees provide a beautiful setting. After several miles, watch
for a log pile on river left, just above a left turn, where the river drops out of sight. This
rapid is called "Stonechess", and is the crux rapid on the run. Scout on river left. The water
really hauls ass through this part. Most of the rapid can be seen from the top. Most of what appear
to be holes from above, are actually holes. If you decide to portage, do so on river right. This
rapid has been the scene of much carnage in the past, but most class IV boaters will love it. After
Stonechess is about another mile of closed in canyon, then lets up to class II for three miles or
so. When you see two large trees with broken out tops, side by side on the left bank, you are
coming into the last drop, appropriately called "Good To The Last Drop". GTTLD at most levels is a
fun eddy hopping class IV boulder garden. If in doubt where to be, stay right. The gauge and US 2
Hwy bridge are just below. A USFS campground is south of Hwy 2 below the bridge. There is also a
small campground at the putin.
To get to the putin, go West on Hwy 2 from the takeout for several miles to Yaak River Road. Go
right up the road for about eight miles to Yaak Falls (yes it has been run). Put in at the
campground just below the falls. The Yaak is fun at most levels above 800 cfs, and is optimal at
2500 for most paddlers. Flood stage is 7100 cfs, and is runnable, but epic. NOTE: At levels
about 6500 CFS and above, the portage at Stonechess becomes impossible on river right, and next to
impossible on river left.
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Last Updated: 2006-08-01 19:15:40