Difficulty IV-V
Length 0 Miles
Flow Range 250 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 14.4 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 07/13/2020 9:26 pm

River Description

Upper Smith Creek is the remnant of the once classic Smith Creek, but is a good run on it's own if in the area.  While Lower Smith Creek was once the highlight of the region, Upper Smith Creek remains a high quality bedrock whitewater run in close proximity to Cow Creek and the very different Boundary Creek.  Upper Smith offers clean, aesthetic, and fun bedrock rapids and small falls.   The reach is easily accessible by Forest Service roads.      The diversion not only eliminates significant periods of optimal and acceptable flows, and renders Lower Smith Creek unavailable when other nearby rivers are in their optimal range, including Upper Smith Creek.  

The run starts off pretty slow, but eventually smaller bedrock rapids begin to appear.  The second half of the run feels pretty classic, culminating in a great rapid with two 15-20' steps before easing off after the Cow Creek confluence.

Flows can be estimated by calling the Smith Creek diversion at (208) 267-2744, which diverts 350 cfs or so from the creek.  A couple hundred feet below the diversion on river left is a staff gage.  6.4' was a fun, friendly low flow on the Upper Section, 8.1' was a padded medium for the upper.

The run is short enough to combine with Cow Creek, which has water at the same time as Smith.  Cow Creek has a nice drop below the put in bridge, then everything else can be scouted/portaged on the right.  There is one large class V drop and the rest of Cow is IV-IV+

Rapid Descriptions


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Jacob Cruser
2 months ago

We did the run on June 27, 2020 at a friendly and fun, low flow. It could be run a little lower, but would start losing quality. The gage below the diversion was at 6.4' and they were releasing 75-80 cfs per an attendant at the diversion. We also ran Cow Creek the next day, which was in and everything was runnable. Boundary Creek was at around 270 cfs both days.

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Fremont Shields
8 years ago

We did this run a few times while the Boundary Creek gauge (one drainage north) was reading 1,000-1,200. This seems like the type of run that could be run lower, but also much higher. Lots of opportunities to scout and rapids were all pool drop. Other observations while we were in the area: Lower Smith looked far too high. Inch gauge below the dam (start of Lower Smith) was reading 8.1. Cow Creek was also too high and pretty choked with wood, too.

Gage Descriptions

Boundary Creek is one drainage to the north. We do not know how consistant flows will be between the two reaches, but it is better than nothing. 

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



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Idaho Proposes Registration Fee for Non-Motorized Boats

John Gangemi

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.

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Can You Taste Victory?

American Whitewater

FERC revokes Preliminary Permit for
hydropower project on Boundary Creek in
Northern Idaho.

Jacob Cruser


Kevin Colburn


Paul Martzen


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1214502 03/12/20 Jacob Cruser updated image position
1200366 07/06/11 Kevin Colburn n/a
1200367 07/06/11 Kevin Colburn Gage added
1200368 07/06/11 Kevin Colburn Description added
1201396 06/13/12 Paul Martzen Made Boundary gauge visible and put photo on front page
1206490 05/24/16 Jacob Cruser mapped access points
1215532 07/13/20 Jacob Cruser updated name
1215533 07/13/20 Jacob Cruser updated description
1215534 07/13/20 Jacob Cruser updated description
1215535 07/13/20 Jacob Cruser updated description