Upper Smith Creek is the remnant of the once classic Smith Creek, which is now virtually impossible to paddle due to a hydropower flow diversion. This flow diversion not only eliminates significant periods of optimal and acceptable flows, but makes predicting the regulated in-stream flow virtually impossible. It also makes Lower Smith Creek unavailable when other nearby rivers are in their optimal range, including Upper Smith Creek. 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.
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.
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.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Final part of 2nd big drop Upper Smith
2nd part of 2nd big drop
Entrance to 2nd big drop
Entrance to 1st bigger rapid
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
<?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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!