Smith Creek - Upper

Smith Creek, Idaho, US



Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)

Entrance to 1st bigger rapid

Entrance to 1st bigger rapid
Photo of Nick Bandy by Schizzle taken 05/29/12 @ 12.90 ft

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12321500 600 - 2000 cfs IV-V 41h01m 25.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

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.    

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-05-24 15:58:41


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 12 2012 (2352 days ago)
Fremont ShieldsDetails
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.

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