Malad (aka Big Wood) - 3. Devil's Washbowl

Malad (aka Big Wood), Idaho, US


3. Devil's Washbowl

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 1 Miles

Devil's Punchbowl

Devil's Punchbowl
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 04/14/12

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-13152500 400 - 1000 cfs V+ 01h14m 1.09 cfs (too low)

River Description

2018: There was a large rockfall that resulted in a huge boulder pile at the bottom of this waterfall, making it unrunnable. 

A short run with a continuous section of challenging whitewater finishing off with a dramatic falls. A fun road scout from the State Park when you're on a cross country trip on I-84.

The late Charlie Beavers did the first descent, captured in the classic film Buck Fever
 A horrible piton, mid-falls on a ledge, which looks like the center line. No wonder this didn't get done for years after that.

Seth Stoenner did the 2nd descent in 2009 at a much higher flow, which gives the gorge some real push...blows his skirt on impact but still paddles to shore- nice!

Check out the video. Dan Simenc and Tyler Allyn making the third and fourth kayaking descents, filmed on June 20th, 2011. Looks like about 700 on the USGS Malad river at Gooding gauge on that day.

In September 2012,  a very solid crew of ID and MT paddlers rallied down there and made another half dozen descents of this serious drop, with most taking hits to the bottom of the boat,  2  paddlers getting stuffed into the left wall just before the lip (both with excellent recoveries), and Ryan taking a nasty hit to his left hand in the middle of the drop, and still managing a roll. At low water, you can see a rock jutting out from the left in the middle. ~400 cfs, estimating from the gauge level on that day.

Here is a nice 2016 descent by Leif Anderson:

On Sept 14, 2017 Alec Voorhees nailed the leadin and drop at around 340 cfs, "a little on the low side but turned out well", he grazed the mid-drop ledge but not too hard.

Below the falls is a class V boulder garden for another 1/3 mile, some good footage of which is in the 2012 BombFlow clip.  Then a half mile of flatwater, then a dam portage that puts you at the start of the nice mile of III-IV down to the lower dam, where you could set a shuttle. 

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-10-01 17:16:00


Rapid Descriptions

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