Temperance - A) The Grade/166 to Sawbill Trail/2 (9.75 miles)


Temperance, Minnesota, US

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A) The Grade/166 to Sawbill Trail/2 (9.75 miles)

Usual Difficulty II(III) (for normal flows)
Length 9.75 Miles
Avg. Gradient 17 fpm
Max Gradient 30 fpm


River Description

Compared with other sections of this river, and to other North Shore runs, this is much less continuous, and has no big drops, but still appears to have fine stretches of rapids for a fine 'up north' experience. There does appear to be at least one or two stretches which could push at least into class III. (Is it possible there could be some class IV hiding somewhere here too? Perhaps not likely, with the low overall and low 'max mile' gradient.) Expect some flatwater paddling across very lake-like areas as well, but most appear to have good rapids leading in and/or out of them!

So . . . have you ever boated this? Help out your fellow boater with a comment (Below) or a report (with photos/video?). Let us know if this is good or not, beginners or intermediates or ?


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-01-12 17:48:36

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-0.0Minor RapidsN/A
0.4Low-grade RapidsN/A
1.0Sawbill CreekN/A
1.1Chutes & LaddersII
1.5Second ChuteI
1.7Second LadderN/A
2.1Possible AccessN/A
2.9USGS site/Bridge (The Grade / FR165)N/A
3.5Light RapidsN/A
3.8More of the SameN/A
4.0Four-Mile RipsN/A
5.2Two IslandsN/A
5.8Koski CreekN/A
6.0Six-Mile RipsN/A
6.4Ledges/Waves/HolesII+
6.9Plouff CreekN/A
7.1Seven-Mile RipsN/A
7.8Pecore CreekN/A
8.6Torgeson CreekN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Minor Rapids (Class N/A, Mile -0.0)

From the put-in, looking upstream, you may see minor rapids (as the river drops through the 1700' elevation/contour). Don't get too excited (thinking about hiking upstream to run this) . . . they peter-out very quickly upstream (into the same sort of ponded flatwater you will be paddling downstream to start this section).



Low-grade Rapids (Class N/A, Mile 0.4)

About 1/3rd a mile of flatwater/ponds brings you to a narrowing and some low-grade rapids. These peter-out very quickly (less than 0.1 mile) as the next ponded area is encountered. Expect to have this flatwater-pond/minor-rapids sequence repeat a few times as you proceed.



Sawbill Creek (Class N/A, Mile 1.0)

At about a mile, the river takes a tight left-hand bend and encounters a fair-sized island. Keep to the left. Sawbill Creek enters from the right. As you pass the island you will again encounter low-grade rapids.



Chutes & Ladders (Class II, Mile 1.1)

After a minor bit of rock-rubble entrance, it appears there may be a pair of nice chutes, followed by some slack-water, followed by a fair-sized island which splits the flow into rocky drops (to either side) into the next pond -- slightly steeper/rockier to the right, more gradual to the left. Both of these rocky drops appear likely to catch wood (the 'rungs' on the Ladder).



Second Ladder (Class N/A, Mile 1.7)

Much like the prior "Ladder", an island, and rocky rapids, likely to catch wood. (Again, slightly steeper/rockier to the right, more gradual to the left.)



Possible Access (Class N/A, Mile 2.1)

There appears to be a road which splits off "The Grade"/165 and reaches to the shore of this ponded area. If this is public (non-gated, non-posted), it could provide alternate access/egress. Coming out of this pond, expect again to find a scattering of light boulderbed rapids leading to the crossing of "The Grade" downstream.



USGS site/Bridge (The Grade / FR165) (Class N/A, Mile 2.9)

A USGS site (for "Field Measurements) lists drainage at this point of 87.6 square miles.



Light Rapids (Class N/A, Mile 3.5)

After the bridge, only a couple very minor rocky rips interrupt otherwise flatwater ponds. A long island divides the flow at one point (makes very little matter which side you paddle here). Just beyond that, as the river narrows, another low-grade rapids occurs. As you spill into the next pond, take a sharp right to find the next outflow.



More of the Same (Class N/A, Mile 3.8)

Yup, another narrowing (coming out of a pond) means another rock-garden rips.



Four-Mile Rips (Class N/A, Mile 4.0)

Following the usual brief flatwater, a small treed island splits the flow as things again spill across rock-garden into the next pool.



Two Islands (Class N/A, Mile 5.2)

After nearly a mile of flatwater paddling (maybe broken by a minor riff or two), a low island is encountered, followed by a larger heavily wooded area (island(s)). It appears best to keep to the left for the main flow and best progress downstream through here. Heading downstream, you'll find one of the longest stretches (so far) of fine boulder-garden rapids -- almost a quarter-mile.



Koski Creek (Class N/A, Mile 5.8)

Koski Creek spills into the middle of a ponded area (coming in from river-right).



Ledges/Waves/Holes (Class II+, Mile 6.4)

A short stretch of river here (between pooled-up areas) looks like it has potential for some nice features. Midway along this short stretch of rapids, there may be a couple ledge/wave/holes worthy of interest, and possible play. (Or not?)



Plouff Creek (Class N/A, Mile 6.9)

Coming at the end of the Six-Mile sequence of rapids, probably unnoticed, unless you look back over your right shoulder, Plouff Creek enters from river-right.



Pecore Creek (Class N/A, Mile 7.8)

As the river takes a mile-right-hand-bend (perhaps amid very minor rips), Pecore Creek enters from river-left.



Torgeson Creek (Class N/A, Mile 8.6)

Torgeson Creek enters (amid no action) from the right. Not far downstream, you'll pick up some final low-grade rips to finish the trip.




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