Difficulty II-III+
Length 8 Miles
Flow Range 1000 - 9000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 25 minutes ago 1320 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/17/2019 7:46 pm

River Description

One of the most popular boating trips in the state with opportunities throughout the year. Moderate flows provide a great training ground for those just learning the sport. When flows are lower boaters flock to Spencer's for park and play. At high flows this river is a fun ride for more experienced paddlers.

Most of the rapids on this run are class II but with a variety of features that make it a great river for skill building and instruction. Once you pass under the bridge at Gates you are approaching Spencer's Hole. This is a fun rapid but as flows drop it becomes a very popular park and play spot providing dependable playboating opportunities through the summer and fall for paddlers from throughout the region.

Soon after Spencer's you will come to Carnivore which is found in the left hand channel at an island. If you are looking to avoid it you can just take the route around the right side of the island.

Continuing downstream there is some more good class II as you approach the town of Mill City. When you see the bridge come into view you are nearing the take-out. Mill City Falls is just upstream of the bridge and most scout it out before the run as it is easily visible from the take-out. You can take out on river right above the falls or line up for your run and take-out on river right downstream of the old railroad bridge.

Rapid Descriptions

Packsaddle Park put-in

Class - Mile - -53.8
A good boat ramp provides river access at this county park.

The Swirlies

Class - II+ Mile - -52.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Fun spot to work the current and play in the whirpools.

Spencer's Hole

Class - III+ Mile - -49.9

A great park-and-play spot.


Class - Mile - -49.5

This rapid is located at an island so go left to check out Carnivore or just pass by on the right.

Mill City Falls

Class - III+ Mile - -46.9
A fun drop just before you reach the take-out.

Mill City take-out

Class - Mile - -46.8
The take-out in Mill City.


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Craig Seyler
15 years ago

Usually runnable year round. Two major rapids: Spencers hole(III) and Mill City Falls(III). During most flow levels the falls are more technical to the right with the center and left side more mellow.

Gage Descriptions

The gauge referred to here is upstream of this run at Niagara. Another gauge is located downstream of this run.

Directions Description

Take Hwy. 22 to Mill City. The take-out is downstream of the bridge in town and there are a couple different streets you can use to get there. One option is at Hwy. 22 mile 30.3 turn south on Alder, go 50 yds., turn west on NE Wall St., and head 0.2 mile to park along the street within site of the bridge. The take-out is downstream river right of the old railroad bridge. There are also restrooms here.

To reach the put-in, head upstream to Hwy. 22 mile 35.8 and turn into Packsaddle Park. This park provides convenient river access with a concrete boat ramp. An alternate access is available at Minto Park located at Hwy. 22 mile 34.4.

To get to Spencer's for park and play head to Hwy. 22 mile 31.4 turn south onto Central St. Head up river 1.1 mile and park along the road. Parking is limited here with a thin shoulder but there is a trail that takes you to Spencer's. Vegetation obscures the view but you should hear the rapid and just keep looking for the bedrock that extends out into the channel.

No Accident Reports




Matt Muir


Thomas O'Keefe


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191346 11/03/04 n/a n/a
1196589 11/20/09 Thomas O'Keefe
1196590 11/20/09 Thomas O'Keefe
1212701 06/04/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1213364 07/17/19 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position