Hangman (Latah) Creek - 1. Upper

Hangman (Latah) Creek, Washington, US


1. Upper

Usual Difficulty II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 10 Miles
Avg. Gradient 33 fpm

Upper Hangman

Upper Hangman

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12424000 4.00 - 12.00 ft II-III+(IV) 00h54m 1.29 ft (too low)

River Description

So, you wanna run the upper "canyon" of Hangman? OK here is a brief description:
A coupla things to consider: Number one be aware that there is MUCH agriculture run-off here. The water quality is poor to say the least. Expect visibility to be about 2", which makes reading the water a tad difficult. Number two be aware that rocks (typically nice sharp basalt) can lurk just below the surface and many of the holes and hydrualics could be old car bodies, tree stumps, etc.
Now that the "nasty" stuff is out of the way, the run is rather unique in that it runs through a canyon in the middle of farm country! The scenery is mostly steep basaltwalls with timbered slopes. Really hard to visualize this run exists as you drive to the put-in.

Season:Boy this is a strange one. Typically it is early spring run-off, preferably low level snow from the surrounding farmlands. It helps then to have lots of low lying snow, then sudden rainy, warm weather. Then this run rocks!

Put-in:Most folks use the parking area off the N.Kentucky Trails road. There is a historical marker here displaying the spot where Native Americans were hung! Thus the name.

Take-out: Again this is up to paddlers, but the most popular take-out is at the bridge at Valley Chapel road. Take the right turn at Latah Cr road just before the bridge. There is parking here. WATCH for mud!

Description: The run can be divided into 2 sections. The top half is lively. It contains the majority of rapids that consist of tight turns and small ledges. Perhaps the biggest drop is about 1.5-2 miles below the put-in. By taking the Keevey road turn off to the put-in you can scout this from the bridge. The lower half gets slow and is tiresome by the time you reach the take-out just below the confluence with Rock Creek.
There is good wildlife viewing, so besides watching the creek, keep an eye out for beaver, deer, osprey and heron.

For fun, check out what us playboaters go for: "Dirty Mother wave." This feature is a roadside attraction about 3/4 mile below the take-out. Depending on flow, this is a river wide wave with a curling hole entry from river left and provides an interesting diversion from a long winters' drought!
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2004-07-09 15:08:57

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.

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