Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Wyoming, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||49 fpm|
|Max Gradient||101 fpm|
The Day Stretch is the most commonly paddled section of the Clarks Fork. It can be run at
substantially higher flows than the other sections and the shuttle is a breeze. Views of
Yellowstones' Pilot and Index peaks are outstanding from the put-in, and the run is beautiful
throughout--passing a few cabins, but staying away from the road at all times. Shortly below the
put-in lies a nasty drop known as Coin Slot (V+), a powerful pourover funneling into an extremely
tight slot, with most of the rivers flow flushing beneath the slot walls. This has been run at
select (read: low) levels, though it is almost always portaged. Scout from the left, far above
the drop. Below Coin Slot are several enjoyable class IV rapids and an exceptional play wave
before the river begins its charge into the aptly named Adrenaline( V-V+). A long, convoluted
approach studded with waves and holes leads to a compression pourover with a very sticky hole
followed immediately by a 30-foot low-angled slide. The rocks surrounding the pourover are
extremely undercut and sieved out, so plan on staying in the boat for all 15 rounds. I have heard
that seeing Adrenaline's undercuts and sieves at low flows will keep most boaters from paddling
it again. Scout and set safety on river left. The river tapers off after Adrenaline, becoming a
straight-forward float to the bridge near the Painter Store.
Offering a taste of the Clarks Fork character, clean class IV drops, and a scout/portage of two full-fisted class V's, the Day Stretch is an ideal starting point for kayakers looking to break into expert level whitewater and is always a good time for paddlers of all skill levels.
Check out Mike Albrecht's photos of the Upper Clarks Fork
PICK UP A MONTANA SURF GUIDEBOOK IF YOU ARE COMING TO THIS AREA!
The various reaches of the Clarks Fork Drainage:
Styx and Stones (Class V+/VI),
The Upper (Class IV/V+),
Honeymoon (Class IV/V+),
The Box (Class V+/VI),
Lower (Class IV/V), and
Crandall Creek (Class IV).