Clarks Fork Yellowstone - 2. Upper

Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Wyoming, US


2. Upper (The Day Stretch)

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 4.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 49 fpm
Max Gradient 101 fpm

Dan in Adrenaline

Dan in Adrenaline
Photo of Dan Crain by David Schroeder taken 07/02 @ medium

River Description

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

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).



StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2008-05-26 13:50:57


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Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

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June 3 2002 (6077 days ago)
Rick HillDetails
For more info, there is a write up on the GORP website.