Difficulty II-V
Length 5.4 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 10:40 am

River Description


This is an incredible run in a deep, scenic canyon. A great variety of steep straight slides, steep twisting slides, a vertical falls or two, and a couple mandatory portages. This is one you really want to do with someone who knows the run, or it will be a L-O-N-G day.

Major drops (not necessarily a complete list, not necessarily in order) give you an idea of this run: Triple Drop (the final pitch, "The Admiral", has only been run twice to our knowledge), Serpent's Slide, Boulder Falls, Portage Down the Middle, Pitchfork Falls (never run, to our awareness), Ski Jump, Up Against the Wall.

Of utmost importance, be aware that (for many folks) the take-out for portage around Pitchfork Falls is approximately 0.5 mile upstream of the falls. The further downstream you go, the tougher the carry out! You must carry up to the canyon rim, head downstream, then make a steep climb back down to the river. Ropes and knowledge of rappelling techniques may be necessary. (We have anecdotal awareness that some DT regulars have a 'last chance' eddy and a far less strenuous left-side portage worked out.)

Public take-out is by paddling 1/2 mile (to your right) on Lake Superior to Paradise Beach.

Note: While some call this "Devils Track" or "Devil's Track", the consensus information I have suggests those are incorrect names for the river -- it is simply the Devil Track.

Rapid Descriptions

NOTICE:

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The deep canyon and high shadows (on aerial views) preclude identifying most of the features on this run. As a result, most of what is listed here are 'waypoints' rather than rapids. As stated in the description, this is serious stuff. Absent someone who knows the run, you will need to exercise major caution, getting out to scout numerous times where the river twists and drops steeply away. Near-vertical walls in crux locations make scouting and portaging difficult to impossible in places. Serious rock-climbing skills and equipment are strongly recommended. Notably "Pitchfork Falls" (or "Barrier Falls"), which is about a mile up from Hwy.61, requires awareness to get out early to portage.

Enjoy the following video showing some of this run. Note: I have cued it to start at 4:49 into the video to skip some extended coverage of a couple initial runs of the first pitch, one of which resulted in a swim. If you replay the video (or click/drag the slider back to the beginning) you will see that additional coverage.

Triple Drop

Class - N/A Mile - 1.42
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Take out to scout this series!

First Pitch

Class - N/A Mile - 1.421

The first pitch is fairly simple drop into a bit of a crease, usually run fairly tight to the river-right wall.

Second Pitch

Class - N/A Mile - 1.422

Second drop puts you into a small pool. Again, usually run tight to the river-right wall.

The majority of boaters want to be certain to be in control to take out immediately and portage the final drop.

Third Falls

Class - N/A Mile - 1.423

A narrow alley of water accelerates to a spreading cascade.
While it has been run, most folks will portage.

Confluence, Little Devil Track

Class - N/A Mile - 2.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Superior Hiking Trail Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 2.62
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Confluence, Woods Creek

Class - N/A Mile - 4.85
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

USGS site

Class - N/A Mile - 5.08
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A USGS sampling site (for "Field Measurements" on random occasions) lists drainage at this point as 74.8 square miles.

Mouth

Class - N/A Mile - 5.14
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Bear right to beach.

Comments

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Paddlers gauge on downstream left of bridge at put in. Levels between 0.7' and 1.3' are runnable.

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

article main photo

Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

12/1/2003
Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.
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Rob

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1204097 01/30/15 Rob minor edit (adding features/waypoints)
1211793 04/02/19 Rob updated image position
1192322 08/26/04 n/a n/a