Location: 'NorthShore' Minnesota, ~9 miles ENE from Grand Marais, ~9 miles WSW from Hovland.
Character: Bobsled-boating in a slot-canyon.
Shuttle Length: 0.6 - 0.8 mile (+/-) hike, but you'll likely walk much more than that (to scout and check flows and passage without boat, then back to your vehicle to gear-up and carry up, if flows look good to you and if there's not wood precluding a run).
Put-in elevation is ~805' (~first bridge), ~820 (~second bridge), ~860 (~third bridge).
Take-out elevation is ~602' (Lake Superior mean surface elevation).
Drainage area: ~10.7 square miles
Information (lat, lng, elev, total drop, run length, shuttle length) adjusted and/or verified from best manual extrapolation of online data (via google.com/maps distance measuring tool, acme planimeter, USGS StreamStats, and other resources). IMPORTANT NOTE: Other sources may show differing values. All values should be merely for general comparative purposes. Relatively minor differences (even up to 10-15% discrepancies) should mean very little in the grand scheme of all things whitewater! Far more important (than length, gradient, class/rating, etc) should be other less quantifiable 'character' factors (such as continuous or pool/drop, wide-open routes versus constricted technical rapids, gradual riverbanks versus rocky or vertical-walled gorges, etc).
The put-in is reached by hiking (carrying your boat) up a trail to a bridge just above the slot canyon. While you might want to scout the river on the way up, much of it is in such a twisty back-cut slot-canyon that (in many places) you can't see the river from the lip! The river is potentially runnable from a big falls 1/2 mile further upstream if some 'logging' were done.
The "moves" on this tiny creek primarily involve staying upright and avoiding high speed impact (and possibly injuries to body and damage to boat). At least a few drops are into pools from which the river takes 90-degree twists to flow out, in some cases meaning a 'mandatory piton' (rather than a 'boof') to halt forward momentum and make the turn! In general, this is more akin to a bobsled run in a boat than it is to kayaking in the usual sense. Short boats are highly recommended (maybe bring an old, patched-up beater?). Elbow pads and a creeking helmet (with face/chin guard) would be in order as well.
This 'POV' (stern-mount camera) footage will give you a bit of a feel for this run:
Kadunce from Andy McMurray on Vimeo.
The link below shows a POV run down the Kadunce at medium flows, in the spring of 2011.
5 years ago
by Aerie DeBevec
Visual, hiking up the river to inspect at the few places at which one can see the river in its slot-canyon.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Shuttle is by foot, hiking upriver, therefore ignore the directions below.
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