This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I(IV) at this flow (II-III(V+) normally)
Length 11 Miles
Flow Range 600 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 31 minutes ago 220 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 01/03/2018 9:29 pm

River Description

The put-in is on tribal land (Grand Portage band Ojibway) and may be disputed. There is a 1/3 mile portage around Cascades. Take-out 150 yards below the bridge site to avoid confrontation with landowner at site of former border bridge in Pigeon River.

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage: 234 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Drainage area at our listed put-in is approximately 234 sq.mi. (as calculated via USGS StreamStats Beta software).

Partridge Falls

Class - N/A Mile - 0.15
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This falls lies around a bend just downstream of the listed put-in. We have no first-hand info regarding this falls.

The Cascades

Class - N/A Mile - 2.6
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This is (reportedly) a 'mandatory portage' of 1/3rd mile.

We have no first-hand info regarding this stretch of rapids/falls.

marked rapids 1

Class - N/A Mile - 7.45
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

We have no first-hand info on this stretch.

Satellite view appears to show a series of three ledges starting at a 90-degree right-hand bend, ending at a good-sized island.

Confluence with Arrow River

Class - N/A Mile - 8.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The Pigeon takes a big zig-zag (left then right), and the Arrow River (a fairly substantial tributary) enters from river-left.

marked rapids 2

Class - N/A Mile - 9.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Satellite view appears to show maybe a wave-train in a boulder-bed area (with a small island in the river.

"The Tunnel"

Class - N/A Mile - 10.37
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

We have no first-hand info on this feature which is marked on topo maps.

Satellite view shows a considerable narrowing of the river.

Just downstream lies a marked rapids, which satellite view is very inconclusive regarding.

marked rapids #3

Class - N/A Mile - 10.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Satellite view appears to show fairly low-grade boulder-bed rapids.


Gage Descriptions

Gauge/flow analysis:
Drainage area at gauge: 609 sq.mi.
Minimum mean daily flow during gauge period: 1 cfs (1977.01.15)
90% of time flow exceeds: 82 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 1,280 cfs
Maximum mean daily flow during gauge period: 10,700 cfs (1934.05.05)
10/90 ratio: 15.6 ('flashy-ness': under 3 is fairly steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')


Directions Description

Google Maps fails to 'see' the tiny woods roads which are necessary to travel to the put-in for this reach. Boaters are advised to consult detail maps of the area to determine travel needs.

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

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.



Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1198710 11/19/10 Rob Add rapids, gauge stats.
1208672 01/03/18 Rob remove table from gauge description, putting info into simple statement/paragraph form.
1201136 05/24/15 Rob minor edit
1192325 08/26/04 n/a n/a