From the listed put-in, boaters will likely encounter areas of swiftwater often flowing through overhanging alder. (While there are no major (or barely even significant) rapids here, high water may make passage through overhanging brush that much more problematic!) Pinnacle Falls, a big drop and portage for most sane individuals, is 2 miles into this section. While there are plenty of areas of minor rapids, there are relatively few memorable rapids, making this is a reach which is seldom boated.
It might also be noted that, while maps may show a 'Wylie Falls' about a mile upstream of our recommended put-in, all reports are that it is little more than a beaver dam and minor rapids, not worth the bother to find or boat.
This is (reportedly) little more than a beaver dam or small ledge, and may not be worth the effort (nor the extra backroads shuttle and flatwater which intervenes). On the other hand, if you happen to find the roads passable to get up river this far (depending on your vehicle and time of year), why not go for it!?!
A steep and jumbled falls will be a portage for the vast majority of boaters at virtually all water levels.
A low-water, summer hike-in video (via YouTube) shows how steep and jumbled the bedrock is. (NOTE: This has been 'cued' to start at 0:15 seconds into the video. If you restart at the beginning, there is a brief look at "Hills Falls", the first drop of the lower section of the Yellow Dog River.)
As of November, 2004, a USGS gauge exists right at the recommended put-in for this reach.
** We have not run this reach since the gauge was installed, therefore the listed values (Min/Max) are very tentative. PLEASE, anyone who runs this, add a comment here or post to a message board with date and gauge level and boatability evaluation (low/moderate/high) so we can fine tune the min/max.
A boaters gauge has been painted at the CR510 (take-out) bridge on the upstream right side vertical support wall. It can easily be read from standing on the bridge and looking down at the gauge.
The old Paddler's gauge at this location was three bolts in an I-beam. Only one showing (or no bolts, but lower than top of I-beam) is optimum.
A few data points (subject to change):
5.29' 200 cfs
5.05' 150 cfs
4.77' 100 cfs
4.70' 90 cfs
Permits are not required for this reach.
The put-in is pretty remote, in what is known as the "Yellow Dog Plains". Early season runs are likely to find the roads up here impassible, either due to snow or ruts, on dirt/sand/gravel roads. (On my first/only trip up here, we reached an impassible point on AAA Road, and had to hike in the rest of the way.) If the roads are clear and in good shape (or your vehicle has 4WD and good clearance) you may be able to drive to the river, either at the listed put-in or upstream nearer Wylie Falls.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!