Carp (Marquette) - C) 'Lower': CR553 (Marquette Mtn.) to Hwy.41 (2.0 miles)


Carp (Marquette), Michigan, US

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C) 'Lower': CR553 (Marquette Mtn.) to Hwy.41 (2.0 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 82 fpm
Max Gradient 149 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
MIDDLE BRANCH ESCANABA RIVER AT HUMBOLDT, MI
usgs-04057800 120 - 420 cfs II-III 01h28m ~ 82.8 cfs (too low)
Possible ELF (Extreme Low Flow) run. (Possibly 100-160cfs). (We need your input! Add a comment about gauge reading and corresponding runnability/difficulty.) Ref.gauge (M.Br.Escanaba, 46sq.mi.) may provide some correlation (not assured). Flow here could be ~1.33-1.5 times gauge.


River Description

This is a wonderful, fairly continuous stretch. At low to moderate flows, it may be suitable for novice paddlers. At higher flows, it may be best reserved for aggressive intermediate-to-advanced paddlers (with appropriate caution and safety). There are no significant (named) drops which stand out, but the whole section is a rush if you catch it at high water (I.E., a "full pipe")! Due to fast current, narrow and winding stream, small to non-existent eddies, and high potential for strainers, the subjective rating of this section (at high water) is somewhat higher than the actual rapids would otherwise merit. (That is, the rapids still only rate class II-III, but you better have class III-IV skills and safety awareness.)

From CR553, there is at least 1.5 miles of unrelenting gradient at 114FPM, before things peter out for the flat-but-flowing paddle to the take-out. If the dirt road at the take-out is passable, it is possible to drive upstream to its cul-de-sac, thus cutting out most of the flatwater. At present there is a tree in the river and bright plastic tape tied around tree trunks at this point on the river, providing excellent markers for this spot. The parking is a short carry up a good path from the river.

Many boaters will combine this reach with a run on the (more challenging) upper. See Upper Carp for description of that reach.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-11 18:13:07

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 3 2011 (2211 days ago)
chols906 (153169)
Paddled this today for the first time. It was a lot of fun! I'm fairly new to whitewater though
I've been paddling most of my life. This section challenged me. The water was relatively low too. I
can't imagine this at high water; it would be sick! There were several river-wide strainers (trees)
that I had to portage around which required eddy turns to avoid them. Also I'd recommend pulling
out of the river when you reach the mountain bike bridge. There's not much more excitement
downstream from there and there are a couple of portages required; I just don't think the river
action is worth the portages. Unless Lake Superior is making good waves; then it may be worth it.
Enjoy; it's a lot of fun and beautiful scenery if you have time to look between strokes.


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