Peshekee - Peshekee Grade Road (various, up to 18 miles)

Peshekee, Michigan, US


Peshekee Grade Road (various, up to 18 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-III (varies with level)
Length 18 Miles
Avg. Gradient 14 fpm
Max Gradient 36 fpm

wave on Peshekee

wave on Peshekee
Photo of J. Cowell taken 04/09/05 @ 1780

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04043275 100 - 600 cfs I-III 1y269d12h26m ~ 80 cfs (too low)
Undoubtedly too low for any stretch of this run. Ref.gauge Yellow Dog is 31.8sqmi. Uppermost listed put-in is 18sqm;:Flow there may be ~0.5*gauge. At fourth bridge, area is ~44sqmi; Flow may be 1.3*gauge.
usgs-04062200 300 - 5000 cfs I-II 7y110d12h12m 167 cfs (too low)
Almost certainly too low for any meaningful whitewater experience. (We need your input. Add a comment or report about best flows for whitewater.) Gauge (133 sq.mi. drainage) was at end of this reach. **UNFUNDED since 2011**

River Description

Roadside run with numerous possibilities for access (I.E., shorter trips). With the exception of the uppermost stretch, this is generally considerably tamer than the most popular U.P. runs and a nicely scenic float trip with plenty of moving water and class I-II boogie, plus a few more substantial rapids (I.E., pool/drop nature). Length of trip (in early spring) is likely to be limited by how far up Huron Bay/Peshekee Grade Road you can get before it is impassible due to snow. Again, the stouter drops are up higher on the run.

The road crosses the river numerous times. Runs are known to have been made from as far as "seven bridges up from Hwy 41". By that point the Peshekee is a fairly small stream and above there the gradient is very low. (Note: As you travel up the (Huron Bay/Peshekee Grade) road, there are a number of bridges (or culverts) across the Peshekee, but also across numerous sidecreeks. Thus your bridge count may vary.)

From bridge seven to bridge six is the fastest portion (2.7 miles, 23'/mile avg). One of the better options for a short, easy run may be from bridge four to about a mile upstream of bridge one (3.9 miles, 18'/mile avg).

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-09 03:43:08

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-20.0(Explanatory Comment)N/A
-19.5 7th BridgeN/AAccess
-19.0sideroad (to Lake Alice) BridgeN/AAccess
-18.7First Big Drop!!!IV
-17.8Nice long ripsN/A
-17.1Nice RipsN/A
-16.9Significant Drop!N/A
-16.8Nice DropN/A
-16.56th BridgeN/AAccess
-15.3sideroad (to Hebert Lake) bridgeN/AAccess
-15.0Trail bridgeN/A
-14.8Private Driveway bridgeN/A
-12.5Private Driveway bridge / minor ripsN/A
-12.3Great rocky stretchN/A
-12.0Great long stretch!N/A
-11.65th BridgeN/AAccess
-11.0sideroad (to White Deer Lake) bridgeN/AAccess
-10.0Fine stretch ending around an islandN/A
-9.3Hasscib Lake Camp Road BridgeN/AAccess
-7.9Lesser ripsN/A
-7.84th BridgeN/AAccess
-6.6Fine long rapidsII
-6.2Really nice rapidsII
-5.53rd BridgeN/AAccess
-5.02nd Bridge (near Dishno Road)N/AAccess
-4.9Fine rapidsN/A
-4.1Fine RapidsII
-3.4(unknown sideroad) BridgeN/AAccess
-3.1Confluence, W.Br.N/A
-3.0Short narrow swiftsII
-2.5Former USGS gauge siteN/A
-2.51st BridgeN/AAccess
-1.2County Road Ida (bridge)N/AAccess

Rapid Descriptions

(Explanatory Comment) (Class N/A, Mile -20.0)

All distances listed are 'upstream, from mouth' (rather than the usual 'downstream, from listed put-in'). Since early-season runs will likely be from someplace short of the listed put-in (due to roads being impassible), this method should make it more straightforward to determine the length of your available run.


The description (and the following list) mentions various bridges, which are usually counted as you drive up County Road 606/Huron Bay Grade (I.E., as you head upriver). Note that this bridge count does NOT include bridges on sideroads. Thus, as you head downriver, your bridge count will be different than the bridge count on your drive up. There may be additional sideroad or driveway bridges which are not listed here. Therefore do NOT rely on counting bridges (on your way downstream) to determine your progress toward (or arrival at) your intended take-out.

7th Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -19.5)

Gradient upstream of this bridge (for quite a distance) is quite low. We find it hard to recommend any put-in (for whitewater boaters) above this point. (This bridge appears to be at the 545 meter contour on the topo maps, or about 1788'.)

sideroad (to Lake Alice) Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -19.0)

Why not cut off a half-mile and put-in here instead of 7th bridge.

Drainage area at this point is ~18 square miles.

First Big Drop!!! (Class IV, Mile -18.7)

Yowser! Check it out: Google Todd Jones Photos

Nice Drop (Class N/A, Mile -16.8)

A (possibly sticky) wave/hole precedes a fine stretch of rapids almost the rest of the way to the next bridge.

6th Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -16.5)

Good place to get out from the upper stretch. The next few miles are very low gradient. (This bridge is immediately adjacent to a road just marked "Dead River".)

Private Driveway bridge / minor rips (Class N/A, Mile -12.5)

If parking can be found, this would make a great spot to put-in for the next stretch of river.

5th Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -11.6)

A fine long stretch of low-grade rips begins here.

Hasscib Lake Camp Road Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -9.3)

A fine half-mile plus of low-grade rips starts a bit upstream.

4th Bridge (Class N/A, Mile -7.8)

Drainage by this point is very near 44 square miles.

2nd Bridge (near Dishno Road) (Class N/A, Mile -5.0)

This bridge appears to be just downstream of the 1600' contour line on the topo maps.

Confluence, W.Br. (Class N/A, Mile -3.1)

The West Branch Peshekee enters river-right.

Former USGS gauge site (Class N/A, Mile -2.5)

USGS gauge at this site (0.6 mile below confluence of W.Br.Peshekee) listed drainage as 133 square miles.

County Road Ida (bridge) (Class N/A, Mile -1.2)

It does not appear (from online satellite views) that there are any rapids downstream of this bridge. If parking and river access are convenient here, this may make a better take-out than paddling the remaining distance to Highway 41.

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