Patrick Creek marks the start of an excellent but moderate, class 3 (one class 4) section of whitewater.
Hardest rapid between Patrick's Creek and Panther Flat Campground is on a sharp left hand turn shortly after the river passes under the highway from south to north. This rapid gets harder as flows rise, but can be scouted or portaged with some effort on river left.
Panther Flat can be a good take out for those paddling from Patrick's Creek.
The town of Gasquet lies between the highway on the south and the river on the north. The NF Smith meets the middle fork near the upstream end of town. A bridge crosses the MF just before the confluence.
the run from Patricks Ck. to Panther Flat is a class 3 to 3+ classic. With somewhere between 15 to 20 class 3 rapids in the 5+miles of the run. The run stays consistant with rapids from the start to the end. Of course it also has class 4 Bridge rapid too. I have been down this run in excess of 50 times and enjoy it now as much as the first time down. Both playboats and river running boats will find lots of fun waves and eddys to play with.
The stated maximum flow should be increased as we find 12' on the Jed Smith gauge to be good fun, as the river speeds up and wave size increases. Bridge rapid does get harder the higher the flow goes but can be portaged (and scouted) with a little bit of effort on river left. I've always used 20% of Jed Smith gauge flow to estimate the cfs for this run. The run is doable to as low as 500cfs but 800cfs (2,500 & 4,000cfs@ Jed Smith) would decrease the # of rocks you will hit.
The flow graphed below is for the main fork below where the three forks join together. Each fork should then contribute approximately 1/3 of the total flow. Flow at the upper MF put in, 6 miles above Patrick's Creek might be 1/8 to 1/10 of the flow at Jedediah Park. Flow at the take out, just above the SF confluence will be in the 2/3 range. Actual flows will vary tremendously with different rainfall patterns.
NOAA Flow Prediction page estimates flow on the main fork for the next 4 days.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Middle Fork Smith rapid
National Wild and Scenic River Sign
Smith River Forks Access
Mary Adams Bridge
Hole in the Wall
Middle Fork Gorge Access Sign
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On January 12, 2017, the BLM and Forest Service announced a 20-year halt to new mining activities in the watersheds of the North Fork Smith, Illinois, Pistol River and Hunter Creek in Oregon. American Whitewater celebrates this important milestone with the conservation and recreation partners that we've worked with, and thanks Representatives DeFazio and Huffman and Senators Wyden and Merkley for their dedication to protecting this place. And we thank YOU too for standing up for these wild rivers!
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