Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Wyoming, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||89 fpm|
|Max Gradient||147 fpm|
This section is the classic pool-drop day run in the Greater Yellowstone area. Considered the
warm-up for teams planning a trip down the infamous Box Canyon, the Honeymooner is a standout run
in its own right. Peppered with great class V rapids and large features, it is the Genesis of a
long list of epic carnage stories forged in the depths of what is, in fact, the beginning of the
Clarks Fork Box.
As scouting the major drops from the confines of the deepening canyon can be rather tricky and the clean lines are nearly impossible to spot from the boat, it is wise to paddle with someone familiar with this section on your first trip down. About a mile below the bridge at the Painter Store, the river begins to gorge up near a high cliff wall on river left. Below this class IV drop, the action picks up substantially, dropping over 250 feet in the next 2.5 miles. After several tight, powerful class IV-V rapids, Beartooth Creek cascades into the Clarks Fork from river left. The river is gorged up in this section and the scene is quite picturesque. Below here lie two very dangerous and oft portaged rapids. As the river bends hard left over shoals, paddle aggressively to the left bank to scout Big Nasty and Trixie. These back-to-back class V-V+ drops are the crux of the run and their fine lines leave little room for error. One tough rapid remains at the confluence with Crandall Creek before the search for the somewhat elusive take-out begins. If you, or members of your party are unsure where the take-out is, stay off this stretch! The consequences of missing the take-out are life-threatening.
While the rapids are outstanding, and the scenery exquisite, the Honeymooner is a much less forgiving piece of whitewater than the Day Stretch. I would strongly recommend running "Adrenaline" on the Day Stretch with a smile on your face before committing to this run.
PICK UP A MONTANA SURF GUIDEBOOK IF YOU ARE COMING TO THIS AREA!
The various reaches of the Clarks Fork Drainage:
Styx and Stones (Class V+/VI),
The Upper (Class IV/V+),
Honeymoon (Class IV/V+),
The Box (Class V+/VI),
Lower (Class IV/V), and
Crandall Creek (Class IV).
AW Seeks Interim Protection for Wyoming Creeks
November 19, 2010