This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV
Length 4.5 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 36 minutes ago 123 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/18/2018 7:55 am

River Description

This is a fun, creek style float and is quite different from the main Payette.

WHEN TO RUN: The run is best done in the spring, while run-off provides higher flows (~800 - 1,500 cfs). Best in Late April - Early July. The Middle Fork relies totally on snow-pack and run-off.

HOW TO GET THERE: From Boise take state hwy 55 north about 32 miles to Banks. Turn left on the Banks-Lowman Hwy. Follow this for about 8 miles and turn left at the sign for Crouch. Follow this (Middle Fork Road) for about 11 miles to a bridge that crosses the Payette MF and park just past the bridge on your right side, just across from Hardscrabble Campground. Or you can putin a bit further upstream, at the bottom of "the Steeps" drops, as high as looks good. 

SHUTTLE: Leave a shuttle across from Tie Creek Campground or, for a slightly longer run, drive down Lightning Creek Road (a right off Middle Fork Road) about 1/2 mile and leave it near the Bridge.

THE FLOAT: There are several class II rapids and two class IV rapids about 2 miles downriver. There are some great sliding pour-overs. I would not run this much lower than 400cfs. An alternative take-out is Tie Creek Campground. Watch for the occasional logs.

Note: upstream of this section, (between sections 1 and 2, between Rattlesnake and Hardscrabble campgrounds) are two very steep roadside sections, "The Steeps", without a run description, called 5+ by locals, with lots of wood and strainers. 

-The Payette South Fork (Canyon, Swirly Canyon and Staircase runs)
-Payette North Fork (Cabarton's class III and Smiths Ferry-Banks class V sections),
-Payette Upper Main and Lower Main.
-Payette Middle Fork runs - Here is the upper class IV section.
-Also the Gutter for 'park-n-play'.

Rapid Descriptions

The Nozzle

Class - IV Mile - 1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Semi-walled out drop - can portage on right, but not fun. Rocks on river left towards bottom are undercut.


Class - IV Mile - 1.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



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Idaho Proposes Registration Fee for Non-Motorized Boats

John Gangemi

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.

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Can You Taste Victory?

American Whitewater

FERC revokes Preliminary Permit for
hydropower project on Boundary Creek in
Northern Idaho.

Bill Hunt


Gary Wilson


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209865 06/18/18 Bill Hunt In "How to Get There" section, changed Rattlesnake to Hardscrabble campground. This run begins below the class 5+ sections, not above them.
1209621 05/17/18 Bill Hunt adding note about the undescribed 5+ drops between sections 1 and 2
1209866 06/18/18 Bill Hunt In "How to Get There" section, changed Rattlesnake to Hardscrabble campground. This run begins below the class 5+ sections, not above them.
1195010 09/02/15 Bill Hunt
1193909 04/27/09 Gary Wilson