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.
WHAT ELSE IS IN THE AREA: LOTS!
-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'.
Semi-walled out drop - can portage on right, but not fun. Rocks on river left towards bottom are undercut.
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