Where the river takes a hard bend to the right and then back left, Swirly Canyon begins. This tight gorge is about half a mile in length. This section has lots of boils and strong eddy lines that can easily flip those without a strong brace.
The UPW forms at certain flows at the Grimes Pass Dam site.
The hot spring comes up quick and is easily missed. You can stop for a quick soak. Kayakers can use this as a take-out but it would be a long haul up the trail for rafts.
Ran Swirly's 4/27/13 and there was a sign on the put in ramp warning of a tree across the river. There was indeed a tree fully across the river in one of the narrowest sections of the Canyon but it was mostly submerged at 800cfs from the gauge at the SF Payette/Deadwood confluence. It looks challenging to cut out as its submerged but we were able to eddy out above it and float our 14' oar rig though no problem so there may be no need to cut it out either...
Low: 600-1500 cfs
Med: 1500-3000 cfs
High: >3000 cfs
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.
More Fun Whitewater
In Swirly Canyon
Enjoying Swirly Canyon
Start of Swirly Canyon
Grimes Pass Dam Site
Rafting Swirly Canyon
Kayaking Swirly Canyon
Swirly Canyon Put-in Ramp
Swirly Canyon Put-in
Access Sign and Map
Flip on Payette
Old Dam site: Payette South Fork
Put-in for Swirly Canyon run on Payette South Fork
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
<?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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!