Slate Creek (Tributary of St. Joe River), Idaho, US
Old Miner's Cabin (Fritz Creek) to St. Joe Confluence
||IV-V (for normal flows)
Slate CreekPhoto by Chris Gorman @ 2.5
Slate Creek runs through a very deep and steep canyon with a narrow and channelized stream bed.
The rapids are mostly slides and steep ledge drops into very sticky holes. Logs are always a
serious hazard, so don't run anything blind. Plan on plenty of out-of-boat scouting. The most
difficult rapids can be portaged.
The section is generally runnable from early April to mid June, but the run off in the area
varies greatly from year to year. Snow may impede access in the early season. Check with Avery
Ranger Station for current conditions on the road numbers mentioned in the logistics section
The following maps are highly recommmeded:
Forest Service - St. Joe National Forest / Coeur d' Alene National Forest.
USGS - Mastadon Mountain 7.5 minute quadrangle.
From Interstate 90, exit at the Wallace, Idaho visitor's center. Work your way south through town
following Placer Creek up a small canyon to road 456
(Placer Creek Road). Take 456 over Moon Pass (4,931') and down the N. Fork of the St. Joe to
the town of Avery. From Avery, go roughly 7.5 miles downriver, past the Avery ranger station (not
to be confused with the town of Avery) about 1 mile to the Slate Creek bridge takeout.
To get to the putin, take road 225 directly north of the Avery Ranger Station (look for the
garbage dumpsters opposite the ranger station). Here the road climbs a steep open hillside to the
canyon rim. Watch out for
logging trucks on this section--they will crush you!!! On the rim, a large powerline crosses the canyon. Here
the road forks and begins dropping. Where the road meets creek level there is a small turn out to
the left which leads to a primitive campground with the ruins of an old miner's cabin. This is the
While 4 wheel drive is not absolutely necessary for this run, it is recommended as the roads can
be sloppy with snow and mud and small rock slides are not uncommon on the section just before the
put in. If you're coming from Moscow or the South, best access is via St. Maries, Idaho. It's
about 40 miles (all pavement) from St. Maries to Avery Ranger Station. Watch for Slate Creek to
the north about five miles upriver from the Marble Creek interpretive site.
Forest Service Camping
Gradient Chart - (by river
Gradient Chart -
Map of Idaho Panhandle
There are several outstanding runs within a 30-mile radius of Avery, including the Skookum Canyon (class III-IV),
III-IV) and Heller Creek
(class IV) sections of the main St. Joe, plus Marble Creek (class III-IV) and
the North Fork (class
III). Also, access to the Little North Fork of the
Clearwater (class IV) is from Avery via Fishook Creek.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-03-20 17:08:26