Boundary Creek - Near Canadian border to Road 2450

Boundary Creek, Idaho, US


Near Canadian border to Road 2450

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 10 Miles
Avg. Gradient 250 fpm
Max Gradient 375 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12321500 250 - 550 cfs V 42h04m 34 cfs (too low)

River Description

Boundary Creek offers paddlers a seemingly endless barrage of continuous Class IV and V boulder rapids.  While the run is 7.5 miles long if you start at the border, most paddlers describe it as 9-11 miles because it feels so long.  This run is best attempted only by paddlers comfortable boat scouting and read-and-running steep class IV and V rapids.  If you are that kind of paddler, you are in for a remote panhandle treat.  A relatively new online USGS gage offers paddlers terrific flow information. 

American Whitewater (John Gangemi) played a lead role in defeating a proposed dam on Boundary Creek.  A new identical proposal has emerged and now threatens Boundary Creek.   

Directions to Boundary Creek Takeout

  • From Bonners Ferry take Hwy 95 N towards Creston, BC
  • At intersection with Highway 95/3 and Highway 1 veer left toward Porthill border crossing and Creston.
  • At mile marker 1 on Highway 1 take a left onto West Side Road
  • Set your odometer to 0 here.
  • Drive 3.5 miles to West Side Road. You will cross the Kootenai River heading toward West Side Road.
  • Go right (north) at the intersection; sign should indicate direction of Smith and Boundary Creeks.
  • You will cross several smaller creeks (Parker and Long) as you travel North
  • Cross Smith Creek at mile 12 (measured form Highway 1) (no sign for Smith Creek but recognizable when you see Smith Ck Falls to the left)
  • Continue past Smith Creek. When road begins to turn west in hairpin and climb look for a dirt road on the right in crux of hairpin. This is Road 2450 at mile 13
  • Follow this road for another 0.2 miles where a road will drop down to the right. Follow this road another 0.3 miles to the corral. Veer left just before corral and find place to park and camp near the river. Be ready for bugs at the takeout. Grizzlies have been spotted here before so be careful with food. The stream gage can be found by crossing the bridge and hiking downstream a short distance.
  • You can ride a mountain bike up Road 2450 to preview some of the lower end of Boundary Creek or do your shuttle at the end of the day back to the car at the putin.

    Boundary Creek: Directions to the Putin from the Takeout
  • From the takeout drive back to road 2450
  • Where 2450 meets the paved road at the hairpin turn right on the paved road and head uphill. The canyon for Smith Creek will be far down on your left. As you climb Smith Creek will climb also eventually becoming visible from the road.
  • Drive past the building for the Smith Creek diversion dam.
  • Turn right on Road #655 (Shorty Peak sign)
  • Turn right on Road #282 (Shorty Peak sign)
  • Turn left on Road #2454 (Boundary Creek/Saddle Pass)
  • It is 6.1 miles from cattle guard on Saddle Pass to Boundary Creek.
  • We typically drive upstream about a mile to a large clearcut to put-in. This gives a little warm-up prior to getting into the steeper stuff. Always be wary of trees on this run.

    I recommend bringing a shovel, axe and or chainsaw to cut your way through deadfall on the Saddle pass road and repair road damage.

    Phone Numbers:
    Bonners Ferry Ranger District: 208-267-5561
    Check that the Saddle Pass road is open. It has a North-facing slope that holds snow.

Note: lat/longitude coords are only barest ballpark numbers.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2013-06-13 02:38:37

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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Associated Projects

  • Boundary Creek (ID)
    AW lead the charge to stop a dam and diversion project from being built on Northern Idaho's stunning and remote Boundary Creek.