At its minimum levels the (upper) Middle Fork is technical Class II. At higher levels it becomes very fast with few eddies.
Putin is below the rock dam at Iron Springs Recreation Area, located 5 miles north of Jessieville on Highway 7.
During moderately high flows the old Jessieville CCC site can be used as an alternate putin. This lengthens the reach to about 1.2 miles. This is located just north of Iron Springs Recreation Area and on the opposite (east) side of Highway 7.
Takeout is the small bridge on Buffalo Gap Rd. To reach the takeout from Iron Springs, drive south on Highway 7. Take the first road to the right and continue 0.25 miles to the bridge.Below Buffalo Gap Road there are very serious willow jungles and timber hazards. Some of these are the result of the streambed being split into multiple channels. Paddling below Buffalo Gap Road is not recommended. In a high flood condition it could become extremely dangerous.
The gauge was discontinued by USGS in February 2009
This is basically a flood creek. It can usually be paddled for 4 to 8 hours after heavy rains. This reach has a watershed of less than 8 square miles.
Check gauge to make sure the river is rising. If the Middle Fork near Jessieville has been falling the window for paddling this reach has probably closed. This gauge is located well down stream of Buffalo Gap Road and includes several tributaries and a watershed of over 30 sq. miles. It can rise for hours after this upper reach has begun to fall out.
Visual Inspection: Check the water level coming over the rock dam at Iron Springs. If the dam is covered (including the tops of the small buttresses) then the stream is at a minimum level. If flow is sufficient for easily paddling over the dam the stream is optimal.
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.
Middle Fork (upper) of the Saline River
Middle Fork below Iron Springs
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