Saco River - 2.) Conway Rips

Saco River, New Hampshire, US


2.) Conway Rips (Confluence of Swift & Saco rivers to Meeting House Rd)

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 2.65 Miles
Avg. Gradient 11 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Saco River near Conway, NH
usgs-01064500 700 - 3500 cfs II 28d07h18m 1250 cfs (running)

River Description

Conway rips is a popular class II run which commonly has enough water in late June and will often come up when we have extended rainfall in the Fall months. The 2 covered bridges offer scenic photo opportunities and the much of the river side is undeveloped, we can hope it remains this way. If you put in at the West side road bridge over the Swift be careful of the strainer that is on the center bridge abutment especially in high water.

The Rapids between the Swift river put in and the Saco River put in are a normally a fairly easy class II with some maneuvering required in easy current. Below the Saco River Covered bridge is flat water for about 1/4 mile till the next rapid which is short and a very easy Class II then another 1/4 mile of flat water to Power Line rapid a nice wave train with 2 to 3 foot waves at normal levels. at higher levels some nice surfing on right, catch an eddy about half way down Power Line rapid, there are 2 waves but at the right level the one is sweet.

After Power line there is a fairly long stretch of flat water before you arrive at the top of the 302 bridge rapid the last rapid of the trip. On river left just before the 302 bridge rapid you will find the USGS gage station.

The last rapid is the longest of the trip usually with slightly smaller waves than power line but with more maneuvering required. At Medium levels the holes don't look to ominous but there has been a report from Tina Sweet & Darron Laughland of large a large nasty hole that develops at high levels near the top on the left.

There are a number of excellent Class II play spots on this run which makes it a good run for a group with mixed abilities. Darron Laughland wrote, "there are some ledges. great side surfing, medium big water can spin and throw ends. some funky currents below that. at meduim and higher levels there is a great surf wave about 15 yards from the top of the rapid, eddie on river right. its a surf all day wave. several others below that. also - some sticky ledge holes on right about half way down - can also flat spin and pop enders. avoid swimming through this area as there is a vertical crack in one of them thats a bit scetchy."


Put In: Is near the Confluence of the Swift and Saco Rivers

Driving North on Rt. 16 Take a left at the light in the village onto West Side Road, drive about 1/4 of a mile and you will see a covered bridge on the right you can drive across the bridge and park in the parking lot on the right and put in at the beach or you can continue on West Side road till you cross a bridge over the Swift river take a right after crossing the bridge and you can put in under the West Side road on the Swift river and catch a couple hundred yards of mild class II rapids to start your trip.

Take out: Is behind the Center Conway Police station.

Driving on Rt. 113 towards Fryeburg take a left onto Rt. 302 at the light cross over the Saco and look for the first right, Turn right onto East Conway Road, the Police station is on the corner, immediately after the Police station turn right onto Meeting house road and drive to the end you will find a parking area at the end of the road this is the take out.

Thanks to Steve Nason for providing this information.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-03 15:26:28


icon of message No photos found.

Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

The USGS gage is located on the north side of the river near the take-out where Route 302 crosses the river.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Saco River near Conway, NH
usgs-01064500 700 - 3500 cfs II 28d07h18m 1250 cfs (running)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
700 -3500 cfs barely runnable-high runnable II

Report - Reports of Saco River 2.) Conway Rips and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 8 2013 (1985 days ago)
fharrison (153678)
The PUT-IN labeled on the map page for Conway Rips is incorrect. The correct GPS Coordinates are
N43.985238, W71.119228

Rapid Descriptions

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 2.) Conway Rips, Saco River New Hampshire, US (mobile)