Difficulty V+
Length Miles
Flow Range 400 - 1400 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 377 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 01/16/2020 6:30 pm

River Description

The High Falls Gorge is a spectacular vertical-walled gorge containing several large waterfalls and a TOTALLY UNRUNNABLE final waterfall.

At this time, little is known about the safety or appeal of running any of the drops in the gorge. One thing is sure, the gorge should only be attempted by teams of expert boaters with shore support and with experience exploring large waterfalls. It is imperative to scout carefully and take out several rapids above the final 60+ foot unrunnable waterfall.

Historically, the Gorge has been illegal to paddle or even scout, but a recent FERC License has lifted this closure.

Be Careful.


Plattsburgh Area Reaches

Ausable (Ausable Chasm)                                       Ausable, E. Branch

Ausable, W. Branch (4. High Falls Gorge)               Ausable, W. Branch (5. The Flume)

Ausable, W. Branch (Section 6)                               Black Brook

Boquet, S. Branch                                                Boquet, N. Branch

Chateaugay                                                             Great Chazy (Chazy Lake to Miner Lake)

Great Chazy (Miner Lake to Mooers)                      Great Chazy, North Branch

Little Black Brook                                                     Little Trout

Marble                                                                    Salmon

Salmon (Lake Champlain)                                        Saranac (Permanent Rapids)

Saranac (1. Union Falls to Silver Lake Road)          Saranac (2. Silver Lake Road to Redford)

Saranac (3. High Falls Gorge)                                 Saranac (Sec. 4)

Styles Brook 

Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

American Whitewater negotiated a flow gage on the High Falls bypassed reach to monitor flows for recreation and environmental compliance.  The website for the flow information is:




Use this gage for accurate flow conditions.


The estimate used in our river database is based on the USGS gage and is VERY ROUGH! The dam can divert 850 cfs and typically does whenever possible. The likely good flows in the gorge are 200-400 cfs. Therefore the likely good gage reading is 1050-1250, but then you should add in some accretion flow since there are quite a few miles between the gorge and the gage. The take-home message is: use the gage as a general guide and then go to the NYSEG gage linked above for accurate flow information. 


Directions Description

Lat/longitude data are approximate, based on recommendations from Dennis Squires' book and Google Maps.


No Accident Reports



article main photo

AW Appeals a Bad Decision in New York

Kevin Colburn

Earlier this week American Whitewater appealed a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to foreclose possible recreational releases on the Saranac River that was based on bad science, an inadequate review, and procedural problems. It is our hope that our appeal will confirm the need to rely on the best available science to make rational and transparent decisions - that ultimately protect rivers and their enjoyment.

article main photo

Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

2010 marked the 25th anniversary of protecting the Black and Moose rivers!  View an online video documentary on the Moose River and the early role that American Whitewater played in protecting this amazing river.

article main photo

Report on Saranac Flows Finds Missed Opportunities

Kevin Colburn

A report released yesterday by American Whitewater finds that the flows mandated for the Saranac River's High Falls Gorge will likely fail to restore basic ecological functions to the river.  The report critiques the mandated flows using an analytical tool developed by the Nature Conservancy that compares human caused changes in certain aspects of flows that are ecologically important.


Alex Barham


Matt Muir


Kevin Colburn


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1214186 01/16/20 Alex Barham updated image position
1206089 04/05/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1195500 06/20/09 Matt Muir Corrected lat/lon coordinates
1194430 06/26/08 Kevin Colburn n/a