North French Creek starts near Snowy Range Pass as small rivulets of icy cold water. As these coalesce downstream and away from Hwy 130 they pick up enough flow to float a creek boat. Then North French Creek returns to the road and follows Hwy 130 for several miles down toward Saratoga. A significant majority of this distance is uninteresting flat and filled with beaver dams. However approximately 1 to 1.5 miles of the roadside whitewater is continuous downstream action. There is no real difficulty to the rapids but the boater must be aware that strainers are possible. North French Creek does have a steep wilderness run after it turns away from Hwy 130 but there is a diversion part way down the run that steals most of the water. Thus it is rarely run to my knowledge.
I think there were 2 eddies on my first run down this little creek. The whitewater is continuous to say the least. The run is short but it was great fun to scream down the mountain like a rollercoaster. The run can be made longer by hiking in about 1/8 of a mile to the stream as it meanders across a meadow and turns right to drop down into the whitewater. Beware of trees. During my runs I have not had any bad strainers but they could easily fall across this stream. The whitewater is really class III but it is nonstop.
Always scout this one before boating to make sure you know if the wood is in any of the rapids. Pull it out if you want since the river is not very wide and the run is fun but short.
Choked with wood
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Cody, Wyoming - This August 19 & 20 the Wild West Paddle Club is hosting the 2017 Wild West River Fest in Cody, Wyoming. In celebration of the beautiful Shoshone River, the Fest has events for everyone - Slalom Race, Class II Sprint, Shoshone Canyon Boater Cross, and many other fun activities for the whole family! Weekend festivities are free to the public, with the exception of race registration fees for competitors. You can find a full schedule here and all competitors need to register online in advance.
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