Clearwater, S. Fork - Hanging Rock to Cougar Creek Trailhead

Clearwater, S. Fork, Idaho, US


Hanging Rock to Cougar Creek Trailhead (Golden Run)

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 7.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 85 fpm

South Fork - Making the Line

South Fork - Making the Line
Photo of Tor Andersen by Todd Hoffman

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-13338500 400 - 2000 cfs IV-V 00h49m 322 cfs (too low)

River Description

At normal flows this run is continuous class V. If you catch it at low water -just before you need hiking boots- it is technical class IV. I am a class IV boater and this is absolutely my favorite run anywhere. The road is along the river for scouting and portaging. Shorter runs are possible.


The run begins at Hanging Rock (MP 28). You will know it when you see it. The mile upstream is Coyote Falls and should be scouted just to marvel at it. Coyote Falls is 0.3 miles of terror and 0.7 miles of IV+ at low flows. From Hanging Rock down are three miles of continuous rock dodging. You may wish to portage Chuck Rollins at ‘mile post 25.4’. This is followed by two miles of easy water. Then, the action picks up again for another two miles. You may wish to portage Fish Jump at ‘mile post 22.4’. Take out at Cougar Creek Trailhead about ‘mile post 20.6’. The next 6.8 miles are class II with a few easy class IIIs. Check out the Mickey Mouse run if the water here is too high for you.

Shuttle: Road Map

To get to the take-out: Go up Idaho State Highway 14 to Cougar Creek Trailhead around road mile 20.6. Park at the trailhead. It's free.

To get to the put-in: Go upstream 7.4 miles to MP 28 and park in the wide spot upstream of the hanging rock. Stop at Fish Jump, two miles upstream (mile 22.4) and Chuck Rollins, five upstream (mile 25.4) to scout.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-06-10 05:05:58


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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 6 2007 (4279 days ago)
aslan summerdayDetails
we ran it at 700 cfs and it was low, but runnable. i don't think i would go back at that level. at
1000 cfs it was fun and not too rocky.
April 29 2007 (4286 days ago)
Robin CarletonDetails
More info and photos of Golden Canyon at Have Fun Robin
August 5 2006 (4553 days ago)
Chris GormanDetails
Coyote Falls is not
March 9 2006 (4702 days ago)
Ellis CuckseyDetails
400 CFS is *really* low. I think a more reasonable low-runnable flow would be somewhere around 700