The classic "Upper Lochsa" with great continuous class IV whitewater.
Logistics: The put-in is at White Pine at Highway 12 mile 138.5 and the take-out is at Wilderness Gateway Bridge at Highway 12 mile 122.7. For those looking to shorten the run, alternative river access points include Dead Mile at Highway 12 mile 127.5, Department of Transportation Bald Mountain Maintenance Facility at Highway 12 mile 128.4. Nine Mile at Highway 12 mile 129.5, or wherever you find a convenient pull-out along this stretch of river.
While there are several camping options along the entire Lochsa River, including some nice undeveloped sites, Wilderness Gateway Campground, the take-out for this run, at Highway 12 mile 122.7 (cross the bridge to the campground on river left) offers the most sites and is a popular gathering place for whitewater paddlers in the spring.
Other Information Sources:Montana Eddy Hop Blog - Lochsa Photos and comments.Montana Eddy Hop Blog - High Water Lochsa, Photos.Nez Pierce / Clearwater Nat Forest, White Pine Access
A short gravel road leads to the loading area next to the river. There is only room for one group at a time. Parking is up on the side of the highway and there is limited space.
On the low end of best-flow comments, observations of flows around 1200.
Doesn't look like enough for certain super-boney rapids to not be a mandatory pin-fest / preferred walk.
It is enough for certain other rapids / the trip in general to appear at least worthwhile given other regional options when flows here are at these levels.
It is the author's limited opinion that one is not likely to find any local or experienced partners for boating this section at these flows without at least minimal grovelling / arm twisting / bribery.
Ran this at 11 ft. on the gauge long ago and it's definitely pushy and big but a blast! Watch out for logs/trees. Coupling the upper with wilderness gateway to split creek at high water is an amazing, big water endurance/adrenaline experience!
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Upper Lochsa whitewater rapids:
MP 139.5 White Pine River Access
MP 139.3 Class II-III
MP 138.5 Class II-III
MP 137.4 Eye Opener Class II+-III+
MP 136.3 Lost Creek Class III+-IV+
MP 135.5 Eagle Mountain Class III+-IV+
MP 135.4 Eagle Mountain Pack Bridge
MP 135.3 Lower Eagle Mountain Class III-IV
MP 135.1 Class II-IV
MP 134.5 Fake Onno's Class III-IV
MP 134.0 Keep Moving Class III+-IV
MP 133.5 Stanley Creek Class III-IV+
MP 132.9 Mile 133 Class III-IV
MP 132.6 Mile Long Class III+-IV
MP 132.0 No Sweat Class III-IV
MP 131.6 Lone Pine Class III+-IV
MP 131.3 Holly Creek Class III-IV
MP 131.2 Castle CreekClass III+-IV
MP 130.3 Triple Hole Class III+-IV
MP 129.4 Class II-III
MP 129.0 Mile 129 Class III-IV
MP 129 Ninemile River Access
MP 128.5 County Corner (Highway Station) Class III+-IV
MP 127.9 Class V - Class III+-IV+
MP 126.7 Log Jam Class III+-IV+
MP 125.5 Pass Creek Class II-III+
MP 125.0 Mile 125 Class II+-IV
MP 124.7 No See Um Class II-IV
MP 124.1 Tenpin Alley Class III+-IV+
MP 123.5 Class II-III
MP 123 Turnoff to Wilderness Gateway Campground
MP 122.6 Wilderness Gateway Bridge
MP 122.0 Boulder Creek Rapid - Class III-III+
MP 120.3 Fish Creek - Class III+
MP 120.1 Fish Creek River Access
Just an FYI on the recommended levels posted - 4 ft. is definitely not maximum recommended flow for this stretch, but would be closer to minimum recommended flow. 2 ft. would be a very shallow, rocky level on this stretch. I recommend 6 ft. and above for a true upper Lochsa experience (we've run it as high as 10 ft. on the Lowell Gauge and it was a blast).
River guidebook to the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River.
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Cruising down the Upper Lochsa
Access on the Upper Lochsa
Upper Lochsa 11ft
White Pine Access Sign
Wavetrain on the upper
Big Waves = Big Air
Somewhere on the upper
Christmas Rapid (also called Culvert) 10 ft.
Lochsa Peak '06
Riverboarding Upper Lochsa
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Earlier this week a massive piece of industrial equipment was shipped through the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River Corridor, against the wishes of the US Forest Service, the Nez Perce Tribe, and river advocates. As the shipment moved towards the Wild and Scenic River corridor though, the US Forest Service failed to take any actions to stop its progress. The result was high profile protests, and now a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to act.
Idaho Rivers United is seeking affirmation from river enthusiasts that they represent your interest in protecting the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers from a massive effort to move "mega-loads" of oil infrastructure along the rivers. IRU has a short online form with which you can endorse their efforts.
A proposal to ship massive pieces of oil extraction equipment from Korea across back roads in Idaho and Montana to Alberta is raising concerns from paddlers, conservation groups, businesses, public safety officials, and everyday citizens. Comments on a portion of this project are due May 14, 2010.
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.
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