Overview: Marble Creek can be run all the way from Camp 3 to the confluence with the St. Joe for a 15+ mile day trip; However, the most commonly run section is from the bridge at mile marker 9, to the Marble Creek interpretive center at the confluence. For a condensed version of Marble with nearly non-stop whitewater, put in at Marble Creek Campground (near mile 4 or 5) and take out at the Boulder Creek Bridge. The upper most section of the creek above 9 Mile Bridge is mostly class II-III swift water, with one possible portage around the remains of an old splash dam. While not as exciting as the section below 9 mile, the road is well above the canyon on this stretch, giving it a wild character.
Marble Creek is very continuous, read and run class III+ with a few standout class IV rapids that should always be carefully scouted for wood. Logs are always a serious hazard on the entire run and can shift around frequently so be extremely vigilant. Swims can be long and painful on this run due to the high gradient, scarcity of eddies and relatively shallow stream bed. Keep your group tight. Most of the run below 9 mile bridge can be easily road scouted. This run is great for those contemplating stepping up to more serious class IV North Idaho creeking. Maps: The following US Forest Service maps are highly recommended: St. Joe National Forest / Coeur d' Alene National Forest. Most Forest Service offices in the Inland Northwest carry them.
Logistics: Exit Interstate 90, at the Wallace, Idaho visitor's center. Work your way south through town following Placer Creek up a small canyon to road 456. Take 456 over Moon Pass (4,931') and down the N. Fork of the St. Joe to the town of Avery. From Avery, go roughly 15 miles down river to the take out at Marble Creek interpretive site. To get to the put in, head south on road 321, up Marble Creek for approximately 9 miles, (continue on 321 to get to Camp 3 for the upper run, but note that at Deveggio Creek road 321 crosses to the east side of Marble Creek, stay on 321 until the next bridge near Forest Service Camp 3). Be sure to stop and scout for new logs and strainers on your way to the put in. If you're coming from Moscow or the South, best access is via St. Maries, Idaho. It's about 47 miles (all pavement) from St. Maries to Marble Creek. If your coming from the North, call the Avery Ranger Station to make sure road 456 over Moon Pass is Open (208) 245-4517.References: American Whitewater Journal, Locals Favorite, St. Joe Drainage, Todd Hoffman, July / August 2006. Planning Tools:Forest Service Camping GuideGauge Correlation - CFS CalderGradient Chart - (by river mile)Gradient Chart - (comparative)Hydrograph - Marble CreekMap of Idaho PanhandleNOAA Snow Gauge - Lost LakeRiver Flow Forcast - CalderSattlelite ImageryUSGS Gauge - CalderNotes: There are several outstanding runs within a 30 mile radius of Avery, including the Skookum Canyon (class III-IV), Tumbledown (class III-IV) and Heller Creek (class IV) sections of the main St. Joe, plus the North Fork of the Joe (class III) and Slate Creek (class IV-V). Also, access to the Little North Fork Clearwater (class IV-V) is from Avery via Fishook Creek.
11 years ago
by Todd Hoffman
There is a hand painted gauge on the upstream side of the bridge at the Marble Creek Interpretive Center. Minimum level is -1. There is no longer a USGS gauge operating on Marble Creek, but from the hydrograph of historical data, peak run off is June 1. Marble Creek flows indicated on this page are calculated by the AW Virtual Gauge which uses a correlation of historic Marble Creek flows and flows from the USGS gauge on the main St. Joe river at Calder. Flow of Marble Creek = (Flow at Calder x 0.1394) + 18.805. Look for the Joe to be running at around 5,000 CFS For Marble Creek to be runnable. Excellent flow predictions for the Joe at Calder are available from the NOAA Northwest Rivers Forecast Center, who also maintain a snow gauge
near at the head of the Marble Creek drainage.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Marble Creek Boogie Water
Put in at Marble Creek Camp
Marble Creek - Winter 2004
Marble Creek Gauge
Marble Creek - Top of Drop
Marble Creek Whitewater
Mouth of Marble Creek
Marble Creek - More Logs
Marble Creek - Log
Marble Creek Gradient
Cataraft on Marble Creek
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<?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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