Payette, N. Fork, Idaho, US
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||110 fpm|
|Max Gradient||200 fpm|
|NF PAYETTE RIVER NR BANKS ID|
|usgs-13246000||400 - 2800 cfs||V||-00h30m||1720 cfs (running)|
This section of the North Fork of the Payette is the 16 miles above Banks and is considered
big-water Class V. The entire run is parallel to Highway 55. It is usually refered to in three
segments: the Top 5, Middle 5, and Lower 5. The Lower 5 is the most frequently paddled. The Lower
5 rapids are more straightforward than those upstream and the run makes a great afterwork Class-V
fix or those looking for a warmup to the upper stretches. From top to bottom the river drops 1700
Classic AW Journal article on the North Fork, circa 1991.
Parts of the Bottom 5 were first paddled in 1975.
The distances in the rapid summary are approximations. If you have more detailed info, leave it in the comments section or please email the regional streamkeeper.
The standard put-in for the top of the run is Highway 55 mile 94.6.
Jacob's Ladder can be viewed from the pullout at Highway 55 mile 86.4.
The put-in for the Lower Five is the pullout at Highway 55 mile 83.8.
The take-out in Banks is at Highway 55 mile 78.8 on river right.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|4.5||Big Eddy Campground||N/A|
|5.1||Foot Bridge Access||N/A|
|6.0||Know Where To Run||5.0|
|6.4||Bouncer Down the Middle||5.0|
|8.8||Lower 7 Put-in||N/A|
|9.0||Screaming Left Turn||5.0|
|10.5||Hounds Tooth, Lower 5 put-in||5.0|
Visible from Highway 55 mile 93.5.
Visible from Highway 55 mile 93.0.
Visible from Highway 55 mile 92.0.
Visible from pullouts along Highway 55 between Big Eddy Campground (mile 89.9) and mile 90.4.
Access at the bottom of S-Turn Rapid located at Highway 55 mile 89.9. This is a good place to camp for running laps on S-Turn Rapid.
Foot Bridge Access at Highway 55 mile 89.2 and a put-in for the Middle Five.
The signature rapid on the North Fork Payette at the site of the North Fork Championship. The rapid is visible from the pullout at Highway 55 mile 86.4.
With 18 holes and more, the Golf Course begins just downstream of Jacob's Ladder and across from Swinging Bridge Campground at Highway 55 mile 86.3.
This is the access below Jacob's Ladder and the Golf Course that allows you to paddle the Lower 7 that adds Screaming Left and Jaws to the Lower 5. The access is from the large pull-out at Highway 55 mile 85.3.
Where the river takes a hard bend to the left away from the road at Highway 55 mile 85.0.
The sequence of rapids that make up Jaws is difficult to scout and not right along the road but near Highway 55 mile 84.5.
Hounds Tooth begins with a couple of big holes and then a move around the tooth followed by a long run out of fun and continuous class IV+ whitewater. This is also the put-in and start of the run known as the Lower Five. The access to this rapid and the Lower Five put-in is at Highway 55 mile 83.8.
After passing under Highway 55 the river bends to the left and enters Otters run which is a series of waves and holes. The preferred line is generally down the left side. You can take-out above or below this rapid. At Highway 55 mile 81.8 an access on river right above the rapid is also used as a dispersed camping site. At Highway 55 mile 81.1 near the railroad bridge you can drive down to an access below the rapid.
Juicer has some big waves and holes and is generally run down the right but beware of the hole at the top right. The rapid is visible from Highway 55 mile 80.6.
The last big rapid with some big holes and waves followed by class IV runout that continues down to the bridge in Banks. The preferred line is generally down the right. The rapid is visible from Highway 55 mile 80.6.