The run from Grandjean to Deadwood is 35 miles and is typically divided into segments based on skill level of the group and the wood situation.
Grandjean (rm 140.6) to Bonneville (rm 131.7); class II(IV); 8.9 miles
Most significant drop in this section.
Access just upstream of Bonneville that is accessible for kayaks.
A great class III+ read-and-run down the middle.
Access at a dispersed campsite across from Warm Springs Guard Station that is an easy raft launch.
Good access point for rafts and a great campground to stage adventures in the South Fork Payette drainage.
A short bedrock gorge with a horizon line at the start. This is just below the Forest Road 542 bridge (which can be used as a take-out if you don't want to run this rapid or the Kirkham Gorge).
Easy to road scout at the Hot Spring.
The hot spring is just below Kirkham Rapid on river left. This recreation site is sometimes used as a take-out by kayakers (hauling rafts out would not be practical here but you can still stop). Enjoy a nice soak and take out here or continue on your way.
An alternate access point.
We ran from Warm Springs Guard Station to Mountain View Campground in a 14 oar rig. With flows of 2,250 @ Lowman the run took 3.5 hours. There was plenty of water, but Little Surprise and Kirkham Gorge are a little tight in an oar boat. I recommend that large groups not try to take out at Mountain View, as there is limited space there for boat trailers, etc. I would also recommend 4WD if you are backing your trailer down at Warm Springs. The road is quite steep. Excellent run, incredible scenery.
1660 at the Lowman gauge. We put in just above Canyon creek and almost immediately ran into two mandatory portages (riverwide trees) with a third possible portage that we squeaked over. After that it was a fun and sporty section with Little Surprise being he last rapid we ran.
Ran this from the campground just above Canyon Creek down to Kirkam Hot Springs @ about 1200 cfs. Canyon Creek rapid was ok. There was a fun little drop between there and Bonneville Hot Springs. Also, just above Bonneville there is a neat 3 tier drop rapid. Next was Chapman Creek rapid which was not any trouble. About a mile after that though was the most difficult rapid. Thought it was about a +III or IV. Then it was swift water till Wake Up. Got pushed against a wall and into a bad eddy on river right. Swam there. Last rapid Kirkam Gorge and then some hot springs soaking. Fun run. Very long day.
Helende to Mountain View Campgrounds, 7/11/11. 2400 cfs. Very nice, no logs. Emma has a big hit, and Kirkham always worth a look.
Ran from the campground above Grandjean to the hot springs at Bonneville. This is mostly a II run, with some exceptions. We encountered a log portage above the great III+ canyon that is roadside on the way to putin. Next time I'd launch just above this canyon. We had another portage below this canyon. The only significant drop on this section is visible from the road where Canyon Creek enters the run. This a great III-IV drop with some good features at 2300. Very scenic with views of the sawtooth range from the top of the run.
Ran from the access a mile and half upstream of Bonneville down to Helende (nice campground) and others in the group ran sections from Helende down to Pine Flat. A few logs in play but generally clean and a good time with the kids in the rafts (they put in at Warm Springs Guard Station) with some excitement at Little Surprise.
9 months ago
by Charlie Smith
LOW: 600 - 1,500 cfs
MEDIUM: 1,500 - 3,000 cfs
HIGH: 3,000 cfs and Up
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Kirkham Hot Spring
South Fork Payette
Chapman Creek Rapid
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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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