At most flows the Deer Creek ramp is a super fun seal launch. Just don't put your hands down while sliding, you'll get terrible splinters.
Bronco Billy is a long class III wave train that is run down the middle.
More of a III- than a III, but still fun. You can start right of center and boat scout this one.
Staircase is a challenging rapid with a very long swim if things go wrong. There are multiple different lines that can be scouted from a large pull-out at mile 2.3 along the Banks-Lowman Road. A good line can generally be found down the middle while navigating around the holes along the way. From the top of the rapid to the run out is about 1/3 of a mile.
While bank scouting Staircase, take note of the large entrance rock left of center, which is called Whale rock, and the rocks below it, left of center. Many rafts have wrapped on a rock left of center, and there is a sieve rock further left as well.
There is also a sieve below the right entrance rock, on the right line.
This easy class II means Slalom is coming up next.
Slalom is a long rapid with a couple holes to avoid. Start right but immediately begin working left as the biggest hole in the drop known as “See More” is near the start of the rapid on river right. Once you have passed the first big hole work back right to avoid a hole on the left. One final hole is near the bottom right. This rapid is more of a class IV- than a class IV, but it is a challenging rapid with unpleasant consequences if you end up in one of the holes.
Idaho Power now has a gauge at the put in for Staircase that is more accurate than the one on here, which just subtracts the North Fork from the Main.
While there is no gauge on the Staircase section, flows can be estimated. The method used for the virtual gage linked to this page, is to subtract flows of the North Fork Payette near Banks gage, from the flows on the Main Payette near Horseshoe Bend gage. There are several small side streams between Banks and Horseshoe Bend, so this method tends to overestimate flows slightly when those side streams are flowing high.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
South Fork Surf Wave
Dropping in to Slalom
Tight and Right
Deer Creek launch signs
Boat Slide and Stairs
Deer Creek Launch
Raft Launch Sign
Upper Deer Creek Launch
Staircase Panorama, South Fork Payette
Payette SouthFork Staircase Run
Stuck in Hole
Entrance to Staircase
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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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