The Murtaugh Canyon, a classic run on the Snake River featuring Pair-A-Dice, Let's Make a Deal and Idaho Connection. This is a big desert river with ledge drops, big waves and holes. Idaho Connection features some of the best surfing anywhere.
The river gets very rocky, and steep below 5,500, but kayakers can run it lower down to around 1,200. It has been survived above 30,000 but you have to run Paradise. The character of the river and lines through the rapids change dramatically with flows. In fact, Murtaugh is often described as three rivers in one, because of its three inner canyons that are either exposed or inundated as flows change.
We ran the Murtaugh section at 2600 according to gage mentioned below. Excellent run, class IV with Duck Blind and Lets Make a Deal (depending on the "door") probably with higher rating. At this level you can run multiple "doors" at Lets Make a Deal, including door number 2, which is the easiest and other doors which are much more difficult.
The wrong gage is listed for this stretch. Use the following link: http://www.usbr.gov/pn-bin/dfcgi.pl/?sta=MILI
Also, the minimum level for kayaks (and certain rafts) is more like 1000-1200. There's excellent play at opium hole (mid way through the canyon) and Troll Holl. At flows around this level, the river is confined to the inner rock channel. Overall, the nature is pool drop class III/IV with 2 class IV+/V- rapids (Let's make a deal and Duckblind.) The hole in duckblind, combined with the rapid acceleration of water behind it, and the ledge create a potential for good beatings.
Ran it at 13,000 cfs on 4/16/2011. Huge, big water class IV!!! Lots of fun, but a bad level to swim. I recommend bring a breakdown paddle in your group when running this section at high flows.
Flow data here are provided courtesy of Dreamflows, and are derived from the Bureau of Reclamation website. Note that the USGS gage is above the powerhouse outlet, so does not accurately measure flows.
Bureau of Reclamation Gage:
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.
Let's Make A Deal-19,000 cfs.
Let's Make A Deal
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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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