Teton, Idaho, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|TETON RIVER AB SOUTH LEIGH CREEK NR DRIGGS ID|
|usgs-13052200||300 - 2000 cfs||IV-V||00h48m||217 cfs (too low)|
This run is really two very different, outstanding, and relatively popular whitewater runs. These runs, which are often combined, flow through a deep scenic canyon, with pockets of lush forest, dry forest, and dramatic cliff bands. Paddlers in the canyon can scarcely fathom that feet from the canyon rim is an expansive flat agricultural landscape. The large drainage area grants the Teton a long recreation season that is treasures by local and traveling paddlers.
From Highway 33 to the Felt Hydroelectric Project is a classic challenging section of the Teton with numerous class IV and V rapids. The run starts off with several miles of flatwater before booming. When you get to the Felt Hydropower Project, be sure to get out on river right above the dam. At this point you can hike up the hill on the jeep trail 460 vertical feet to the parking lot on the canyon rim, or portage the dam and the nasty rapid below it on the access roads for more fun below. At this point you can paddle Boneyard, a Class V rapid between the 2 powerhouses (and hike out or keep going), or put in near the second powerhouse and continue down the Class III (IV) lower section.
Below the Project is one class IV rapid that can be portaged near the mouth of Badger Creek, followed by a delightful series of five big water class III rapids reminiscent of the New River Gorge in West Virginia. The scenery and fishing in this reach are outstanding, and the run transports paddlers into a canyon that was briefly inundated beneath the reservoir of the ill-fated Teton Dam. Paddlers can still see the effects of the reservoir failure in hillside slumps which reportedly created the 5 big rapids and pools that define the canyon, but the canyon otherwise offers unbroken solitude and natural scenery. Some paddlers enter this reach via the Class IV+ Bitch Creek, with flows in from river right. You can also hike down the access road to the Felt Hydro Project from the parking area on the rim and launch, and some rafters lower their rafts down from the canyon rim downstream in what looks like a harrowing ordeal.
300 cfs is approximately minimum. 800 cfs at
Driggs is about 3' on the bridge gauge at HWY 33 and a lot of fun. Maximum depends on the
boater. The Driggs gauge gives water levels above a lot of tributaries that come in below this
Another nearby gage, which includes some of the tribs below the run, is St Anthony. 500 cfs is considered a rough minimum if you're using this gage.
Lat/Longitude data are very approximate.