Onion - Falls (PnH)


Onion, Minnesota, US

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Falls (PnH)

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)

John McConville - Tears for Fears


John McConville - Tears for Fears
Photo by Nate Herbeck taken 09/01/14



River Description

OK. This is serious park-and-huck stuff. Gradient is off the charts (OK, not literally, but . . .). Your first view of this long sliding falls is impressive. The first time I hiked up for a look (with not enough water in it to boat, even if I were so inclined), looking at the whole thing I thought 'no way'! Then as I looked at the bottom-most stretch, I thought "I could do that". I hiked up some more and said "by itself, I could do that". Hiked up some more and said "Hmmm, I could see doing that." But . . . feeling good about putting the whole thing together (at a time when there was enough flow) . . . I had a hard time convincing myself I would want to do that. However, a good number of folks have done it. The ride has got to be amazing. And the view is impressive, looking out to Lake Superior (AS IF you have time to take that in, once you are in your boat dropping this monster).


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-11-10 15:45:21

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-0.1Superior Hiking TrailN/A
0.0Lutsen Trail (Bridge) (~8 sq.mi.drainage)N/A
0.1View from the TopN/APhoto
0.2First TierN/APhoto
0.3TransitionN/APhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Superior Hiking Trail (Class N/A, Mile -0.1)

Note: Distance listed is NOT accurate or actual, but merely to sequence the photos/descriptions.

This trail/bridge is (approximately) at the 1180' elevation contour (via topo maps), and lies 1.0-1.1 mile (as measured online via GoogleMaps) upstream of the Lutsen Trail Bridge (at about 900' elevation). Thus, from this bridge to the next, there would be ~280FPM.



Lutsen Trail (Bridge) (~8 sq.mi.drainage) (Class N/A)

Note: Distance listed is NOT accurate or actual, but merely to sequence the photos/descriptions.

This trail/bridge is (approximately) at the 900' elevation contour (via topo maps), and lies 3,803' upstream of mouth (as measured online via GoogleMaps). Mean water-level elevation of Lake Superior is 602'. Thus, from this bridge to the lake, there would be ~298' of drop, making an 'equivalent' gradient somewhere in the 410-420 FPM range. (This is not to suggest anything regarding where the actual suggested put-in and take-out would be, but merely to provide some indication of drop here. Anyone having more/better measurements and info is very much welcome to provide their detail via comments below.)

Also, by my best measurements via online planimeter, drainage area at this point is only about 8 square miles. This should tell you how seldom this river will have enough flow to make any run possible. It will take peak snowmelt and/or significant rains to crank this up, and flow will drop off rather quickly. (Your window of opportunity will be extremely limited!)



View from the Top (Class N/A, Mile 0.1)

Horizon line of Tears for Fears

Horizon line of Tears for Fears
Photo by Andy McMurray taken 09/01/14

Note: Distance listed is NOT accurate or actual, but merely to sequence the photos/descriptions.



First Tier (Class N/A, Mile 0.2)

Andy McMurray - First Tier

Andy McMurray - First Tier
Photo by Heather Herbeck taken 09/01/14

Note: Distance listed is NOT accurate or actual, but merely to sequence the photos/descriptions.



Transition (Class N/A, Mile 0.3)

Transition of "Tears for Fears"

Transition of "Tears for Fears"
Photo by Heather Herbeck taken 09/01/14

Note: Distance listed is NOT accurate or actual, but merely to sequence the photos/descriptions.




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