Hells Canyon of the Boulder is a high quality whitewater run set in a spectacular valley. A bit of flat water leads to a massive rapid that is a portage for most or all paddlers. A bit more chill water leads to the class IV/IV+ canyon section. The rapids are often pretty long and continuous, and several have distinct moves to be made to boof or avoid big holes. We paddled it at 1600 and the rapids were plenty juicy and distinct. Flows in the 3500 range are rumored to yeild Class V big water rapids that are long, continuous, and connected. After 5-10 good rapids the whitewater eases off but remains fun to the takeout. .
There are 3-4 new logs across the river in this section. I paddled it at 1400cfs. All wood in this section was new (looked as though the storm the day before was the culprit). Not sure if high water typically clears this section or if logs might remain for a while.
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Crux section of Hells Canyon
Crux of Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon of the Boulder
Entering the first rapid
Midway through the Crux
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Wild rivers and their enthusiasts got some good news with the release of the new 15-20 year Forest plan for the Flathead National Forest. The decision newly protects 22 streams as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation, based in large part on the advocacy of American Whitewater and our awesome partners and members in Montana. These protections will serve as a vital steppingstone to the designation of some of our Nation’s most outstanding headwater streams.
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