Professor Paddle: Best Multiday Wilderness River Trips
Professor Paddle Professor Paddle
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin
Home Calendar Forum FSBO Gallery PPages Reviews Rivers Trips Links
  Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  Search The ForumSearch
Hall of Fame
 Professor Paddle : General : Whitewater Forum : Hall of Fame
Message Icon Topic: Best Multiday Wilderness River Trips Post Reply Post New Topic
Author Message
huckin harms
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar

Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1477
  Quote huckin harms Replybullet Topic: Best Multiday Wilderness River Trips
    Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 5:06pm
With chilly winter temps setting in I got to dreaming.
 
The following is a list of rivers chosen as being the best overnight wilderness runs in the LOWER 48 STATES. 
This eliminates a great deal of other potential contenders in British Columbia, Alaska, and Mexico.  
Here are a few parameters:
 
Logistics- must constitute minimum effort (ie.  no long hikes to the putin), and ideally the run offers road access to putin/takeout.   No flights in.
 
Runs must be at least 20 miles AND be class IV -V missions, but not exceedingly difficult in nature (V+).  No float trips.  Again this narrows the possible canidates ( ie no Mf Salmon, Rogue in OR, Snake Rv- Hells Canyon, Upper Cherry Creek,  ect).  Now I know these "limitations" are quite arbitrary, but should confine the selection to runs that offer maximum payoff in quality rapids with ease of access, permits not withstanding.   
 
Ok, with that, here's the list, in no particular order. 
 
1)  Grand Canyon CO
2)  Selway ID
3)  Clarksfork of Yellowstone WY
4)  SF Salmon ID
5)  MF Feather Devils Canyon CA
6)  NF Moke Fantasy Falls CA
7)  SF Merced CA
8)  Owyhee OR
9)  Stillwater MT
10)  Animas, CO 
 
This is an entirely subjective list that I put together after thumbing thru several books. 
 
SO, are there any that should be included (given the aforesaid guidelines)?
OR should any be removed from the list?   I should note, regrettably, that I've not had the good fortune or opportunity to yet run any on this list.  THAT will hopefully change. 
 


Edited by huckin harms - 26 Nov 2007 at 5:32pm
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
tradguy2
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar
Fabric Fanatic

Joined: 25 May 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1432
  Quote tradguy2 Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 5:13pm
I have to agree on the Selway.  It is the single best whitewater trip I have been on.  IMHO, it is much better than the MF Salmon, which does not meet Harms criteria anyway.
... preparing for a river beating!     
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
fiddleyak
McNasty
McNasty


Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 386
  Quote fiddleyak Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 5:38pm
Fantasy Falls is an amazing run, but it is definitely "exceedingly difficult in nature". If it is included then Royal Gorge of NF American belongs on the list.
Personally, I think not including hike-ins or hard runs on a list of  "Best Multiday Wilderness River Trips" is kind of pointless.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
James
Admin
Admin
Avatar
Sum Dum Guy

Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3574
  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 7:27pm
Hey diddle diddle I hear that fiddle

Then the Lost could go up!




Edited by James - 26 Nov 2007 at 7:30pm
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
huckin harms
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar

Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1477
  Quote huckin harms Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 8:12pm
Yo Fiddleyak
There's a couple differences b/w the Fantasy Falls run and Royal Gorge that stand out, but I won't comment on those not having run either. 
I can understand your perspective, and fully realize that by excluding hike in's leaves out a good portion of the best of California whitewater, but whatever.
James,
cmon man, the Lost is a poor man's Washington wilderness river.  Definitely not a top ten contender even if the road went to the put in, besides it's only 12miles long.   


Edited by huckin harms - 26 Nov 2007 at 8:14pm
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
James
Admin
Admin
Avatar
Sum Dum Guy

Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3574
  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 8:21pm
ok you got me... I just wanted to say "hey diddle diddle I hear that fiddle" in context

my bad
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
Fish
Big Boofer
Big Boofer
Avatar

Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 713
  Quote Fish Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 8:22pm
One of my favorite types of boating is multiday self support. 

One of the best runs on that list... and there are many is the SF Salmon.  It's class IV-V has great camping on sandy benches, with a small trail that paralells the river the whole way.  At the confluence to the MF salmon there is a store that sells beer, as by this point if all has gone right, you should be out.

one of my all time favorites!

http://riverlog.blogspot.com/2005/08/south-fork-salmon.html     for pics and video of past multiday low water missions here!  


Edited by Fish - 27 Nov 2007 at 9:39am
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
septimus prime
Big Boofer
Big Boofer
Avatar

Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 502
  Quote septimus prime Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 8:57pm
Mike has started a thread I was recently thinking about only in a slightly different light.  What are the bare minimums one needs for doing multi-day trips?  What have you guys found to cut weight, really did not need, or have found you can use in multiple or surprising ways?
Jon Shell Bee
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
franzhorner
Big Boofer
Big Boofer
Avatar
outdoors music woodwork

Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 748
  Quote franzhorner Replybullet Posted: 26 Nov 2007 at 10:18pm
The Illinois?? I found that river every bit as out there feeling and beautiful as the Middle Fork of Salmon or Selway but only 30 miles and no hotsprings or Lochsa waiting at the bottom. The rapids can be stoudt and the flashy nature of the river gets you going before you get there. The green wall is a formidable rapid with some consequences especially for loaded rafts. The other rapids are great in that there are challenging lines everywhere and easy routes as well. What a great trip!

Edited by franzhorner - 26 Nov 2007 at 10:20pm
MORE RAIN PLEASE
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
James
Admin
Admin
Avatar
Sum Dum Guy

Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3574
  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 8:20am
Illinois was fun... I liked it but I would not rank it super high....

The flash nature of the run sure does get everyone antsy on day 1 though!!!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
justin
Big Boofer
Big Boofer
Avatar

Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 675
  Quote justin Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 9:36am
What about the Jarbridge and Bruneau in Idaho?  Or are they not hard enough.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
PowWrangler
PP Junkie
PP Junkie
Avatar

Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 793
  Quote PowWrangler Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 9:41am
Black Canyon of the Gunnison River in Colorado fits most of that criteria.  The portage/sieve to whitewater ratio is high enough that I never motivated for it (kinda regret it now) but it's gotta be one of  the most impressive canyons in the lower 48.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
CRG Productions
WW Industry
WW Industry
Avatar

Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 49
  Quote CRG Productions Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 10:49am

The Litte N.F. of the Clearwater in ID is a good one. No hike in, no hike out.

day one portage fest
day two relaxing class 3
day three starts with a bang and doesn't let up til you get to your car.
 
good times!
www.gorgehits.com
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
huckin harms
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar

Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1477
  Quote huckin harms Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 11:24am
Justin,
just thumbed and skimmed the two desert runs you mentioned, both look like fun. 
Dave,
talking with Fred bout the Gunny Canyon really inspired this in a way.  Left it off the top due to the fact that it can be done in a day.  But really should be savored with two. 
Didn't know about a Little nf Clearwater, interesting.
 
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
CRG Productions
WW Industry
WW Industry
Avatar

Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 49
  Quote CRG Productions Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 11:28am
Little N.F. Clearwater.......shuttle blows
do it a day in advance.
 
photos of the run are here...
www.gorgehits.com
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
slickhorn
Admin
Admin
Avatar
IK MainiYak

Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 458
  Quote slickhorn Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 11:57am
multiday boating -- everything else is just practice. 

SF Salmon
Jarbidge Bruneau -- Jarbidge is IV-V, and if you want more gnar, launch on the WF Bruneau instead of the J. 
Illinois -- the flash is only a concern in winter.  It almost always has medium flows into May, with better weather and less possibility of flashing.

Gotta throw a plug in for the GC Elwha here, as well.

Someone asked about packing and minimum gear ... I'm by no means a minimalist (cooler, grill, chair, etc ... ) but I would refer those interested in gear questions to some of Todd G's previous posts.

for me, a minimial kit is a good light down bag, a light tarp, filter bottle, and good safety gear
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
slickhorn
Admin
Admin
Avatar
IK MainiYak

Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 458
  Quote slickhorn Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 12:07pm
multiday boating is a mindset -- it's about getting into river time and living with the natural rythyms of daylight and water flow. 

I often hear people around here complain that we don't have classic multiday trips in WA.  True, but we have a lot of trips that make excellent one or two night trips.  a partial list:

Sauk
Upper Cispus
Lost
Humptulips
Green Gorge
MF Snoqualmie
Upper Kalama
Green Truss
Wynoochee

These are all runs I've overnighted on, or have camp sites dailed in for future trips. 
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
jojo
Paddler
Paddler
Avatar

Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 66
  Quote jojo Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 6:39pm
The only problem with the selway is the access.  If the road is clear it is a low snow year and if the road is not clear you need rednecks with monster trucks.  Don't get me wrong, driving over fifteen feet of snow in some geared down 70's Bronco is sweet, but it does cost a lot.  Not really easy access.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
jojo
Paddler
Paddler
Avatar

Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 66
  Quote jojo Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 6:51pm

Here's two good ones.  Do the middle fork of the salmon into the main salmon into the salmon river road stretch into the riggins town stretch into the lower main.  It's longer than the grand canyon and with better camping.  Or the green into the colorado.  A group from missoula did that 1000 miles this fall and some have continued on to document where the river ends.  Neither has insane gigantic rapids but both have a special place in history.  Just a thought.

IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
Kiwi
McNasty
McNasty
Avatar

Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 435
  Quote Kiwi Replybullet Posted: 27 Nov 2007 at 8:10pm
Humptulips is awsome, best gorge for intermidiates!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
water wacko
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar
Team Jackson

Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2118
  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 6:07pm
Have to add Bridge Creek/Stehekin to this list, at least for WA. Beautiful, remote and hot summer temps.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
Post Reply Post New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum