March 21, 2007

Lochsa River; Idaho (IV)


Lochsa Falls

Grim Reaper

Split Creek Rapid; "Car Crash" hole

Somewhere on the upper

Eagle Mountain, high water

Oh no...Lochsa Falls, 10 ft.


Sparky said...

This is the ultra-classic Lochsa River across the border in northern Idaho. With it's crystalline green water, incredible play features, and big, stomping class IV whitewater, the Lochsa river is truly a northwestern champ. It's a favorite of locals from Bozeman to Boise, and rightfully so.
The brownwater pictures above were taken at around 10 feet, about as high as it gets with spring runoff. At these flows, be prepared for a full-on bigwater experience - complete with gigantic logs sometime sharing the lines.
The lower Lochsa at anywhere from 3 to 8 feet is one of the best play stretches anywhere; i could seriously spend the rest of my life on this river and be completely content. At around 1000 cfs the lower Lochsa is a great creek run with much more technical drops than at higher water.
The upper is a little more demanding in difficulty and should really only be done at medium to high flows, and is a definite must-do run for class IV paddlers.

Sparky said...

Lochsa Logistics: Class III/IV-IV+ (flow dependent)
Put-in for the upper is White Pine near mile marker 138 on U.S. Highway 12. Lower run put-in is Fish Creek parking area near mile marker 120. Check out Fish Creek while in the area; the rapid just above the confluence can make a great jump-start to a Lochsa day.
Traditional takeout for the lower is Split Creek packbridge, but most kayakers will want to stop at the phenomenal Pipeline (you can't miss it).