Whitewater Rafting or Kayaking
Idaho Whitewater – St. Maries River, Clearwater Mountains,
Benewah County, Mashburn to St. Joe River section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.
CLASS II-III 22.4 miles
In comparison to other river stretches in Idaho, this one is easier. The Mashburn to St. Joe River stretch of St. Maries River in Idaho is 22.4 miles long and has been rated as a class II-III section by American Whitewater. The rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking in this state are often tougher than in other states, so keep in mind that a lot of the rivers here are not suitable for beginners. The put-in is not too far from Moscow, ID. Great exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors will make you glad you came. There are no other sections to paddle along St. Maries River than the Mashburn to St. Joe River section. The Clearwater mountain scenery is wonderful.
The Mashburn to St. Joe River stretch is recommended for paddlers of medium experience; don’t go paddling here unless you think your paddling abilities are okay. The Mashburn to St. Joe River section of the St. Maries River in Benewah County is known to be an average difficulty stretch. This section is long enough for an overnight trip if you take your time, so why not pack your sleeping bag. There’s camping available near the St. Maries River.
If you have some whitewater rafting or kayaking experience, this could be a good stretch for your ability. You might get wet paddling here so you should be prepared. The beautiful scenery of Benewah County and the cool fresh water make the trip here worthwhile. The rapids along this section of St. Maries River are very consistent; the flow is very similar along the whole stretch. The excitement of the St. Maries River rapids are what you probably need. – – Local climate at St. Maries River St. Maries River is a place of average precipitation; of all the months in a year, December is the one with the most snow while July is the month with the least amount of precipitation. At the St. Maries River, the summertime highs are in the 80’s and at night time it cools down to the 50’s. Daytime highs in the winter are in the 30’s and nighttime lows in the 20’s. QUICK STATS: AW Class: II-III Length: 22.4 miles
Idaho Whitewater – St. Joe River, Bitterroot Mountains,
Skookum Canyon: Turner Creek to Packsaddle (Skookum Canyon)
Class III-IV 4 Miles
The whitewater on this run is confined to a narrow boxed-in, canyon stretch about a 1/4 mile in length at Skookum Creek.
The rest of the run is mostly class I and II swiftwater and flatwater.
It can be run down to very low flows (500 CFS) for a low volume creeking type run in summer, and it washes out at medium high flows (above 4,000) turning into a glassy green roller coaster ride.
At medium flows the canyon can rate a solid IV.
This section seems to accumulate logs quite frequently so be sure to take time for a careful scout. Boaters have drowned here. Save this run for when you have extra time on your way from Avery to the Tumbledown section, or for when you’ve run everything else in the area and are looking for something new.
This section of St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon in Idaho is 4 miles long and it is classified as a class III-IV section by American Whitewater. Compared to other paddling spots in Idaho this one is pretty normal. The wonderful Shoshone County scenery and the playfulness of the water are reasons enough to come here and paddle. You might be into whitewater rafting or kayaking or both, doesn’t matter, this area has a large number of paddling places. This is a pretty decent length section, good for a one day paddling trip. There are so many sections to paddle in this river system, the Turner Creek to Packsaddle Creek section is just one of many. St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon has some good rapids that will stir you up a bit, it’s an amazing feeling. The Turner Creek to Packsaddle Creek section of St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon is a stretch that might be a challenge to paddle for those with little experience. The average Idaho whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit harder to master than those in other states, so if you’re visiting here do keep in mind that rivers here are less forgiving. For all you camping people there are campgrounds nearby. The beauty of the Bitterroot Range is a great plus for this river. The Turner Creek to Packsaddle Creek section is suitable for paddlers who have been paddling for a while but who are not yet ready for the really Dangerous rapids, if you are a beginner you should probably look for a different stretch of whitewater to paddle. For whitewater rafting and kayaking it’s a fun place, if you don’t want to risk getting wet this place is probably not for you. You might have to settle for a hotel a bit away from the river if you want to stay the night, and if you make reservations in advance you’re all set. Most rapids on this section are quite uniform, the different rapids along the stretch are similar in magnitude. A good workout and spending some quality time in nature are great attractions for lots of people.
Briefly about the area around St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon: Take a little trip to Tourist Creek while you’re here and Skookum Canyon is a good place to spend some time. Just can’t get enough of the Bitterroot Range. Great hiking is available along the Nelson Peak Trail, getting to Sisters Creek from St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon is a piece of cake. At this river you will always have a good time.
Local climate at St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon: At St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon the summertime highs are in the 80’s. Summer night lows dip down to the 40’s. This stretch of St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon has a high uniformity of rapids, winter nights come with lows in the 20’s to St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon. St. Joe River – Skookum Canyon gets a normal amount of annual precipitation, January is the wettest month with most snow while July is the driest month.