Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trips May 20 - May 27

Post em here if you are taking advantage of the good water this weekend. Most everything should be good to go. Just watch out for too high water if you venture south.

10km that look just like this - "Big Creek"

Typical Rapids on "Big Creek" - Nice class III that just doesn't let up


sigob said...

Anne and I are off to Koocanusa area to try a good looking run not in any of the guidebooks. It is roadside and has about 7-10km of great continuous class 3 rapids. The volume is about the same as the Castle. It has no drops on the run, but is totally continuous. It would be similar to Bear creek by the MF of the Flathead. I would say you need to be totally solid on class III. It empties into the lake.

If anyone is interested, just drop a line. The rough plan right now is to head down Friday after work, warm up on Bear creek that evening and then drive to Koocanusa through Kallispell and Kayak Sat. and do some climbing and other such things. I have a feeling the Yaak may be a bit too high for me.

Chris G

sigob said...

By the way - this is one of the nicest looking read and run flushes I have seen. It is a few steps down from the Wildhorse, but definitely a step up from most of what we have around here - a perfect choice for old out of shape boaters like myself who want to get away from the bad spring we are having.

julien said...

why do you want to go so far whereas everything is flowing here now????

sigob said...

1. Much better river with rapids that are more consistent than anything we have here,
2. Daytime temps that actually feel like summer (15+ degrees difference),
3. I tend to get bored of doing the same run over and over. This is a new run not many people know about, and few have done.
4. Rockclimbing nearby and some great road biking
5. 2h to the castle, 4h to this run.
6. Exploration

julien said...

anyone for the sheep tomorrow???? I know a crew who go there and want to join them.
Its a IV/V rive so strong paddler

(and if somebody is heading or know somebody heading to calgary tomorrow morning and give me a drive to okotoks...)
See u on the river


sigob said...

Cameron creek is at medium right now.

sigob said...

Big creek was great. Flows fluctuate a lot during the day, so afternoon will have the highest water. There was one river wide log jam before the bridge.

The two main rapids were at the bathroom at ? Little North Falls ? (Class III+?) and right by the bridge (III-IV). I took out just below the bridge so I could walk up a trail by the river guaging shack. In hindsight, and without time pressures, I would continue the extra km to the lake and take out on the spur road to the north.

This was one of the best class III runs around. It had lots of constant rapids. I would call it a step up from Bear creek by the MF Flathead. It doesn't have the two constrictions like Bear does, but it a bit more constant although it has more room to maneuver. (Montana guide books call Bear a class III-IV, so my grading of BIg Creek could be a little sandbagged). It kept me hopping.

Anonymous said...

sounds like too much fun Chris. I hope I can get to that river soon enough!
Looks like there will be some people meeting at Cardstons Fas Gas Station around 6:00 tonight. if you wanna paddle upper st. Marys be there at 6:00pm tonight!
I won't be there I am out with a back injury! But whomever goes have fun!

Anonymous said...


1. I like Chris's reasons and especially running different rivers, but I also like close runs and with kidz, scheduling's always a bit more complex.

2. Chris - sounds like a great run - we'll be glad to see more pic's.

3. We had a pleasant float on the upper St. Mary yesterday - good weather and water's coming up.

4. We might do an early-day float down the Belly on Thurs. if anyone's interested.



sigob said...

No more picts to come. Things were pretty much like the two shots I took, however the last rapid by the bridge had a few boulders/holes to thread.

I think this is the best class III run around. I can't believe it didn't make it into Montana surf. There is also another creek nearby that is smaller volume, more wood, and a few more rapids and flats.

Anonymous said...


Where is it? I just took a look on Google Earth along Koocanusa and saw a few creeks coming in - ??


sigob said...

Stew, you would probably love Big Creek. To get there, go south of Eureka until you get to the bridge that crosses the lake. Once across the bridge head south for about 12km. A decent pullout and significant dirt road leads up the hill on the right (west). It is signed Big Creek and has several locations with mileage markers labelled on it. If you have gotten to the large overpass bridge, you have gone about 1.5km too far south.

Follow the dirt road up about 6km. You will pass a short paved section called Little North Falls or something. There is an outhouse here. Scout the rapid here. There is a small, but long sweeper right here that wouldn't take much to saw out. Continue up the road to a fork. The left fork crosses the creek. Take the smaller dirt road right and continue up the creek for another 1 or 2 km. There is a small pullout on the right and some logs visible through the trees on the left. This is where I put in.

The take out can either be the bridge on the main paved road. I would recommend heading north from the bridge 2km until a small, steep spur road heads down to the lake. In a 4x4 drive as far around the shore as you like to shorten the flatwater paddle.

The creek is labelled as BIg Creek.

The other run is up something called Grave Creek. This is south east of Eureka about 15km. I went about 15km up the valley.

Another boater I ran into mentioned something about Stillwater creek, but I have never heard anything about that.

Big Creek should be flowing for another week - maybe two. However, it wouldn't be any good at all at low or even medium flows.

There are also some really nice beginner cliffs over on that side of the lake Stew. Could be a perfect place for you and Di to get out. 1/3 the run on Big Creek is roadside, so you could watch the entertainment from the car.