We ran Lolo Creek in the rain
yesterday (a little under 2'). As usual,
the inner gorge was like being in a 2
hr. car wreck. We found one red
boat, but it was stuffed under a
logjam in the hard stuff and we were
unable to get it out without getting
killed ourself. The orange Y was
already up on the river right bank at
Lolo Creek is one of the runs that
folks tend to underrate cuz it is so
manageable at levels below 1' (6"-8"
perfect for a first-time run).
I've always felt that you need to be a
solid Class V- boater to go down
there-- not because any individual
drop is so difficult (or unportageable)
but because you need to be
over-qualified and make no
mistakes-- and the inner gorge goes
on for about 4 miles-- a constant
challenge. Hikes out are just
unbelieveable-- literally 1600' in
elevation and several miles in the
heart of the canyon. For those
interested in geology, Lolo Creek is
very atypical in that its canyon was
cut by a much larger river-- the N.
Fork Clearwater-- before being
dammed by the Columbia Basalt
flows a couple million years ago.
That's why it has its classic setting.
And the run is definitely a N. Idaho
First-timers need to remember that
the run takes on a dramatically
different character above 1.5' (old
gauge) 10.8 (new gauge) and is very
unforgiving. I've shuddered many a
time thinking about hiking out of
there. Glad to hear you made it
We made the mistake of trying to run
at much too high of water level last
week and got
totally humbled! Two out of three of
us lost our
boats and had to make the heinous
climb out of
the canyon. On top of that, I laid my
its side in a ditch on the way to the
Not a good day!
We lost two WS Y creek boats, an
AT2 paddle and a
couple of Werner straight shafts (one
down). If anyone comes across
let me know. I'll try to come up with a
reward if anything is still usable.