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Old 03-01-2011   #1
San Louis Obisbo, California
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
"The Falls River" whats runable??

Anyone run the Falls River in eastern Idaho, starts out in corner of Yellowstone and has many waterfalls and cool features as I remember. I went there when I was a little younger and was wondering whats runable around there?? any cool falls / sldies??
I found,are there other runable sections, If anyone has some beta or knowledge of the subject let me know cause I always like to go paddle new areas.

Thank you, ehukai

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Old 03-01-2011   #2
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
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Also known as "Fall River". Sheep Falls and Cave Falls are both on the Fall River. Cave Falls is just inside the border of Yellowstone National Park. When I was a kid we'd go up there and tube down some parts of the falls - I'm not sure if you could get away with kayaking it nowadays or not. Sheep Falls is a neat area. There are some kayaking videos of Sheep Falls on YouTube. Upper & Lower Mesa Falls on Henry's Fork of the Snake River aren't too far from Sheep Falls. Near the Ashton Golf Course is a fun 6 mile class III run on the Fall River.

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Old 03-01-2011   #3
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BZN, Montana
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I'm too lazy to check my guide book but I'm pretty sure sheep falls are on the henry's fork. Falls river is nearby but not the same run.

Edit: Looked in the guide book. Falls river has many "rumored" drops above and below the park and huck "cave falls" which you should be able to follow signs to. I would expect bushwacking and thorough scouting.
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Old 03-01-2011   #4
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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That's the river with cave falls? That's a fun little drop. It's a very wide 20 footer, with a couple different lines possible. Very easy drop. Immediately upstream and downstream the river is pretty flat, although about a half mile or so below cave falls there is a low angle slide. I think that both the drops I described are illegal due to park rules, but I'm not totally sure. There was not much bushwhacking involved in the short section that we ran. The road was close to the river and the underbrush was pretty wide open. I have no idea about what's above and below that immediate area.

The main thing I remember about that river is the long long drive on a pretty straight dirt road to get there. It is not very near the highway.
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Old 03-01-2011   #5
SLC, Utah
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This will give you an idea of where the access points and falls are.

Fall River - Cave Falls Run - River Brain
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Old 03-01-2011   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I ran it in July two years ago at about 350 cfs and I wouldn't want to do it lower. At higher flows it is much more fun. You can check flows at the gauge for
Cave falls is illegal. The drops on the Henry's fork are more exciting than the drops on the legal stretch of the falls river. The Henry's fork is a bit dull in between drops but usually has a much longer runable season than the Falls river.
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Old 03-02-2011   #7
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I ran the fall river class III section at peak flow last year and it was pretty fun. I think is was a few thousand CFS (3000?) It felt like maybe a 4 mile wave train with random holes. In a 14' cat for a gauge the waves were maybe 12-15 high pretty consistently. I ran it in a kayak too and it was just a riot of big waves. I think the bottom rapid is called Bob's nemesis? not a huge deal, run left of the giant center rock at most flows, though there can be a right line for kayaks.
I've run it down to 280CFS in a playboat. the top is really shallow and a bit of a slog but the rapids are cool rock dodging and eddy hopping. Most rafters wait til about 800cfs+

There is a diversion dam about 3/4 of the way down. at lower flows you can run it rightbut it is intimidating. at higher flows rafts ran left of center. there is a huge slow lake above it and you are in no danger of finding youself suddenly facing a death drop unaware. Dropping the wrong line on it looks like certain death at most flows.

Other river characteristics: it starts in YNP. you can drive up to cave falls which can be a park and huck. the legality is questionable. I do know a guy who broke his back here. Not sure if it was bad line or sleeper rock.
Below cave falls there are some slide drops, notably sheep falls (yes, there are two sheep falls within 50 miles of each other). I think this stretch is rarely run due to brush and poison ivy?. It has been rafted above 1000CFS. I have heard the quality of the run is kind of blah. Definitely no major undiscovered vertical falls.
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Old 03-02-2011   #8
San Louis Obisbo, California
Paddling Since: 2005
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Thanks for the info guys, next time I'm out in that neck of the wood I'll have to make a short trip up there and check it out. Cause why the hell not
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Old 03-02-2011   #9
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Last year

Here's a photo of my wife and I dropping the diversion dam side by side. Flow was around 1500, maybe a little more. It's much more fun above 2,000 or 3,000.
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