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Old 10-21-2013   #1
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Most classic North American Runs?

What do you consider the most classic rivers in N. America? Totally subjective but I'm trying to get a game plan together for the next 5 years of paddling. I would be interested in hearing about any grade whitewater but I'm personally only up for IV-V paddling on the upper end of the scale. I will probably focus my efforts in PNW, ID, CA but I've got some interest in Canada and Mexico as well.

The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 10-21-2013   #2
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
#1 Dolores in South Western Colorado
#2 Grand Canyon (duh)
#3 North Platte -Northgate canyon at flood

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Old 10-21-2013   #3
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 770
Little White Salmon, White Salmon, Eagle Creek, Canyon Creek, The Rogue, Celestial falls. PAC NW is awesome.
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Old 10-21-2013   #4
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Might be good to give your criteria for classic as well. I'm surprised at a few picks already.
The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 10-21-2013   #5
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
The Big South Fork of the Poudre
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Old 10-21-2013   #6
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 428
Kind of depends on your definition of classic. Personal? Well known? Scenary? Most of my experience is in CO but I'll lend my favorites up to IV-V

Class III-IV day stretch
South Payette, ID
Lochsa, ID
Stevens Down Poudre above 4 feet, CO

Class III-IV multiday
Cataract, UT
Middle and Main salmon, ID
Selway?- never done this, ID
Grand Canyon, AZ

Class IV-Vish
Upper Animas, CO
Gore, CO
Bailey, CO
Poudre Gnarrows, CO
Clear Creek, CO (~1000)
Wind, WA
Canyon Creek, WA
E fork Lewis, WA
Farmlands, WA
Green Truss, WA
Opal Creek, OR

Want to do:
Middle fork feather (multi), CA IV-V
Cal-Salmon, CA IV-V
Skykomish, WA III
North Fork Payette, ID V
South Salmon (multi) IV-V
Selway, ID
Gauley, WV

BC- all of it
CA-granite Road trip
Pucon, Chile

Too many more to add, good start though
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Old 10-21-2013   #7
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
I'll put in a vote for the Middle Fork Feather (CA). Pretty much the pinnacle of IV-V overnighters. 49-B on the S. Yuba is one of the best day IV-V runs I have done. The Northern Sierra has lots of other great options in that range: Mill Creek, Deer Creek, Butte Creek, N. Yuba, Giant Gap.

The Columbia River Gorge is the other obvious choice, with Canyon Creek and the Farmlands/Green Truss being world class IV-V.

As far as Colorado goes, the Big South (Poudre) is the best IV-V run in the state.
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Old 10-21-2013   #8
Villainista's Avatar
Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 91
Forks of the Kern
Giant Gap, N Fork American
Cal –Salmon
Garlic Falls, Upper Kings
And the run to top all runs: The Mighty South Fork American!!
A true California Classic !!!
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Old 10-21-2013   #9
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
Day runs: Big south, gore at 2500, 49-b on s yuba is some of the best 4-5 anywhere, south silver, middle kaweah, cal salmon, white salmon, rogers creek, calahan, upper cheakamus

Over nighters: hellsgate on tonto, black canyon, devils canyon of middle feather (the best 4-5 overnighter around), south salmon (not at high water), upper cherry and s merced if you walk some stuff,

Ultra classic class 3 trips: grand canyon, salmon drainage, selway, jarbidge bruneau, salt, owayhee, and if you find yourself in alaska the tatsashini or alsek are hard to beat
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Old 10-21-2013   #10
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 31
I will let you borrow this Glenn, if you don't already have it. It should provide a lot to think about...

The River Gypsies Guide to North America on sale for only $19.95!


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