Should I head to the Lochsa or the North Fork of the Payette. - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 05-15-2013   #1
 
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
 
Farmington, Utah
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Should I head to the Lochsa or the North Fork of the Payette.

I have 4 days off for memorial day. I am going kayaking somewhere. Options are North Fork or Lochsa. I love the North Fork, but have never ran the Lochsa. Thoughts???

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Old 05-15-2013   #2
 
Portland, Oregon
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If you are going for the party go to the lochsa as its a great time memorial day wknd. As the whitewater goes I would definitely go for the NF payette. I grew up around the lochsa and love that river as it is pretty non-consequential straightforward big water class 4 but the couple of times we did the NF the whitewater blew me away (the 15 miles of continuous class 5 whitewater was unbelievable). Don't know if this will help as its coming from a rafters perspective.
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Old 05-15-2013   #3
 
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North Fork it is thanks.
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Old 05-15-2013   #4
 
Boise, Idaho
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North Fork is super low right now. That may be good or bad, depending on what you're wanting.

Wait.... when did a rafter do the NF? Cat boat? I can only think of a handful of rafts that have been down the NF.
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Old 05-15-2013   #5
 
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How low is low, and what will the Lochsa be at? LOW?Med?High?
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Old 05-15-2013   #6
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NFP is a pretty fun flow right now, but I'm a cat boater. Tons of fun surf holes on the lower 5 especially. Locsha will likely be in the medium range unless they get a little heat spell and some rain. Dirty 30 is a fun one too.
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Old 05-15-2013   #7
 
Boise, Idaho
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It's actually at 1,200 now... was around 700 a few days ago and the past few weeks.
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Old 05-15-2013   #8
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It's been in the 1,100 range for about 3 weeks now. We don't usually get this long of a pre-season window on the NF so its been kinda nice! They'll start turning it up more here soon.
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Old 05-15-2013   #9
 
Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
North Fork is super low right now. That may be good or bad, depending on what you're wanting.

Wait.... when did a rafter do the NF? Cat boat? I can only think of a handful of rafts that have been down the NF.
We did one top to bottom 3 years ago during labor day wknd three years ago r2in in a raft then did two trips down the next year on labor day wknd. We missed this last year as made a last minute decision on labor day to head up to BC to take a go on the box canyon. Threw a link below to our second year runs down Jakes. Its a great run in a raft (scary as hell but fun).

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Old 05-16-2013   #10
 
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The Lochsa will likely be low, barring a rain event. I consider low below 4' (not the gauge height from the internet gauge) or 8000'. It is still a hoot, lots of rapids and plenty of interesting things to go into, but it's true nature starts to show at 4. Med is 4-6' (8000-14,000) when it is getting big and fun and pushy. High is 6+, 14k and up. Last weekend it hit 20k, wish I had been there. The most fun on the Lochsa is doing the upper section, meatier and more technical, but below 4' the water slows so much doing the entire run in one day makes for a long day. 4' and below and the upper loses it's claim over the lower section. You'd probably enjoy Fish cr too, a tributary that you can drive 1 mi up and hike further. If you like the NFP you also should check out the SF clearwater, golden canyon section. Even the mickey mouse section is great, more technical than the lochsa, lower volume ledges and holes.
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