I did see a couple of those threads. I know about the Marsh Creeks logs. Michelle from All River Shuttle said she talked with a kayaker who just got off the river. He said there were logs everywhere. I sure hope he just meant the logs were on Marsh Creek. We are planning on doing the river on May 27 with a few rookies.
I don't have info on logs below Dagger but logs like Dagger and pistol creek rapid in particular. It's not unusual for logs to stick in places on the Middle Fork outside of Marsh. Keep in touch with the rangers as they will get trip reports from people taking out and when they reach Indian Creek. If the road opens before your launch date there will probably be good beta. Hopefully there isn't a major log jam this year.
If major obatructions are reported they usually put it on their website, the one for the forest for that river. Search 4 rivers lottery, do not choose any of the recreation.gov results, and go to the forest. If there are just annoying logs, I wouldn't expect them to pass that on.
We should be hearing something soon. Carverdog heard of some folks launching and quite a few others are doing so in a week.
You could also check the idahowhitewater yahoo group, that topic will likely be picking up soon as launch day approaches for many.
I talked with the guy who kayaked from Marsh Creek all the way to Riggins in 3 days. He didn't see any log problems from Boundary on down. But, the river hasn't peaked so you have to be careful. Any loose logs can shift around.
I was on the marsh creek to riggins trip you guys are talking about. We put in last wednesday afternoon (5/1). Yes, marsh creek is full of logs, but there were open paths around almost all of them - we only had one portage. It looked like someone spent some time in there with a chain saw clearing the way. We ran into two raft trips, one of which told us they put in on marsh creek. We didn't get to talk to the other group.
By the way, it was really interesting to paddle through such a severely burned area.
No consequential logs were encountered from boundary creek onward. And of course, as the levels change, more logs can, and most likely will, come into play, so be careful.
At least one raft trip has made it down marsh without incident, and they seemed to be paddling at least one 16 footer, so I'd say it's good to go (with appropriate caution, of course) for a raft trip. But all bets are off now that the river is coming up.
I didn't pay much attention to the width of the channels between log hazards, but only one caught my eye as being a pain for anything wider than a kayak. It was only about 6 or 8 feet wide, at the bend in the creek, which made its width hard to judge without bank-scouting. It was near the top of a riffle section, too. So once committed to, it would be hard to adjust plans.
Other than that, and the portage at the entrance to the gorge, marsh creek was a pleasant afternoon of paddling with a surprisingly low amount of charcoal-covered dragging of 100lb boats through thick patches of annoying riparian twigs, over slick rocks, in fading daylight.
"Updated May 9, 2013
Middle Fork Boaters:
Marsh Creek Report: On Thursday, May 9th, the Forest Service river patrol launched on Marsh Creek and radioed the office when they arrived at Boundary Creek at approx. 4 pm. They did not have to portage any trees, as a previous group had cut out 3 trees. However, they saw lots of black, dead wood moving in the water, which will likely create hazards as the water levels fluctuate. The patrol went ultra-light in a cat and a kayak."
USFS just posted that a group shoveled their way through to Boundary on the 15th. They suggested 4wd and clearance. If its like past years, probably just a few spots where that is really needed. They plan to open Boundary Creek guard station some time this week.
It's Idaho, Idaho has trees, Idaho micro burst, Idaho has fires, Idaho has rivers. In Idaho trees in the river are life fish in the river. It's just a fact of life of river running in Idaho. Deal with it.
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