Pretty mild whitewater, but amazing scenery and hotsprings- make sure the coolers have plenty of beer. Not sure what the water will be like that late since their snowpack is minimal, but it should be a great time either way.
The middle fork is an incredible place. The snowpack is low this year, so the water will be low, but the camping, scenery, wildlife and river cruising are awesome. The last day and a half on the river has some fun rapids, and there should still be enough water to have fun there. The upper part will likely be bony. Depending on if you are doing kayak self support or raft support, most will opt to put in down lower than the normal put in due to low water at the top.
Here's a ton of pics from our trip last April. Some of the shots are from feeder-creeks that come into the MF.
All I can say is that unless ID get's a miracle they're stuck with a LOW water year. July 26 would be on the low side of LOW, too. You may want to wait another month before committing to the trip. Last week they had a BIG dump that, if it continued, will bail out their season.
Last year I ran the Middle Fork in early June. I checked to see what the price is to fly a raft and 4 people to Indian Creek Air strip (about 20 miles down river from the regular putin a Dagger Falls) in case the road was closed due to snow. It seems like it cost $400 for 4 people and rafting gear. This may be necessary because the snowpack for the area is around 60 percent and you'll be going in late July. The river gains enough volume even at low water at that point in the trip. It's a great river and you'll have fun regardless of how big the whitewater is.
Alex, what levels/time of year were your pictures at and can I get more beta on Loon creek, that looks super fun. Is there a guage for loon?
How does the middle compare to the main, it is supposed to be a little harder right? Could a paddler who did well on the main who has a better roll now be ok on the middle in june this year? It would be great if the girl could paddle this aswell, instead of lounging on the raft.
I ran it in early august two summers ago and the gauge was just below 2 ft. The top two days before the airstrip were super boney, but some of the best scenery. We ripped the floors out of several rafts, but that was in large part due to poor packing and putting things on the actual floors of the rafts. At 2 ft I didn't think that there were any rapids that qualified as class IV. It was a really relaxed trip in terms of WW. The scenery and hotsprings and hanging out on the river for a week are well worth the trip. We even saw several river otters, which was a high point for me. Not a trip to be missed if you have the time or the money. One low point was that there were lots of bees at several of the more popular campsites. Bring benedril and possibly an Epi-pen (you're a very long ways from help). Also, loon creek is probably not worth the hike with your boat at that water level, but the hotsprings are great. If you putin at the ranger station, take your kayaks up and run Dagger falls, it's easily the hardest rapid you'll see on the trip.
A forum community dedicated to whitewater kayaking, boating, and rafting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, routes, gear, models, styles, gear swaps, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!