Wow, Nature is doing it again on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
The U.S. Forest Service reports that heavy thunderstorms earlier this week along the Middle Fork sent a whole bunch of debris crashing down several tributary steams creating three new rapids.
The river is still open but floaters should scout the new rapids.
“I watched oar boats, kayaks, and sweep boats run the new rapids. All appear to be straight forward, large wave-train rapids, but narrow with the river restricted to about 35 percent of its original width. However, each of these new rapids should be scouted,” said John Haugh, river manager.
Here are details from the Forest Service:
- At mile 13.1, just downriver from Sheepeater Camp, an unnamed creek on river right flooded and the river is backed up forming a new rapid. Parties should stop at Sheepeater Camp to scout the new rapid.
- At mile 16.0, downriver from Greyhound Camp, a debris flow from Greyhound Creek on river right has backed up the river forming a new rapid and flooding Greyhound Camp. The camp is not useable. Parties should stop at Johns Camp, or in the eddy immediately below to scout.
- At mile 58.5, about a half mile below Tappan Falls, Cove Creek on river right, near Tappan III rapids, blew out damming most of the river. Tappan II rapids, just upstream from the new rapid, is completely submerged by the new “lake.” Parties should stop before Tappan Falls to scout the new rapid. The debris flow coming out of Cove Creek also destroyed about 40 to 50 feet of the Middle Fork trail, and it is not passable by stock.
- In addition to the debris flows, there apparently was a logjam above Pistol Creek that has since released on its own.
Rangers at the Boundary Creek launch have more details on the new rapids.