Idaho: Smith Creek
LOCATION: Idaho's Panhandle North of Coeur D'Alene. Put in at the Smith Creek diversion. Take out at Smith Creek Falls
LENGTH OF TRIP: 6 miles
USER FEE: NO
Smith Creek north of Coeur D'Alene has become an Idaho kayaking classic. This steep creek is a run that you only get on if your ready for continuous class V. Smith Creek features rock slides, waterfalls and boulder choked rapids. The run is affected by rain so if you're in Coeur D'Alene at the right time and you like to boat the steeps, you're going to have a field day with this one.
It has been described by some as "one of the finest steep creeks in the northwest." Some have even gone so far as to compare it to any steep run throughout the United States.
Smith Creek drops between 300 and 500 feet in the first mile and then averages 320 feet per mile during the last five miles of the run. The creek culminates with a 25-foot waterfall. There is eddy access so running Smith Creek Falls is not mandatory but this is the takeout. The put in is at the Smith Creek diversion.
The run can be navigated from 150 cubic feet per second all the way up to 500 cfs. At 500 cfs, some of the rapids are considered class VI, meaning that there will be some portages. Call the power plant on Smith Creek at (208) 267-2744 for exact river levels.
Contact the Sandpoint Ranger District, 1500 Highway 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 at (208) 265-6600.
Information Provided by: State of Idaho
Written by: Joseph Carberry