Rafting the South Fork Boise River – Prepare for ever changing conditions

Were standing at Buffalo Creek which is the newest rapid on South fork of the Boise.
This rapid was created in A big blowout last year and it created one of the biggest challenges
that we are going to see on the South Fork for some time to come.
(music0 This rapid has got multiple sections in it
and those multiple sections, anyone of them if you have a challenge withIn it, can lead
to catastrophic failure in the next section. (music)
The rapid itself may look to some people like it’s very runnable, but it does have some
hazards that are ever-changing and are going to create some challenges.
The biggest challenge that most people Will have when they get to this location.
They may look at the rapid and make a decision that it is runnable.
For some experienced boaters very possibly it is runnable.
For those who are not sure, maybe they don’t have quite the experience, they need to look
at the portage as their only option for getting around this.
(music) The crew from the Elmore County search and
rescue, the forest service, decided that this would be a great opportunity for us to improve
the portage by moving the rocks, moving the wood, and actually cutting a few trees in
order to make this a lot safer and easier portage around this rapid.
We were lucky enough not to have cliff walls. We actually had an embankment that we could
actually do some work with in order to be able to reenter the river below the rapid.
It is still challenging, be very careful. Be aware that proper footwear when ever you
walk through this is going to definitely be a necessity.
Entry back into the river is very limited and so you do need to be prepared to pack
light so that you’re not trying to deal with heavy dry boxes, heavy coolers, and your largest
boats when you are getting back into the water The portage that we just put in here is going
to allow folks for options and I think that’s the real key thing.
We don’t want folks to look at the rapid and think there’s no way around this.
We want them to look at it and say what’s the smartest decision we can make, and if
that is to portage for them, we wanted to have that to where they could do it successfully.
(music) South Fork of the Boise, one of the most beautiful
areas that you’re going to go to, especially as close to actually Mountain Home and to
Boise that it is. The South Fork doesn’t require a permit, you
can launch on this one without. And the fact that it doesn’t have a road running
right beside of it. (woohoo)
If you can imagine one that has 19 miles of roadless access, such a spectacular place.
Bald eagles, golden Eagles, osprey, the wildlife that you have the potential to see out here
is just out of this world. Definitely one of the jewels that we’ve got
in the state of Idaho. (music)
The South Fork from Danskin bridge Down to Neil bridge has basically two or three separate
areas in it that when we talk about rafting. The upper stretch of it, it’s very nice leisurely
float that at the 1600 flow, very navigable, easy to get down through.
It is private property on both sides so definitely respect that.
No camping, and limit your getting up on the banks unless you absolutely have to.
Once you enter the actual canyon area where the river is going to get much narrower and
start to pick up speed. For a period through about a mile seven or
eight, you won’t see many rapids but you will see more difficult walls of the canyon in
order for you to potentially get out of. (music)
Once you’ve actually gotten in down to the rapid areas, getting out from the river itself
takes a great deal of knowledge of where roads and access points might be.
(music) As you get down to some of these rapids then,
you pretty much are on your own. There are not many ways out of the canyon
until you actually get down to Neal bridge. (music)
One of the things that we really have to consider while we’re out here.
We have to understand that the remoteness of this location could mean that an accident,
a piece of equipment failing, somebody actually being stuck in the middle of a rapid.
You may be at least a day away from actual rescue opportunities.
And you might not get reported that you’re actually out here on the river and haven’t
showed up until the next day. So keep in mind that even a class III out
here, just a simple mistake, an accident could turn into a very life threatening situation.
(Okay all forward now) The biggest challenges we see on this stretch
are the unknowns whether that be from the rapids, the weather, the potential for fires.
Everything put together means that you really do need to have a great game plan when you
come down here. (music)
Respect it, make sure that simple things like an area that has no toilet facilities is being
respected. Take care of your water situations before
you come down here. And by all means leave notification, make
sure you have A game plan for folks to know when you’re supposed to be here and when you’re
supposed to be coming out.

5 thoughts on “Rafting the South Fork Boise River – Prepare for ever changing conditions

  1. Great Video!! Great Job! – Thanks for improving the portage at Buffalo Creek.

  2. Any idea what CFS this video was, generally? And what month it was shot in? Thanks so much

  3. It is possible to rope the boats through some of the more substantial rapids. We ran this right after the land slides. I remember sneaking the boat down river left from one micro eddy to the next till we got around the major obstructions and then had someone row the rest of the rapid. I believe this was the major rapid above buffalo cr. Roping rafts does have its risks! Make sure not to be downstream of the rope and do not get tangled in it while moving about!.

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