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Lightning Creek: East Fork to Hiway 200 Bridge


East Fork Creek - Put in to Lightning Creek

Run Description:

Lighting Creek is a fun class III+ / IV- run through a beautiful open gorge. It is located at the North end of Lake Pend O'reille at the town of Clark Fork, Idaho. The run is informally divided into two sections. The upper section contains the most difficult rapids, and runs through dense timber over a a well-defined, boulder-strewn streambed. Its also the most scenic. The lower section is heavily braided, and with channels that seem to constantly shift as water levels rise and fall. Logs are an extreme hazard on the run and move around frequently. The most difficult sections of Lightning can not be easily seen from the road. The run is not suitable for shaky intermediates. Practice group safety.


The take out for Lightning Creek is at the Hiway 200 bridge on the West side of the town of Clark Fork, Idaho. There is paved parking at the bridge. To get to the put in, head East into town on 200, then head North on Main Street until you come to Lightning Creek road. Take Lightning Creek road a little over 8 miles to the East Fork Creek bridge (unmarked). Paddle a few hundred yards down East Fork Creek into Lightning Creek. The midway take out point is where the the Lightning Creek road meets the river again, just below a class III rapid.

Video (Pre-flood):

Stream Stats:

Ave Gradient: NA
Max Gradient: NA
Difficulty: III+ / IV
Consequences: IV
Min Level: 900
Season: Mar - Apr

Planning Tools:

NOAA Snowtel Gauge - Bear Mountain USGS Gauge - Lightning Creek at Clark Fork, ID

Key Places:


Lightning Creek

in a larger map.

Copyright Todd Hoffman 2009 - All Rights Reserved