Trip Coordinator Name(s): Les Horvath

Date of Trip: July 15, 2023

River Reach: Yaha Tinda Bighorn Creek Campground to Mountain-aire FTR Bridge

River Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Water Level: Medium

# of Adults: 6

# of Minors:

# of Guests:

Rescues(aka Swims)?:


Difficulty: Intermediate, 36 cms flow, Class II/II+
My personal assessment is that I would not recommend novice paddlers on this trip unless they are paired with skill intermediate paddlers.
River features: the first 20 km’s is flat water with no rapids, is windy and has a maze of braided channels with wood collected midstream and on the banks. There were strainers, sweepers, 90 degree bends in places with wood banks, narrow chutes with continuous channel picking. The last six kilometers is where the rapids begin with a couple of ledges and drop pools along the way making up the Class II/II+ rapids with a steady gradient. Nearing the end of the trip once spotting the Mountain-aire Lodge cabins we took river left of the island (upstream of the bridge take out) to avoid the river right side which had a river boulder and lower down a diagonal river right ledge with a big hole and curling standing wave.
Good reading on the run skills required through-out this reach. We stopped and scouted two sections including one diagonal ledge and ran both successfully.
There were six people: 2 tandems, 1 solos boat, and 1 kayak. Everyone met on time at the FTR Bridge. Transferred one tandem canoe onto another truck with gear and left at 10:15 to the Bighorn Creek Camp put-in leaving one vehicle at the take out.
It was 24 degrees with smoke during the day, cloud cover with some pockets of sun, thunder and lightning in the last kilometer before the take out with light rainfall beginning while on the way down to the take out. As we started the shuttle to the put-in the rain came down hard and fast localized near the take-out area and stopped further along the way.
Trip started at 11:45 and reviewed the pre-trip Safety and river features discussion. I had one member who showed up at the put-in without an RSVP even though we talked Thursday evening via email so I allowed him to join the trip.
Otherwise the group was very skilled, and had a fun time.
The trip ending at 4:50 p.m. we got into my Jeep and headed to the put-in. The shuttle from the take-out back to the put in started at 5:00 p.m. and took 30 minutes each way.

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