The Yaak River
Floating Information

Yaak River

Floating and Rafting the Yaak River

Yaak River at Yaak Falls
Photo Use Guidelines

The Yaak River offers a number of possibilities for both the beginner and advanced floater. Above Seventeen Mile Bridge (located 4 miles above Yaak Falls) and extending up to the confluence of the East and North Fork of the Yaak, the river has a mix of gentle to moderate flows, although there is one section of almost dead water that could prove annoying to rafters. The rivers width varies from quite narrow above Yaak Village to medium width below. Occasional logjams that are avoidable except in very low water will also be encountered.

Yaak River at Yaak Falls
Photo Use Guidelines

Due to the rivers narrow width and its propensity for twist and turns, large rafts are not recommended above Yaak Village. Canoes, inflatable kayaks, smaller inflatable rafts and drift-boats are the best vessels for this stretch.

Below Yaak Village, the Yaak River gradually picks up width, and becomes suitable for large rafts beginning near the Pete Creek Campground.

Below Seventeen Mile Bridge, the character of the Yaak River changes considerably. For the four miles leading up to Yaak Falls, the river current picks up velocity, with numerous boulders and some Class II-III rapids. And then there is Yaak Falls, which must be portaged. There is no easy portage of Yaak Falls. About the only way to do a portage around Yaak Falls is to road walk from Yaak Falls down to the campground, and then muscle the boat down a very steep, wooded embankment.

Below Yaak Falls, the Yaak River flows through a canyon that has extensive whitewater. Numerous Class II- III rapids exist, along with two Class IV-V drops, depending on river flows. As the river moves quickly and is hemmed in by the canyon, portaging and even scouting is difficult. This section is for advanced rafters and kayakers only.

Yaak River : River Miles

North Fork at Canadian Border: 53
East Fork Yaak Confluence: 49
West Fork Yaak Confluence: 45
Upper Ford Bridge: 43
Yaak Bridge (Yaak Village): 34
Pete Creek: 31
Whitetail: 28
Seventeen Mile Bridge: 13
Yaak Falls: 9.2
Campground: 9
Confluence with Kootenai River: 0

Next Page : Photographs of the Yaak River

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