Greys River: Cabin Creek Bridge to the Snake River Confluence

CLASS - II, III, IV

GRADIENT - 33 (75) ft/mile

LENGTH - 30 miles

FLOAT TIME - 6 to 10 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Jackson, Afton

PUT IN - any point around Cabin Creek

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - Bridge Campground above the confluence

Greys River

Gage Station CFS above Snake River confluence

Greys River

 

The Greys River begins at the Tri-Basin Divide and flows north through a beautiful valley between the Salt River Range on the west and the Wyoming Range on the east. Access is excellent and is reached by turning off US-89 at mile #117 in Alpine. After following along the river for about 30 miles, you come to the Cabin Creek Road Bridge and then the junction with the McDougal Gap Road (going over to Daniel on US-189). The Greys River Road continues south along the river for another 25 miles or so, but I have not floated this upper section (probable Class II with some downed timber).

Beginning at the landing near the Cabin Creek Road Bridge, the river flows fairly fast and rates a Class II. There were several downed trees across the river when I floated through here and there is the possibility of logjams. About four miles downstream is a bridge and an hour further is the corner of The Elbow. Here Deadman Creek comes in from the right.

From The Elbow, the river swings west through Moose Flat and then north again. One hour from The Elbow, you pass under another small bridge and after one more hour you come to the Murphy Lake Road Bridge. Thirty minutes later is the landing at Lynx Creek Campground. Unless you are a strong intermediate in a kayak, you need to take out at this landing! Float time from Cabin Creek to Lynx Creek is about four hours.

Just downstream from the Lynx Creek Campground are two short sections of Class III rapids. Part of these may be viewed by looking over the edge of the road between mile #10 and #11. Down a bit further you run through a section of Class III/IV. You can view this stretch from a small turnout at mile #9. One mile north of this run is a good landing at the confluence with the Little Greys River. For the next three miles below the confluence there is another section of intermittent Class III runs. The next landing is at a bridge at an undeveloped campground at Squaw Creek. Take out here unless you're in the expert division!

As you continue down from the Squaw Creek Bridge, the river runs along a steep bank on the left and then goes through a narrow restriction. Just below this is an "S" bend and a 400 yard stretch of boulders with turbulent water rating a Class IV. Following a short recovery, there is more Class III and then a difficult Class IV as the river shoots through a small gorge for about a half mile. You then have a short section of Class III and another tough Class IV (maybe Class V) at "Snaggletooth". Here there is a fair sized hole with some boulders and "S" turns. About three miles from the landing at Squaw Creek is easier water at the Bridge Campground. From here the river slows to a Class I down to the confluence with the Snake River at Palisades Reservoir.

Photo Caption (image not shown): Doctor Les Stone from Idaho Falls jumps over Snaggletooth on the lower Greys River. The upper section offers calmer waters.