Sweetwater River: Middle section to Jeffery City


GRADIENT - 5 ft/mile

LENGTH - 38 miles

FLOAT TIME - 16 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Lander, Rattlesnake Hills

PUT IN - Sweetwater Station on US-287

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - Ore Road Bridge north of Jeffery City

Sweetwater River

USGS Gage Station CFS near Alcova.

Sweetwater River


This section of the Sweetwater is an easy Class I. With the exception of two small gaps which may require lining, it is suitable for canoeing. The river is quite slow as it meanders through the arid countryside. There is no public access to put in at Sweetwater Station so you will have to ask permission at the River Campground (US-287 at mile #42).

Just after going under the highway bridge is the first of many small diversion dams and wire fences. Two hours below you come to the first of many small bridges. As you follow along a low ridge, you pass under another bridge and cross another diversion dam. You have to drag around yet another dam at Graham's Gap.

About one hour below Graham's Gap is a small dam and just downstream the river passes through two small rocky breaks (Mabel's and Lillian's Cut) that may require lining. After leaving the breaks the river swings south toward Crooks Gap off in the distance. (Crooks Mountain and Crooks Peak is on the west side while Sheep Mountain and Green Mountain is on the east side.) One hour south of Lillian's Cut is where Long Creek comes in from the left and a bit further the river turns east along the base of the Granite Mountains. You then have 10 or 12 miles of loops and bends, several more dams and bridges, and many fences to the take-out on the Ore Road Bridge, three miles north of Jeffery City. Float time for the entire stretch is 14 to 16 hours.