Saturday, March 24, 2012

Clearwater River, Clearwater County, Idaho

The Clearwater River passes through the homeland of the Nez Perce Tribe, flowing through the Clearwater National Forest with its pine and fir trees, past steep cliffs and ridges and beautiful sandy beaches. This river is well known for its large steelhead, along with king and silver salmon. The river has class I & II rapids, making it a popular intermediate river for rafting and kayaking.  In mid- to late summer when the river slows significantly it becomes popular with float tubers and swimmers. Camping is a popular activity all along its shores with most sites not requiring a fee. The Clearwater River travels from the Montana border to Lewiston, Idaho, where it empties into the Snake River. There are 15 public boat launches that vary from paved to hard-packed gravel. Depending on river depth, at the end of the launch pads you will have to pass over boulders to launch. There are other sites along the river that are not designated as launch sites, such as beaches and banks, that you can portage over to access the river. And of course there are many sites along the river where you can stop and fish.

Fishing: King and Silver Salmon, and Steelhead. The largest fish hatchery in the world is based in Orofino, Idaho.

Pictures and info about boat launches, access points, etc. below this map...

Clearwater River Boat Launches - Directions: All boat launches are numbered starting near Lewiston, Idaho and going easterly. There are 10 bridges that pass over the Clearwater River varying in clearance above the river. The lowest is around ten feet. Maps: View Google Map above...

1. Lewiston Landing near where the river empties into the Snake River

2. Hog Island-Beardy Boat Launch

3. Gibbs Eddy Boat Launch

4. Cherry Boat Launch

5. Lenore Rest Area Boat Launch and Park off of the highway, and 6. Lenore Rest Area Boat Launch in the city limits Lenore across the highway via the bridge.

7. Rhetts Boat Launch

8. Harpers Boat Launch

9. Pink House Boat Launch

10. Ahsahka Launch

11. Zans Boat Launch

12. Five Mile Boat Launch

13. Long Camp Boat Launch

14. Kamiah Boat Launch. There is a day park across the street

15. Button Beach Boat Launch

16. Kooskia Boat Launch

Upper Clear Water River Access Points/Sportsman Accesses: From this point on up the river there are 19 more official access points to the river none of which are considered formal boat launches. There are many more points along the river that once could potentially access the river. Please watch for private property signs and all other river cautions signs... obey these signs so as not to affect future access to the river. Remember to pack it in and pack it out. View the above Google Map to learn about these access points/sportsman accesses.

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