Sunday, March 16, 2014

North Fork Coeur d'Alene River, Shoshone County, Idaho

Snake Pit
The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River (sometimes called Upper Coeur d'Alene River) is a beautiful and majestic river that winds its way through the mountains of the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. It literally starts only 9 miles away from Lake Pend Oreille (Idaho) near Packsaddle Mountain and finally ends at Lake Coeur d’Alene (approximately 115 mile trip). Kingston is the closest city (population 175) off of the Lower Coeur d'Alene River (just right after this portion of the river begins) and I90, and Enaville (no population #'s available... not really a town) is located near where the North Fork begins. Most expert level sportsman access the river at Big Hank Landing next to Big Hank Campground. From this point there are miles of white water and some dangerous sweepers before the river gets deeper and the current slows. From Big Hank Landing to where the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene enters the river it’s about a 60 miles trip. The novice level river enthusiast start accessing the river in the slower and deeper portion of the river at Steamboat Creek off of the Old River Road/National Forest Road 503. For the inexperienced most people start to float the river with tubes, etc (#6 below) at Bumblebee Bridge where the water is even deeper and slower (water levels vary… call 208-752-1221 or visit this website Click Here or visit the USGS site for regional water levels, etc. Click Here). There are two popular Take Out points after Bumblebee Bridge at either (#3 & 2 below) Albert’s Land/Old River Bridge take out or at the (#1) Junction Primitive Boat Launch. It’s best to float this portion of the river between June and July. In August the water level may be too low, creating quite a bumpy ride. It is highly recommended you never access the river during spring runoff. After exiting the river I highly recommend visiting the historic Snake Pit bar and restaurant (100 year old historic site) just up the road from the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene for some great food.
Ticketing for glass bottles and trash 

ATTENTION: NO GLASS CONTAINERS/BOTTLES ALLOWED ON THE RIVER. NO LITTERING... HEAVILY ENFORCED. BE A STEWARD OF THE RIVER BY PICKING UP OTHER PEOPLES TRASH.

YOUR VEHICLE WILL GET TOWED AWAY IF THE FOLLOWING HAPPENS: 1. YOUR NOT PARKED IN A DESIGNATED PARKING AREA;  2. PARKED IN A NO PARKING AREA; 3. ON PAVED ROADS... YOUR TIRE IS EVEN ONE INCH ON OR OVER A ROADS FOG LINE... IF NO FOG LINE THEN YOUR TIRE IS ONE INCH ON A PAVED ROAD! 4. NOT OUT OF THE WAY ON GRAVEL ROADS WHERE SIGNAGE IS NOT PRESENT. Vehicle towed away will be taken to Smelterville or Kellogg.


Most of the lang along the river is Private Land. You may not access it for anything including re-leaving yourself.

The river is ever changing... for example one year you may launch or take-out at a particular point on the river and then come back the next year and that place may be totally gone. So all info on this page are to be used only as a guide and in no way is this information guaranteed in anyway, use it at your won risk.


And beware of sweepers... sweepers are trees, bushes, logs that over hang the river. These trees, etc. can literally sweep you off your craft. If you get caught in one you may not be able to escape it resulting in getting seriously injured or drowning. Point is stay away from them. Again as the river changes so do the comings and goings of sweepers.


Pan in (+sign, lower right corner of the map) as this Google Map includes the Little North and South Forks of the Coeur d'Alene River. The North Fork Coeur d'Alene River is in the middle and north (upper part of the map) side of the map... It's labeled

Click Here for Fish and Game Interactive Maps
Click here to visit the Lower portion of the Coeur d'Alene River and Chain Lakes!

To Access the North Fork and the Little North Fork you take exit 43 off of I90 and head north. The first access point is just before the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene off Coeur d'Alene River Road, via a dirt road to the left (west). Follow Coeur d'Alene River Road and the above Google Map to find all the access points to the river.

NUMBERS BELOW AND ON THE GOOGLE MAP PROGRESS UP RIVER IN A NORTHERLY DIRECTION!

RIVER SPORTSMAN ACCESS POINTS, CAMPING, ETC.
NOT ALL RIVER SPORTSMAN/FISHING ACCESS POINTS ARE PICTURE HERE! Due to the number of points you can access the river it would be excessive to post them here. However view the Google Map above to see most of these points on the river. On the Google Map sportsman/fishing access point numbers 3-7, 9, 11, & 14 are off of the Old River Road/National Forest Service Road 503. To access cross the river via the Old River Road Bridge and then turn right/north. You can also cross at Bumblebee Bridge/Little North Fork Road and turn left/north to access numbers 7, 9, 11, & 14; turning left/south will take you of course to numbers 3-7. After crossing the bridge turn right/north onto the NF 503 Rd. All other Sportsman/Fishing Access points not listed below are access via Coeur d'Alene River Road/National Forest Service Road 208.

Sportsman/Fishing Access Points 8, 10, 12-32 are access via Coeur d'Alene River Road/National Forest Service Road 208. Simply take exit 43 off of I90 and turn north.




2. Old River Bridge
Popular swimming spot but not suitable as a kayak/tube put in and take out. Park in designated parking area just before (south of) the bridge along Coeur d'Alene River road. No restrooms.


3. Alberts River Resort - Take Out/Put In
RIVER FLOAT TAKE OUT!
Big beach Take Out area. Suitable for kayaks/canoes/drift boats/light weight crafts. Designated gravel parking area. Campsites, picnic area, store, restrooms, running water, tub rentals, shuttle service at resort. Click here to visit Alberts River Resort.



6. Bumblebee Bridge
MOST POPULAR RIVER FLOAT PUT IN!
This is the most popular point to put in to float the river. Wide rocky beach access area next to river, suitable for kayaks/canoes/light weight crafts/tubs. Parking along the road (make sure your vehicle is totally off the pavement of the road or your vehicle will be towed away), no restroom or running water. There are restrooms up Little North Fork River at the Bumblebee Campground
No glass containers/bottles allowed on the river


7. Studer Creek Sportsman Access
If the Bumble Bridge sportsman access is too congested simply drive north on the Old River Rd/NF 503 road from the Bumble bridge parking area to a small beach area just a few hundred feet up the road. Again, this has a wide rocky/sand beach area to river, suitable for kayaks/canoes/light weight crafts/tubs. Parking along the road (make sure your vehicle is totally off the pavement of the road or your vehicle will be towed away), no restroom or running water.


- - picture coming soon - -
14. Swimmers Rock Sportsman Access
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks and drift boats, no trailer launching. Also popular swimming hole by the large rock. No glass containers/bottles allowed. No camping, limited gravel parking area. No restrooms or running water.

Prichard Creek (on left) entering North Fork Coeur d'Alene River
16. Prichard Creek Sportsman Access
Put In site on Prichard Creek. Can carry/portage your craft along the beach to the Coeur d'Alene River, or put your craft in the creek and float it to the river. The creek is very shallow. Trailer launching is possible but again the area you will be launching into is very shallow. Danger : those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. Primitive campsites, gravel parking area, no restrooms or running water.

- - picture coming soon - -
18. Lost Creek Sportsman Access
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks and drift boats, no trailer launching. Danger, those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. No camping, limited gravel parking area. No restrooms or running water.

- - picture coming soon - -
21. Sissons Creek Sportsman Access and Campground
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks and drift boats, no trailer launching. Danger, those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. RV & Tent campsites, restrooms, running water, hiking trailers, paved camping pads and paved parking.

- - picture coming soon - -
22. Bruce Creek Sportsman Access and Campground
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks/canoes. To launch drift boats you will have to manually carry/portage to the river. Danger, those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. RV & tent campsites, paved campsite parking, paved parking lot, restrooms, running water, hiking trailers.


23. National Forest Service Campground and Sportsman Access
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks but may be difficult to put drift boats in and out. Danger, those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. Primitive campsites, gravel parking area, no restrooms or running water.


24. Riverside Campground and Sportsman Access
Put In/Take Out site suitable for kayaks. Danger, those floating the river must be expert  level due to sweepers and white water. No glass containers/bottles allowed. Primitive campsites, gravel parking area, restrooms, no running water.


27. Hank Landing Sportsman Access & Campground
This the furthest Put In point on the river. Danger, only those with expert skills should enter the river with kayaks, etc. as the portion below can be extremely dangerous due to sweepers, etc. Campground next to Big Hank Landing/Put In. Includes campsites, restroom, running water, hiking trails.


32. Fishing Sportsman Access West Spur of North Fork Coeur d'Alene River
This is where the short Northwest spur of the Coeur d'Alene River begins at this junction with Trapper and Independence Creeks. There is a pool like area where the river starts and the creeks meet. It is common with this pool to have some some Cutthroat Trout and White Fish. Down or up river from this pool the water is very shallow and not suitable for any type of craft to navigate.

FISH & GAME MAPS AND FISHING INFO

Fish & Game Coeur d’Alene Chain Lakes Wilderness Management Area

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