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Question about Upper St. Croix River's whitewater features.

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I'm planning on camping in St. Croix State Park and floating/fishing down the St Croix river through the Rt. 70 bridge area in late May. I would like to know what the section of river where Rt. 70 (closest town - Grantsburg, Wisconsin) crosses the St. Croix River is like. What class rapids are encountered ? Are there drops/waterfalls ? Are the water levels deep enought for a float (at least 12") ? I'm viewing the river on Map Quest's Aerial Image (zoom level 14) and it shows some substantial whitewater in the pictures. Are the images misleading ? I can handle class II rapids easily enough, but fishing gets difficult if it gets any swifter than that.


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There are no real waterfalls, and few significant "drops". But overall it's a fairly steep gradient with lots of boulder gardens and a few good standing waves. The difficulty on the rapids all depends on water levels. In late May the river will be up and I belive some of the "west channel" rapids near Kettle River slough may be rated II+.

It's a great trip, but at low water that section is an absolute grind. You shouldn't have to worry about that in late May.

Forget about assessing the river from air photos. Check the MN DNR HSOforum for canoe route information/maps. The feds also administer the river as a Wild & Scenic Riverway and have great maps on their HSOforum. Both include locations and brief descriptions of rapids. I would start there, and possibly contact the outfitter at Grantsburg for information. They send folks down that route many times during the open water season.

Good luck!

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I can use either a small (15ft) jonboat or a canoe. I will bring both and use the jonboat in the slower stretches and the canoe in the swifter sections.

Btw - where is this Kettle River at ?



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