Upper Coeur d'Alene River

Enaville, Idaho

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Drifting down the clear water, along the timbered shores of this stretch, a paddler might find it hard to imagine the dichotomies that history has brought together in the Coeur d’Alene River: native cutthroat trout against insensitive logging and mining; the long-gone Snakepit brothel at Enaville, Idaho, against the still-standing Jesuit Indian mission near Cataldo. Legacies good and bad live here. Be sure to visit Old Mission State Park, but don’t swim or play in the dirt at the Mission Flats take-out. The area is contaminated with heavy metals from a century of Silver Valley mining. Normally, however, the river gets a Class 1 rating, with no serious rapids. The river from Enaville to Cataldo generally parallels roads, but swings away for stretches of solitude. The paved Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes also parallels this stretch, offering bike shuttle options. The river holds splashy riffles for play, plus a few tight turns to test paddling skills.
Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest

by Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North (The Mountaineers Books)

Drifting down the clear water, along the timbered shores of this stretch, a paddler might find it hard to imagine the dichotomies that history has brought together in the Coeur d’Alene River: native cutthroat trout against insensitive logging and mining; the long-gone Snakepit brothel at Enaville, Idaho, against the still-standing Jesuit Indian mission near Cataldo. Legacies good and bad live here. Be sure to visit Old Mission State Park, but don’t swim or play in the dirt at the Mission Flats take-out. The area is contaminated with heavy metals from a century of Silver Valley mining.

Normally, however, the river gets a Class 1 rating, with no serious rapids. The river from Enaville to Cataldo generally parallels roads, but swings away for stretches of solitude. The paved Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes also parallels this stretch, offering bike shuttle options. The river holds splashy riffles for play, plus a few tight turns to test paddling skills.

©  Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Enaville
Distance: 14
Duration: 1.5 to 3 hours
Class: Class I-II
Season: Best: Virtually year-round
Local Contacts: Enaville Resort at Enaville; Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District, Fernan office; Idaho State Parks, Old Mission State Park
Local Maps: USGS Cataldo
Topo Map: Upper Coeur d'Alene River Topographic Map
Guide Book: Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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