Pack River

Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Pack River

Pack River Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Pack River begins in northern Idaho’s best alpine scenery along the crest of the Selkirk Mountains near Chimney Rock and Harrison Peak. It flows 45 miles before unloading into Lake Pend Oreille, one of Idaho’s world-class freshwater destinations. Along the way, humans have left some disappointing clear-cuts and ill-advised roads. The small native cutthroat trout found high in the watershed do not do well lower in the drainage. But paddlers can find some wild moments.

The upper river, which starts in the Kaniksu National Forest, is narrow and swift. Skilled kayakers can find room to play in portions of the upper river when the flows are sufficient. Lower in the drainage, where the river becomes tame enough for average canoeists, most of the shoreline is privately owned. By putting in at bridges off Pack River Road, paddlers can find lively water roughly from Tavern Creek downstream to US 95. That section usually has enough water for paddling in June, but the flows can become too low in July. Be aware that the river upstream from US 95 has some tight turns that are prone to dangerous logjams."

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We put in at the store and took out at highway 200. An easy paddle that took about 2.5 hours. Lots of places to stop for a picnic. If you like fishing bring a pole. A great way to spend the afternoon!

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
8 to 12 hours
Class I
Best: Generally April through October
Pack River General Store northeast of Sandpoint
Local Contacts
USGS Colburn, Elmira, Oden Bay, Trout Peak
Local Maps

Trail Log