In August last season, significant rainfall occurred in a short period over numerous burn scars. The result was debris flows that changed several sections in the upper portion of the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Some of these changes were found to be impassable by raft which caused trips to re-route a Boundary Creek launch to a further downstream put-in, primarily Indian Creek.

Velvet Falls debris flow on the middle fork of the salmon
A hard to recognize Velvet Falls. Do you see the pyramid rock? Photo by USFS.

We originally started this post describing each location but found that seeing the challenges made it a lot easier to understand them. Brian Olson put together an excellent video showing Sulphur Slide, Rams Horn, Hells Half Mile and Velvet Falls. That video is located here and embedded below. Thank you Brian for the report!

It is important to understand that these debris fans will change in the upcoming spring runoff. Logs will shift, mud and rocks will move, and it may get better or even worse. River users should hope for a Boundary Creek launch but plan on flying into Indian Creek. The USFS will provide the best information that they have but ultimately safety is your responsibility.

And if you have been down the river and have updated information, please comment either here on this blogpost or directly on the feature in the FarOut app. Thank you!

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