Hancock Rapid

III

Rapid Rating

91.87

River Mileage

About Hancock Rapid

Named for Monroe Hancock, a pioneer of the Salmon River, who led the National Geographic Society down the Main Salmon on a wooden scow in 1935. (There’s another Hancock Rapid, on the Main Salmon, named for Monroe as well.) This rapid is long and makes a meandering S-turn. Two creeks enter into it. The first, on river left, is called Nolan Creek and can be hard to spot. The second, on river right, is called Roaring Creek and is easier to spot.

How to run Hancock Rapid

The first part of the rapid is marked by the river making a sharp jog to the right, with Nolan Creek entering on the left. At medium flows and higher, this has large waves that run right into the main event of the rapid. During low flows, this first part is class II with calm water between it and the next step of the rapid. Once you’re through, the river will make its way back left into a straightaway. If you’re not too busy on the oars, you’ll notice Roaring Creek on your right. Here, the river widens and you’ll see a large rock in the center of the river. Starting at medium flows, this rock is buried creating a large hole. Use this reference point and make your way to the right of this boulder or hole, which puts you on the right side of the river. Once you clear this, the river makes a sharp bend back right. Work to stay in the center of the river and then square up for a fun wave train. Towards the end of the way train work back left to avoid the final wall coming off of river right.

hancock rapid, middle fork salmon

Looking upstream with a good view of the large boulder and Roaring Creek canyon. This is the middle portion of the rapid. Photo by Idaho River Journeys

In this video, Hancock Rapid starts at 3:55. Flows are medium here, ~4.0 feet.