Saturday, October 29, 2016

Clark Fork River, Bonner County, Idaho

Clark Fork River - West of Cabinet Gorge Dam to Lake Pend Oreille

 The Clark Fork River in Bonner County Idaho extends from Cabinet Gorge Dam on the Idaho Montana board to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. The Cabinet Gorge Dam was completed in 1952. It produces 231 megawatts annually, is 200 feet high and 600 wide, and creates a 20 miles long reservoir into Montana. There is an overlook at the dam site. This river from the dam progresses through some rapids and eventually slows to a wide river and extensive marsh area until it empties into Lake Pend Oreille. This river is extremely popular for fishing, kayaking, and canoe. The entire river and river delta is a no wake area. Fishing: Large and Small Mouth Bass, Aggregate limit of 6; no size limit. Rainbow & Lake Trout, aggregate limit 6; no size restrictions. Fish species closed to harvest: Bull, Cutthroat, & Kokanee Trout. Call the Idaho Department of Fish & Game for changes in these rules at 208-769-1414. Cabinet Gorge Dam Directions: Off of HWY 200 on Idaho Montana Border.  Directions: See specific launches and access points, and info below. Maps: To view a map click on google.com/maps and type in Clark Fork Idaho to view the river in either direction via aerial setting.
SEE PICTURES AND INFO ABOUT BOAT LAUNCHES/ACCESS POINTS BELOW!

Lower Clark Fork River Boat Launches & Camping - Traveling from the Dam west to Lake Pend Oreille

1. Clark Fork Fish Hatchery & Launch 
This site has a large gravel launch, beach, hatchery with fish ladder, restroom, running water. For more info contact Idaho Department of Fish & Game. This launch is just downstream from the Dam. The prefer only drift boats to launch from this site as there are other spots of the river where kayaks/canoes can launch from. This is a no motor launch site. You must call first to get permission to launch from this site as if you do not call they may not allow you to use the site. Directions: In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. (fish hatchery signs point the way), then left/east onto River Rd. Follow this road all the way to wear you will turn left (north) onto Cabinet Gorge Rd. Follow this road down to the gorge where the railroad tracks are, cross the tracks at the hatchery sign. Park in the parking lot at the office and sign in at the office. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.086673, -116.079936
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel, dirt parking area at launch. Very limited space along the gravel road at and near launch for trailering parking. If you are not launching then parking is at the hatchery buildings; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Accessible restroom at hatchery building. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No dock/platform. Single lane gravel, rock launch at about 6% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Sand with lots of rocks along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 5% grades; H2O/Water: Water clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.


Sometimes there is a yellow metal
barrier that prevents launching
2. Clark Fork Access - paved launch for small craft, bank launch area, rocky beach, picnic tables, restroom, heavily shaded picnic area, no running water, gravel railroad hiking trail. This launch is just a short distance down stream from the Dam. Directions: On HWY 200 just few miles from Cabinet Gorge Dam and the Idaho Montana border you will see a sportsman access sign. Turn there to access this site. This site is between mile marker 60 & 61, and just east of River Delta Resort. Just up the road or trail from the launch is a heavily shaded area to launch kayaks/canoes from and/or picnic at. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.092565, -116.097143
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... None. Single track trails along the shoreline; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No dock/platform. Paved single lane cement launch at about 7% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Several private campsites, not accessible to wheeled mobility devices; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud and rocks along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 7% grades; H2O/Water: Water clear until lake summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.



3. River Delta Resort - Paved launch, camping for RV and tents, cabins, lodge, restrooms, running water, store. Directions: On HWY 200 between Clark Fork Idaho and the Idaho Montana border you will see a sign on the south side of the road, pointing out the road that leads to this resort. Near male marker 60. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.093783, -116.108445
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One dock not considered wheelchair accessible. Paved single lane cement launch at about 7% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... At this sites resort. Sites are not wheelchair designed accessible; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: All rocks along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 7% grades; H2O/Water: Water typically clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 60 degrees. Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork ID.


4. Colby Landing Resort - Steep bank access site, rocky beach, small parking area, no restroom or running water. Not well suited for launching kayaks/canoes from due to the very steep bank but is possible. Well suited for fishing from during summer water levels. Directions: In Clark For Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. Then left/east onto River Road continue on this road crossing the bridge over the river and continue on this road for about 4 miles. There is no sign along the road designating this site. The gravel road to this site is about a mile up the road from River Lake Dr. and there is a single tan house across the road from the access road. The place you park is next to a double set of railroad tracks. There is also a sign in-between the tracks that says Colby. ATTENTION please watch for trains and do not parking your vehicle or place any craft you have on or near the railroad tracks. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.112713, -116.153754
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel, dirt/mud parking along main road; PATHS/TRAILS... None. Single loose gravel, rock, sand steep trail to waters edge of 10 grade or greater; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. No shade; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. No developed launch. Launch from bank of 10% grade or greater; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Steep bank, loose ground; Terrain: Varies; H2O/Water: Water normally clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 60 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork River, ID.



5. Henderson Ranch Wildlife Park & Derr Creek - Gravel parking lot, some groomed trails, no restroom or running water. Wildlife include Elk, Deer, Black Bear, Ball Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, etc. Directions: In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. Then left/east onto River Road continue on this road crossing the bridge over the river and continue on this road for about 4 miles. There is a wildlife sign just off the road designating along the gravel road that gives access to this site. This gravel road to this site is about a half mile up the road from River Lake Dr. The sign to this park says Adopt a Wetland, Clark Fork High School Environmental Studies Class, & Henderson Ranch Trust. The gravel road from the main road to the parking area about .4 miles long. Maps: See interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.112457, -116.160414
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel, dirt/mud parking along road and at gates; PATHS/TRAILS... Dirt road leads to creek. But sometimes water is void in it creek at mid or late summer; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. No developed launch. Launch from bank when water is in creek; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud; Terrain: Varies; H2O/Water: Water clear to muddy by mid/late summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 degrees so. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.




6. River Lake Resort - Paved launch, camping for RV and tents, restrooms, running water, butane fuel available. ATTENTION one can only use the launch at this resort via camping at this resort or calling to get pre-approval to use the launch if not staying at this resort. Just up river from this resort is a Island on the north side of the river. Directions: In Clark For Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. Then left/east onto River Road continue on this road crossing the bridge over the river and continue on this road for about 3 miles. Turn left (north) onto River Lake Dr. When the road T's turn left to the resort. Maps: Visit google interactive map above and google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.125825, -116.161495
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking along in park road; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Accessible restroom. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One dock not wheelchair accessible. Single lane cement launch at about 7% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... RV camping only with hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Water access only available via launch or dock due to extreme steep high bank at this site; Terrain: Level to about 7% grade at launch; H2O/Water: Water clear until late summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 60 degree. Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.



7. Clark Fork Bridge Access - Bank launching suite for kayaks/canoes, small parking area, no restroom or running water. This is a great location to access the main river or fish at. Directions: In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. (sportsman access signs also point the way), then left/east onto River Rd. After crossing the bridge over the river take an immediate right onto Johnson Creek Rd. (NF 278). Then turn immediately right going under the bridge to the small parking area. Maps: See interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.134786, -116.173857
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel, dirt/mud parking under and by bridge; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. Shade via bridge; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. No developed launch. Launch from steep bank of about 10% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Steep bank with rocks; Terrain: mud, dirt, rock; H2O/Water: Water normally clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 60 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork River, ID.



8. Derr Island Road Private Launch - Dirt Launch, limited parking. This is used only by the landowner and approved users. The land owner has asked that we post that this site is a private launch and is not to be accessed by the public. There is no sign at this site indicating its private so some boaters do uses this site by accident. Directions: Directions are only supplied to prevent you and others from using this site by accident. In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. (sportsman access signs also point the way) then left/east onto River Road. After crossing the bridge over the river take an immediate right onto Johnson Creek Rd. (NF 278). This river access site is on this road at the turn off and next to Derr Island Rd. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.141457, -116.205822
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Limited dirt parking at launch and along dirt road; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No dock/platform. Single lane dirt launch at about 5% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud, dirty, marine vegetation along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 5% grades; H2O/Water: Water clear until late summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.



9. Johnson Creek Road Access - Primitive muddy launch, muddy shoreline, no restroom, running water, or camping. This site is owned by the county due to it being a part of the county road easement. Directions: In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. (sportsman access signs also point the way) then left/east onto River Road. After crossing the bridge over the river take an immediate right onto Johnson Creek Rd. (NF 278). This river access site is just up (west) the road Derr Island Road next to an old private railroad bridge (on the west side of this bridge) is on this road at the turn off and next to Derr Island Rd. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.142215, -116.210566
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Dirt, mud parking along road. Park completely off the road; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No dock/platform. Single lane undeveloped dirt/mud launch at about 4% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud, marine vegetation along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 5% grades; H2O/Water: Water clear until late summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.


10. Johnson Creek Recreation Area - Launch, dock, muddy beach, restroom, 3 camping limit, no running water. Directions: In Clark Fork Idaho on HWY 200 - turn south onto Stephen Rd. (sportsman access signs also point the way), then left/east onto River Rd. After crossing the bridge over the river take an immediate right onto Johnson Creek Rd. (NF 278). Follow this road all the way to the Johnson Creek Recreation Area sign, turn right/west and proceed to the launch/camping area. Maps: Visit interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.138897, -116.228777
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Some wide gravel paths/open areas to the river banks. Paved path from launch to restroom; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One launch dock between cement double lane launch at about 6% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch or dirt/gravel/muddy area next to launch but again is not improved for wheelchair access; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Primitive camping around launch area; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud, dirty all along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 6% grade at launch; H2O/Water: Water clear until late summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.


11. Clark Fork River Driftyard - launch, restroom, parking, 3 day camping limit, no running water. This site is closed from March 1 through June 15 for waterfowl nesting. For further information contact the Idaho Department of Fish & Game at 208-769-1414 or http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ Directions: Idaho on HWY 200 between Clark Fork and Hope Idaho - Turn south onto Driftwood Yard Road. Follow this road to its end. Physical features clue... looking southwest and seeing a lot of driftwood. Driftwood Yard Road is, of course, next to all the driftwood. Maps: Visit interactive map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.173430, -116.231910
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Paved path from restroom to launch dock; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. No shade; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One launch dock. Paved single lane cement launch at about 5% grade; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Absolutely no access to water other than via launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Mud and marine vegetation along shoreline; Terrain: Level to 5% grade at launch; H2O/Water: Water clear until lake summer. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 60 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.


12. Lee's Point - Dock, vault toilet, skipping stone beach, picnic tables, fire rings, 4 camp sites. No restrooms. This is a spit that extends into the lake and at times open to weather systems depending on wind direction. There is a beautiful marsh and large mountain behind the spit. On the south side of a spit is a nice bay to anchor in but if weather is an issue one could anchor on the north side of the spit but make sure not to anchor in the river channel, and watch the depth as it is 2-10 feet during summer lake levels. Water depth at the dock is 4-5 feet during the summer but during the winter when the lake is drawn down there is not water at the dock. The skipping stone beach is always available to beach at no matter the water level. Directions: To access this site the closest launch is Johnson Creek (click here) in the Clark Fork section of this Lakes & Rivers Guide. If accessing this site by boat form other areas of the lake Lee's landing is behind/east of channel marker 29. Maps: See interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in Clark Fork River, Bonner County, ID. or GPS coordinates 48.149492, -116.249572
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... See number 11 for parking info; PATHS/TRAILS... Sand, pebble path from dock to beach camping area, not wheelchair accessible; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… None. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One long landing dock. Not a floating dock so if the water level is low its a bit of a climb to get onto the dock; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Primitive camping at this site along beach opposite dock; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Lots of sand and pebbles; Terrain: Sand and pebbles; H2O/Water: Water normally clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 50 to 70 degree. No drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Clark Fork, ID.

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