Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hepton Lake, Benewah County, Idaho

Channel from the St. Joe River into Hepton Lake. As you
progress into the lake the water depth gets very shallow.
Watch out for large rocks from the old broken dike.
Hepton Lake (named after Mr. Hepton that use to own the land that this lake sits on) can only be accessed from the St. Joe River via a short wide channel that is only 2 or so feet deep depending on the time of the year, which is on the northeast side of the lake off of St. Joe River. When the lake is visible from HWY 5 on the south side of the lake one could hike down the steep hill to the lake but will have to be aware if any of the land is private or not you are crossing. This lake was created in the 1990 by flooding that breached the dike that use to separated this once farming field from the St. Joe River. This lake is shallow due to the fact it once was a farming field and so averages just 1 to 4 feet deep depending on the time of year. One can access this lake with a kayak or canoe but other than that I would not attempt to access this lake. Not likely there are many fish in this lake but it is an incredible habitat for migrating birds. If you want to do some bird watching this is the lake to do it at. Marine vegetation in this lake is significant in late summer can be an issue, tangling on props and rudders. Directions: (Traveling on HWY 5 from Plummer Idaho or St. Maries to Heyburn State Park and access the launches there to enter St. Joe River to the lake. Or take Hwy 3 or 5 into the town of St. Maries. Maps: Visit type in Chatcolet Lake, Benewah County, ID. or GPS coordinates 47.345312, -116.634250 . See the St. Joe River post for nearby launches. Click here to learn about the nearby Heyburn State Park.
ACCESSIBILITY: Access only via the St. Joe River by boat.

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