Eagle River: Camground and Echo Bend rapids

FYI Campground rapids, in my personal opinion, at current levels (3.4 as of midday although I notice its falling fast), is just about perfect, at least for intermediates like myself (and I think it wouldn’t be boring for experts either). Long hidden rocks come out to play and challenge one’s maneuvering and balance skills, there’s still enough water to make left and right runs but its low enough that the ever-present center deathwood is completely blocked by rocks and thus impossible for it to cause problems, still some fun-wicked holes and drops and 3 ft +/- waves, and enough semi-hidden rocks to add some intrigue and surprise. Just had an absolute blast out there for a couple hours amusing myself over multiple runs today. Didn’t hurt that I had the whole area to myself, which is because FYI #2 the gate is already closed on weekdays (just open Fri-Sun). Nice 20 min walk from the gate, or better yet, proving my idiocy that it took several years for me to think of bringing one for these out-of-season runs, a quick bicycle ride.

As for Echo Bend, anybody scout or know whether its down to semi-safe levels for people that are not named Roman or Brad? :slight_smile:

Yep on the trail, I was using the bike to get from the gate at the correctional center down to the Campground and just walking a few minutes on the trail far enough to get warmed up before hitting the rapids instead of going all the way to the bridge. Don’t know why they close the gate so early in the year, but it sounded like it had something to do with Lifetime running it.

Thanks for the info on Albert Loop, I forgot they keep closing every trail up there that has had any sign of a bear within 5 miles of it every year. Maybe taking out at that little turnaround area below the Nature Center where the river comes right up to the road would keep one out of trouble. Be a bit of flatwater for awhile though but I wonder if that would be not really any more hassle than walking back on Albert Loop. Would let somebody get all the walking done prior to boating and not be able to just throw wet boat and gear right in car and drive away. But I have never paid attention to if that makes a good take out nor what the distance from there to the Nature Center is, both in float time and highway mileage. ??


If you are thinking about trying Echo Bend, the current level (approx. 3’ and 200 cfs) is about as low and slow as it gets while still passable. If it gets any lower many of the slots will start to pinch off. I’d rate it at III+ at the current level. Be aware that there is a sticky sleeper hole about 150 yards before you reach Rapids Camp.


5 of us ran it Sept. 25th and it was like being the ball in a pinball game bouncing off rock caroms. Great fun and Brad is right, it was actually too low at the Sept. 25th level to run from the top. Some slots were too rock filled so we put in just about where the creek cascades in from river left. Great little run down from there.

Looking for Echo Bend beta about when it opens up this year and is first boatable.

If you are keeping an eye on it too, please post any open water updates in this message thread.

5 of us paddled it the last weekend of September last autumn for the 1st time and cannot wait to get out there again.