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Thread: Wild River Wilderness Water Levels

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Wild River Wilderness Water Levels

    Planning to finally do some hiking in the Wild River Wilderness in the near future. With all the bridges gone and potential fords of various rivers I'm trying to get a handle on monitoring water levels so I can judge when it might make sense to be in there. The USGS 01054200 Wild River at Gilead, Maine gauge I assume would be the one to watch but I have never hiked in there and associated any readings with actual in the field experiences like I have with other gauges in the Whites.

    So what is considered "high" for this gauge and would indicate difficult or impossible crossings? Today it was at 100 cfs and about 2.7 ft high in Gilead. That sounds pretty mellow but I don't know the area. Can anyone associate some numbers to this gauge so I can get an idea of water crossing difficulty? Appreciate any info that would help with this. Thanks.

    P.S. I would most likely drive in on Wild River Rd and leave from the trail head near the campground. I assume the further in you go the more doable the crossings are.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    I was there a couple of weeks ago. Hiked up to the Spider Bridge but didn't cross as we wanted to loop back to the campground via the shelter sites at Blue Brook Connector etc. It wasn't bad to cross. No way rock hopping. But as you know any recent rains before or during your planned trip change that fast. Bring some water boots and change then cross. Hope this helps. Snow seems to be gone and not a factor on that river any more.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    This isn't going to be much help as far as actual numbers go but....Several years ago I wanted to hike the Black Angle Tr. Moriah Brook Tr. bridge was still usable at that time but I heard the high water trail sucked. I wanted to get to Black Angle as fast as possible. I also had heard the wild river can be very difficult to ford. Did this in July and waited for a significant dry spell before doing this. Don't remember the exact # but over a week with no rain. I crossed at the old spider bridge location and it was a consistent knee to just over depth the entire way. With those lovely algae covered rocks and boulders that are slick as snot. I was an interesting (tence) ford. Trekking poles were a big help.
    Joe

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    We crossed the river via Shelburne Trail bound for Shelburne Moriah a couple of years ago in late summer and at the time it was a fairly easy rock hop. It took some foot placement planning in spots but was generally easy.
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    Once the snow pack is gone and trees are leafed out, the river can be crossed up near the Black Angel trail but unless prolonged drought conditions its far more risky anywhere north of there. The nice thing with the Wild River is in the summer and fall it responds to rain events very quickly. The gauge jumps up and then drops overnight.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    We crossed the river via Shelburne Trail bound for Shelburne Moriah a couple of years ago in late summer and at the time it was a fairly easy rock hop. It took some foot placement planning in spots but was generally easy.
    I did the Shelburne ford Memorial Day weekend in 2015 at about 70 CFS (
    https://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/...ate=2015-05-25

    We did it at night and the deepest was maybe 2.5'. I'm guessing if we did it during the daytime we could have found a better spot. I actually gave my partner a piggyback across.
    Last edited by TJsName; 06-11-2019 at 02:00 PM.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
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    Years ago, I had a heck of a time getting across the Cypress Brook on the High Water Trail. So I wouldn't consider the High Water trail as an alternate, easier, path after a rain.

    IMO the Wild River drainage is similar to the Dry River drainage, not someplace I would want to be after a rain storm.

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    I've rock hopped the WR at Spider Bridge every time I've been back there in autumn. Consider accessing from Bog Brk if you're expecting precip, it's more interesting down that end anyway. Might be muddy but much safer. Definitely would not want to be stuck on the Highwater side trying to get back to the CG during a rain event, Eagle Link makes for a long (however beautiful) detour back.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    OK. So I guess well under 100 cfs is a rough guide based on experiences here. Was thinking of going up this weekend but maybe later in the season is a better idea. I've read the Highwater Trail is a mess so it would not be under consideration for me.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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    Definitely not a great weekend given chances of rain everyday.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Definitely not a great weekend given chances of rain everyday.
    I hadn't even checked weather yet. I usually keep 2-3 hikes "on the burner" each week and go with the one that catches my enthusiasm as the weekend approaches.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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