Saturday, July 2, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Float 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Picnic dinner 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm (optional)
Floating on the Pend Oreille River in WA
Put-in at Box Canyon Dam. Take out at Metaline Park
We will meet at the Box Canyon Dam in Pend Oreille County, near Ione, WA. This is about a 1.5 hour drive from Spokane. We will put all our float gear at the Box Canyon Dam boat launch. Then we will carpool most of our cars about 6 miles down river to Metaline Park in Metaline (not Metaline Falls). Then we'll all launch onto the water from the dam and float to the Metaline Park beach and boat launch. At times the water flow is very slow so you may have to paddle to make down river progress. Depending on how many stops we make, it will take about 4 hours to float to Metaline Park. There are a few places to stop along the river if you want to stretch your legs. Look for sandy shores along the sides of the river. If you float in a canoe or kayak, you may want to jump in and out of the water, kids especially! Usually the water is cool but comfortable. This is definitely a float trip that all ages will enjoy! Many people like tying their rafts together so that they can easily stay together. Many of the big kids and teenagers may want to tie their rafts together to create a whole flotilla of kid fun! The Pend Oreille River flows north (into Canada!)
Map of Box Canyon Dam
Directions from Spokane to Box Canyon Dam:
- Hwy 2 north
- Turn left (north) onto 211 N
- Turn left (west) onto 20 W
- State Rte 20 changes names to 31
- The dam is on the right on WA-31 N/International Selkirk Loop N
There is a guard shack at the entrance to Box Canyon dam. Since 9-11 there are guards at all dams for security reasons. Just tell the guard that you are floating on the river and he will let you on through. Drive straight ahead and make a sharp left U-turn to drive to the bottom of the boat launch. Drop off all your stuff (everything you want to float on and with).
Our group will drive all cars (1 driver per car) to Metaline Park Beach and Boat Launch. We will leave all cars except a few at Metaline Park. All drivers will get into the few cars and drive back to Box Canyon Dam. When we get back to the dam, drive straight ahead past the guard and when you get to the gate/fence, park your car to the right.
Map of Metaline, WA
Directions from Box Canyon Dam to the boat launch at Metaline Park
- Drive on road 31 for about 5 miles north.
- Turn right on South Main Ave
- Drive to the end of this road then veer right when you get to the park at the end.
- Park your car near the port-a-potty
While floating on the river you will recognize where to get out at Metaline Park, where you parked your cars. From the water, you will see about a dozen houses lined up next to the river on the left hand side. Below the houses is a steep and shallow beach. At the end of the row of houses is the boat launch. This is the best place to land your canoes/kayaks/floatation devices. You can back your car right up to the canoes/kayaks and load them there.
Please note: You will probably won't get any cell phone reception north of Ione. Ione is about 3 miles south of Box Canyon Dam.
What to bring:
- life jackets (We require life jackets for all floaters but you don't have to wear them the whole time you are floating. You know the swimming abilities of your family.)
- something to float on (no motors please)
- any blow up inner tube or raft - even cheap ones are fine - as long as it holds air for several hours
- inner tube that is usually towed behind a boat
- canoe and/or kayak. You can rent in Spokane from REI or Mountain Gear. In Metaline Falls, rent from Boundary Tours.
- small fishing boat (with no motor or the motor turned off)
- snacks and drinks
- bathing suit
- Exploring Families Release of Liability form. Each family will have to print, complete, sign, and bring with you an Exploring Families Release of Liability form. Download it here.
Ages: All ages
Cost: Free if you show up. There is a $10 registration fee per family that will be refunded after the trip as long as you show up. All the parking is free.
Tour limits: none