Hisrch Creek

What It's Like
Great whitewater with a deep and committing canyon. Beautiful scenery.
Class
V
Scouting / Portaging
Triple Drop portage requires ropework. Patapult is a must run class V deep in a sheer walled canyon.
Time
3-4 hours.
When to Go
May-October, when other creeks in the area are getting low.
Gauge
21.7cms↑ (Aug 7 08:00)
Contributed by Ali Marshall and Louis Bissonnette

Put In

Drive from Terrace towards Kitimat on Hwy 37. 1.2 km after the Hirsch Creek hwy bridge take the first left onto Forest Ave, by the Visitor Information Center. Forest Ave turns into Hirsch FSR. Follow the main branch of this FSR for 5 km. Park where the road widens, where there is an overgrown road on your left.

The hike in can be disorientating as there's no trail, just flagging tape. Head down the overgrown road for 30 m, then head left into the bush. Follow the flagging tape. After 500 m you will hit a small creek, which you follow to the river. The put in coordinates are 54°05'07.66"N 128°32'54.94"W. If you hike to the correct spot, you will be 50 m upstream of the first rapid, 'Wake Up Call'.

Take Out

Coming from Terrace, take a left turn 400 m before the highway bridge opposite the Hirsch Creek Campground. Follow this dirt road (it runs parallel to the Hwy) for 400 m to a car park by the river.

Description

The river starts with 2.5 km of high quality class 4-5. There has been a landslide in this section, burying one of the old rapids. It's easy to spot, portage on the right. 2.5 km downstream from the put in, a junky rapid with a large horizon line appears. This is Triple Drop. It's a 20 ft fall with a cave at the bottom. Most people who attempt to run this drop end up in the cave. Safety for this cave is mandatory if running this drop. To portage, ferry to the river right, at the top of the lead in rapid. Use ropes to pull you boats up the gully. Traverse 50 m downstream, using an old rope that's there to help. Use a rope to lower your boats down the next gully to the bottom of the falls. Seal launch into the powerful current and boof the ledge hole at the bottom on river left. You cannot scout or put safety on this ledge.

300m downstream is 'Patapult'. It is a long cascading slot rapid. Portage the top part of the rapid on river right. You must run the bottom part of this rapid, and it is difficult to set safety. Get back in your boat in a small eddy on the right, ferry into the raging torrent and try not to flip.

After 'Patapult' the river eases. There are a couple of easy rapids before you reach the take out on river right just upstream of the highway bridge.

Be aware of rising water levels on this section. It has a large catchment and the canyon would be INTENSE above recommended flows. Keep an eye out for wood. Make your life easy and go with a local.


 
An overview of the Hirsch Creek area.

Hirsch Creek hike in map.

Wake Up Call.

One of many great drops.

Underlander Falls.

Hirsch rapids.

Triple Drop.

Patapult.