"Wild and fun white water rafting on the Wolf" Keshena by minkota

Keshena Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 13 photos

Big Smokey Falls

There are several options at the many companies that have rafting along the Wolf. Big Smokey Falls run is defiantly the most exciting!
The best trip on the Wolf River, and one of the best runs in the Midwest. Awesome whitewater and breathtaking scenery, makes this trip our most popular. Sullivan Falls, Ducknest, Wolf River Dalles and Smokey Falls await your challenge.

Classes of Rapids

Sullivan Falls is short Class II rapids and has a 7 foot river wide waterfall. Next is a short stretch of flatwater before you arrive at Class II+ Ducknest Rapids that are several hundred yards long. Next are the Class II+ Teakettle Rapids. The Class III Dells Rapids follows the Teakettle. When you see the steep walls looming ahead try and go to the left side. This a very cool part of the trip, the scenery up until then is woodsy then all the sudden you are in a short canyon. Finally a large island announces Big Smoky Falls. There are big drops on both sides of the island. The one on the left, a Class IV-V should be avoided under any circumstances. There is a bridge and sign that shows which way to go.

*Class i: easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
*Class ii: novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels that are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated "class ii+".
*Class iii: intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required.
*Class iv: advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated "class iv-" or "class iv+" respectively.
*Class 5: expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids, which expose a paddler to, added risk. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness.
*Class vi: extreme and exploratory. These runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. the consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions.

Don't let any of these ratings scare you. It is much easier in a raft than a kayak. Rafts just bounce off rocks and keep going.

  • Last visit to Keshena: Jul 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (3)

  • dinhyen's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2003 at 11:51 AM

    The rapids always look bigger when you're going over it :) Looks like watersports heavens. The big smokey falls photo with shafts of sunlight streaming down is amazing. In addition to water jugs, perhaps one should find a way to strap oneself down :)

  • kaloz's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2003 at 10:59 PM

    An excellent adventure.

  • Jul 4, 2003 at 12:27 AM

    Excellant page..beautiful phtographs..superb narration..Pages filled with wealth of information and nice tips..


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