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This has got to be one of my favorite creeks in the Big Horns. Non stop class 5 action for about two miles with no portages is not commonly found in the Big Horns or much less anywhere in Wyoming. This was my first creek that I had ever really run as kayaker, learning the strokes and stepping out of my comfort zone of the Shoshone River. Ed Conning dragged me out of the local ditch to meet up with the Big Horn kayaking pioneers Todd Andrews and Dan Crain. They had tried to run this section earlier in the spring but super high flows forced them to cling to the river banks with a shouldered kayak. I remember being incredibly scared the whole time but loving every minute.

Nathan Danforth and Tom Sunderland getting into the goods on the lower section of the South Fork of the Tongue River Big Horns

Many years later I have finally returned and the gauge marks that we had put on the bridge years ago were no longer visible but I remember 500cfs on the Dayton gauge being the optimal level. Nathan Danforth and I headed over as the gauge was reading 550 and we figured it would be good to go but what we found was a high flow. The high flows made the read and run nature of the creek a bit more difficult but damn it was good.

left, right, right, center or something like that.

Myself working through the massive holes

After an epic trip of high water action we decided to come back at a lower flow with some others to enjoy the action. The gauge read 380 at Dayton and I would say this was a prime level for the run.

Jake Skeen running the steep entrance rapids into the canyon

Nathan Danforth on the first rapid at Needle Rock which marks the start of the 2 miles of steep creeking

Tom Sunderland enjoying some Big Horn white gold

Tom Sunderland in the lower section of the Needle Rock rapid

Jake Skeen in the lower needle rock rapid

Jake Skeen cleaning his line nicely through the hole

Jake Skeen (again) coming into the middle of the read and run section.

The takeout of the South Fork of the Tongue providing a nice camp spot

playing with some shots from the drone

A good day on the river

Big Horns Provide LTP

So psyched to enjoy this creek again after so many years. Lots of great memories with Dan and Todd and there is no doubt those guys were stoked from above that we were getting back in the Tongue. So much appreciation to the both of them who really got me hooked on exploration kayaking in the big horns. You guys are missed but never forgotten LTP !

Video to coming soon of the run

Cheers, Aaron Mulkey