SUPing Silver Creek
Tips for paddling beautiful Silver Creek in the Wood River Valley
By Jo Cassin - Idaho River Sports & SUP Girls co-founder
Silver Creek Preserve is open year round and it is beautiful in the winter. Since it is a spring-fed creek, it flows all year long. I try to avoid it after Memorial day because of fishermen. Fishing season opens there on Memorial day weekend. Even during fishing season, it is open to EVERYONE, but some fisherman get annoyed with us paddling through, so I like to go in early May or April.
A hard or inflatable SUP board works just fine. I have used a hard board several times. The only thing you need to do is take you fin off or use a short fin because the first part is very shallow. I have taken my fin off and then farther down the creek, when it gets deeper, put it back on. I have used a shorter fin and gone fin-less altogether. All seem to work fine.
The last mile is exposed and out in the open more, so the wind always seems to blow hard upstream against you in the afternoon. The trick is to start earlier in the morning in hopes of avoiding the really windy part of the afternoon. Or just be prepared and know the last part can be slow going in the wind. When it is windy your fin really comes in handy.
The shuttle is very short so you can take one car and walk back. Its a nice walk. The road goes up a hill above the creek and gives you incredible views. BUT in the winter the road is not open. So in winter we always park at the take out (Kilpatrick Bridge) and paddle up stream as far as we can and then paddle back to the car, if we only have one vehicle. If you have two cars then you can put in at Stalker Creek Bridge and take out at Kilpatrick Bride and just use the highway road to drive your shuttle.
One other thing to remember, the Nature Conservancy asks that you sign in before you float at the center.
There is a great book written by Katherine Daly and Ron Waters called "Guide to Flatwater and Easy Whitewater Trips". It has all the information about many Idaho rivers; perfect for SUPing. It tells all the put- ins and take-outs, difficulty, mileage etc.
Hope this helps you enjoy a beautiful part of Idaho!