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Since I am leaving for Yuma, AZ on Sunday I thought maybe I could find some Fall colors along the Payette River. I was a little disappointed not to find much Fall colors, but I did find this very peaceful looking part of the river with nice reflection and a few Fall colors.
The Payette River is an 82.7-mile-long (133.1 km) river in southwestern Idaho and is a major tributary of the Snake River.
Its headwaters originate in the Sawtooth and Salmon River Mountains at elevations over 10,000 feet (3,000 m). Drainage in the watershed flows primarily from east to west, with the cumulative stream length to the head of the North Fork Payette River being 180 miles (290 km), while to the head of the South Fork the cumulative length is nearly 163 miles (262 km). The combined Payette River flows into an agricultural valley and empties into the Snake River near the city of Payette at an elevation of 2,125 feet (648 m). The Payette River's drainage basin comprises about 3,240 square miles (8,400 km2). It is a physiographic section of the Columbia Plateau province, which in turn is part of the larger Intermontane Plateaus physiographic division. The South Fork of the Payette has its headwaters in the Sawtooth Wilderness, which is part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
The principal tributaries of the Payette River are the North and South forks. The North Fork drains about 950 square miles (2,500 km2), beginning north of McCall and flowing into Payette Lake. The North Fork exits at the southwest end of Payette Lake at 4,990 feet (1,520 m) and flows south in the "Long Valley" of Valley County toward Cascade. It then flows into the Cascade Reservoir, then continues south, accompanied by Highway 55.
The South Fork Payette River drains about 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2), originating on the west side of the Sawtooth Wilderness beneath the 10,211-foot (3,112 m) Mount Payette. It flows past Grandjean and down to Lowman, along Highway 21. The shorter Middle Fork Payette River parallels the lower North Fork 10 miles (16 km) to the east, flowing south and joining the South Fork just southwest of Crouch. Further east, the Deadwood River parallels the Middle Fork and empties into the South Fork just west of Lowman. The main stem of the Payette River is shown on USGS topographic maps as beginning at the confluence of the South and Middle forks.
The North Fork joins the Payette at the village of Banks, at an elevation of 2,790 feet (850 m). The main stem flows south from Banks for 15 miles (24 km) to Horseshoe Bend, then west into Black Canyon Reservoir. Below the reservoir's dam, the river flows past Emmett and Payette, then empties into the Snake River at the Oregon border. The Payette River has an average annual discharge into the Snake River of 2,192,000-acre-foot (2,704 km2) of water.
October 12th, 2013
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