Park Service recommends no paddlers on upper St. Croix due to high water

Heavy rain in the upper river watershed has resulted in record-breaking water levels, and has dangerous conditions above Riverside Landing.




2 minute read

Rangers with the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway say high water on the upper reaches of the St. Croix has caused dangerous conditions for paddlers. No travel on the river is recommended above Riverside Landing (near Danbury, WI) until further notice.

Branda Thwaits of the Namekagon District wrote the following:

Currently we are recommending people do not paddle the St. Croix River above Riverside Landing. The water is dangerously high. You cannot canoe under CCC Bridge Landing. Yesterday County Road T Landing was underwater. A few groups tipped and lost canoes.

Below Riverside Landing the water is fast and high, the big danger are trees and branches floating both above and below the water surface.

On the Namekagon River, below Hayward to the confluence with the St. Croix, the river is high and fast, paddlers should proceed with caution. Above Hayward Dam conditions are okay.

Please have people call the Namekagon River Visitor Center at 715-635-8346 for more information.

In a blog post by Park Service Ranger Dale Cox, he blames the high water on heavy rain that fell in the area two nights ago, and says the water is flowing at a record rate:

Upper parts of the St. Croix River watershed received between 2.5 and 6 inches of rain in just a few hours during the night of Tuesday, August 2. Falling on already saturated ground, this water is now flowing downstream and setting records for peak flow for this time of the year.

A U.S. Geological Survey gage on the St. Croix north of Danbury, Wisconsin, shows the dramatic climb in river level from approximately 1.5 feet to over 6.5 feet. For the date of August 4, the river peaked at a maximum flow of 7,330 cfs this morning, or close to 55,000 gallons of water per second.To put this in perspective, since records have been kept at that location since 1914 this the highest recorded waterflow for this date, and on only eight other dates has the river ever exceeded this level.

Readings from the Danbury, WI river gauge shows the story:

Danbury guage on the St. Croix River


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email


Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlikeCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
Park Service recommends no paddlers on upper St. Croix due to high water