115 mile kayak journey through the heart of the Lower Mississippi River, from the Helena Harbor to Choctaw Island with camps on Island 62, Smith Point and Choctaw Island. In these photos the river was almost bank full (32 on the Helena Gage and rising). Optional: kayak through the Old Channel of the White RIver. Big wide open wild river, main channel varying from 1/2 mile wide to over 3 miles wide during high water at the mouth of the Arkansas River, with more water flowing hidden in adjacent forests and over adjacent islands. Optional: paddle up some back channels to reach the Arkansas 3 miles above its confluence, and then paddle back down the Arkansas to rejoin the Mississippi near Ozark Landing. The Lower Mississippi fluctuates 50 vertical feet -- and so landings, boat ramps, islands, campsites, sandbars and other landmarks change radically from season to season. Check river gages before embarking and call or write local guides like QUapaw Canoe Company. Highlights included the White River confluence, Great River Road State Park, and the Arkansas River confluence.
Advanced paddlers only familiar with big volume & big water conditions including giant boils, whirlpools and very powerful hydraulics. Very remote & wild, primitive camping only, no services of any sort along way. Bring everything you need for survival, sustenance & comfort. Don't forget toiletries & medications. Dress for intense sun exposure. Dress for the season, but remember the Mississippi is a cold-running river, often from snowmelt. Usually runs cold through April. Wear wetsuits or drysuits November through April. Advanced paddlers only. You should be familiar with self-rescue technique. Capsize will mean a long swim to shore. Other hazards include towboats, buoys, wind, waves, snags, sawyers and severe thunderstorms. Monitor VHF Channel 13 and NOAA radio.