Eel River: CA - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-05-2012   #1
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,135
Eel River: CA

Anyone done this river, Middle Fork or Main?

Looking at some time off in May and curious about experiences.


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Old 04-05-2012   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 774
Check out these guys write ups.

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Old 04-05-2012   #3
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,135
Thanks, thats a new one for me.

Hoping the flows hold out until May this year. A little big in there right now but NorCal seems to the only place in Cali that has snow this year. We live in SW Utah and are desperate to hop on a good wilderness run in May.
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Old 04-05-2012   #4
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 29

I did the Eel last June. Probably much higher flows last year than this year though. We did a four day trip ending near Kettenpom, and starting god knows where. I can't remember which fork we started on, but the flow was pretty gentle. One of the forks or the main river met up, and it got burly from then on out. Awsome trip, highly recomend it, but..... The area is very sketchy. I saw two fights while sitting at store in the middle of nowhere. Luckily one guy that was with us had lived there before, and we had a place to keep our cars and get a shuttle from a meth man. I have heard many stories of people leaving their cars, and coming back with them broken into and even burnt to a crisp. The people living up there are in a world of their own, and don't like outsiders. On the way down the river we saw many pot growing farms, as well as people watching us from behind bushes. Security I guess. Anyways, it is a great river, but be careful up there in the Emerald Triangle. There is also the Trinity River, which is boater friendly.
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Old 04-05-2012   #5
Oakland, California
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 14
I ran the mainsteam of the Eel from Dos Rios down to Alderpoint. A great rundown can be found on CA Creeks. We did 53 miles in 3 days in February. It was damn cold with snow on the "high" peaks. I think the river was around 10,000 CFS and it was an absolutely fantastic run. Great Class III that was totally read and run, and we didn't see a soul for 3 days. There's an abandoned railroad track paralleling the river that is straight out of a Stephen King novel. We found some nice local folks to run the shuttle. Awesome camping as well. Damn shame they basically shut off all the water in the summer so you really need to watch the flows. Enjoy...this river is/was a well kept secret.
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Old 04-06-2012   #6
Keizer, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Here is a link to another Buzz thread about the Eel

EEL River, California?
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Old 04-07-2012   #7
Truckee, California
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Eeling it!

Ran this stretch last April and I highly recommend it. Spent 5 days and flow went from 3000cfs to 13000cfs (Heard it goes up into the upper 20000cfs). Great camping on river but beware of poison oak and locals. Didn't see a soul once on the river, but super sketch meth heads at put-in/take-out, and tons of grow ops everywhere. We did have someone try to lift some gear roadside at put-in but chased them beware. That said, we had no problems with break-ins at take-out in Alder Creek or put-in at Dos Rios with multiple vehicles (We also brought a gun or two....a first for any river trip I have ever been on.)
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