california in may - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-27-2006   #1
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california in may

hey im going on a road trip in may to various parts of CA...what is the typical flow pattern like for CA rivers? im looking to hit the Kings area, the kaweah area, and then farther up north, like the Eel River area, the Klamath River area, and possibly the Trinity area. could the two weeks in the middle of may be high water in that region or will it be a shoulder season?

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Old 02-27-2006   #2
 
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Yeti,

Not sure of the season they are having except to say that they have had a ton of rain/snow mix. Warmer this year than others (imagine that!).

We usually head out in early May and go straight to Downieville for the trip warm up on Pauley (awesome) and some other classics that are all either putins or takeouts right there in downtown Downieville.

We have gone from there... south on some trips and north on others. You kinda have to wait to see what the temps/thaws are like when it gets closer.

The one that is very unknown and is probably some of the best is a gem called the Cal Salmon. Great creeking and huge river running. You won't see anyone for days there and it's really clear big water.

Check it out. NF of the Salmon was a bit more then described in the book and the SF was pretty darn commiting.
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Old 02-27-2006   #3
 
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we have a crew going to the cal salmon area the last week of april while our wives are at otter bar. yes, they understand how rad that is. we hope for good flows and probably are going to get it handed to us as we are really just IV+ boaters and don't have much sense. any beta concerning runs in that area would be appreciated. we have both of the books, i have geeked out on cali product/california creeks/jefferson state kayaking websites for many hours, so i need some first hand beta. i will pass on what i learn to you when we get back, yeti. i seriously doubt you will be dissapointed in may. rock on.
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Old 02-28-2006   #4
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hey, thanks a bunch for the info! im looking for stuff thats big but not too technical, im not quite a comfortable class V boater yet....ive managed my way down a few, but im looking for just fun stuff to do while my family is visiting the area. what is access like to the cal salmon? is a myriad of logging roads or is there fairly easy shuttle logistics?

anyone ever run the Mattole River? or know of anything good around the South Fork of the Eel?

Again, thanks for the info!
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Old 02-28-2006   #5
 
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Tenmile Creek into the S Fork Eel canyon above Leggett is "big but not too technical," aside from the willow jungles on Tenmile. This is a standard class IV winter/spring run in that area, though late spring has better weather and more daylight to enjoy it with--if there's water. It's 17 miles through deep woods, and most of the rapids are well defined and fun. If you're looking to keep your game mellow try to make your runs below 3,000 cfs and keep an eye out for incoming rain. This is in the H&S book as well as on ca.creekin.

There's a section below the private takeout that's along the road, looks like class three. Elsewhere, drive south to HWY 162, and run from Outlet Creek to Dos Rios on the main Eel for more roadside class three. This goes from 600cfs to 30,000cfs, but the play is better at lower flows.

This area can be finished in May, especially if the rains have tapered off. There's nothing that's snow fed, except Pillsbury, which is still subject to dam releases. There's also a lack of runnable creeks in the Eel, and it's isolated from other, better drainages. Further north into the Siskiyous or across the valley to the Sierra and you'll have far more quality options. Ditto on the Kings and Kaweah to the south.

SO basically the Eel would be my last choice if I were to visit CA in May, but it's still nice to boat in isolation, especially if you can swing a three-day wilderness trip down the Middle Fork.
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Old 02-28-2006   #6
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Mccann, when you get to Otterbar talk to Jason. He is the head instructor for the advanced/intermediate classes. Super nice guy and will give you the lowdown on the area. Make your way to Oak Bottom if you are taking playboats. It think its range is 2000-2500 but when its in, it is an awesome, fast wave.
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Old 02-28-2006   #7
 
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The salmon is not easy to get to as it is very north and close to the coast, but once you get there everything is roadside. From my best memories growing up around there, it's probably about 4 hours north of the Eel, but an awesome drive. There is some V action, but really the main salmon is only big water IV IV+, and is run in playboats.

The creeks are awesome as well, but a step up and definitely require creekboats.
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Old 02-28-2006   #8
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The Tuolumne River below Lumsden Campground is long, big, not too technical and a total classic. Check it out here:

http://cacreeks.com/tuol-lum.htm
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Old 03-01-2006   #9
 
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rad. i will find jason. we will have all the necessary boats. the girls are having a bachelorette party at otter bar, and the men have been banned for the week. sorry to hijack your thread, yeti. i would wait and see where the flows are like craw suggested. ca is friggin huge and it takes a long time to drive seemingly short distances between drainages. some good sites i found:
http://jscreekin.blogspot.com/
http://cacreeks.com/
http://home.flash.net/~cfoster2/boating/
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Old 03-01-2006   #10
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hey, i dont care, ive got some ideas for runs in the area now, i appreciate the info from everyone. One last question: the McCloud River. the "falls of the mccloud", has anyone here run those, or more specifically, the lower one? it looks semi roadside, and we'll be driving on that exact road, so will it be worth it to just park n huck it?
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