Lower Klamath Beta - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-07-2017   #1
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
Lower Klamath Beta

Putting together a learn to Row trip for some friends this summer around mid July. Had planned on doing the lower salmon but a few people dropped out so looking a bit closer to home and thought the lower Klamath may be an option. Was trying to get in some significant mileage so was going to start 30 miles up river of happy camp and take out Rogers crossing/Stuart's bar.

On the forestry service website it says the mileage above happy Camp could take four or more days. That makes very little sense to me and pretty sure I could somersault that mileage faster. Is it bony as all hell, require mandatory portages or is there some break in the space/time continuum I am not accounting for?

Any mix of data, empirical evidence and/or rumor would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 04-07-2017   #2
 
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 27
I've done 40 mile days on that stretch in a raft with just a little effort--it's fairly easy water with good current on the whole. Usually flows all summer. The water comes out of Klamath Lake, so it's warm but dirty. Not bony, and the only portage is Ishi Pishi Falls, just below Stuarts Bar. I'd say: set up a long trip, and if you aren't making the miles you can always walk to the road and hitchhike down to your car--Hwy 96 is right there. It's a beautiful float, but campsites are few and small and the road is hard to ignore.

Check out the description on cacreeks:

California Creeks - Klamath Iron Gate
California Creeks - Klamath Happy Camp

And the forest Service map of access points (open in Google Earth or with your GPS):
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5212414.kmz
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Old 04-07-2017   #3
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
Awesome --- thank you! I'm guessing I either read it wrong or the forestry service wrote it wrong!

Here is what it says, " During the summer, float trips from Sarah Totten to Happy Camp may take as many as four days or more to complete. River segments east of town are known for their beauty and abundance of wildlife."

I'm assuming we'll be able to make 20 miles a day over first two days and then slow it down once we get past Happy Camp


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Old 04-07-2017   #4
 
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2016
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I agree that East of Happy Camp is particularly nice. Don't miss the stretch through and just below the Seiad Valley--pretty, and some fun small drops. 20 miles per day should be easy.
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Old 04-08-2017   #5
 
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Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 32
"pretty sure I could somersault that mileage faster." Best line ever!


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Old 04-08-2017   #6
 
Central Point, Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 434
There are two things to be aware of on the lower K. The first is that the area is very impovrished so I wouldn't leave a rig parked overnight and expect it to be there with the windows intact when you arrive. I have used the people just below Happy Camp to shuttle with great sucess(530) 493-2207, 925-0347, but it has been a few years.

Secondly, DO NOT CAMP at Ukanaum(sp?) on the long skinny beach that is used for day acess for the side hike if its raining. The hundred foot clif at the back of the beach is actually 1200 ft of vertical talus and scree. We woke up to rock fall comming through the tarp and one of our cots was damaged. Fortunatly evasive manuvers kept everyone safe but is was a close call and rude awakening to say the least.
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Old 04-08-2017   #7
 
Southern, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 60
Low flow, and hot temps will shorten your miles (Below Happy Camp). I wouldn't plan over 15 miles a day if the flow is near 1k. There is a good camp near Crawford creek and another across from Coon Creek takeout FYI.
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Old 04-12-2017   #8
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Southern, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitewater Worthy Equip View Post
There are two things to be aware of on the lower K. The first is that the area is very impovrished so I wouldn't leave a rig parked overnight and expect it to be there with the windows intact when you arrive. I have used the people just below Happy Camp to shuttle with great sucess(530) 493-2207, 925-0347, but it has been a few years.

Secondly, DO NOT CAMP at Ukanaum(sp?) on the long skinny beach that is used for day acess for the side hike if its raining. The hundred foot clif at the back of the beach is actually 1200 ft of vertical talus and scree. We woke up to rock fall comming through the tarp and one of our cots was damaged. Fortunatly evasive manuvers kept everyone safe but is was a close call and rude awakening to say the least.
Great advice. A few years ago we floated that stretch and one guy in our party left a rig overnight prior to shuttle. His pickup was upside down, stripped, and burned by morning. No joke... My gut tells me that some Karuk zombies had something to do with it, but I have no hard proof.

Spoke with a deputy sheriff down there last year about seeing any improvements, and also asked about carrying a firearm. He reminded us that concealed handgun carry is illegal (for most) in Cali, but he wouldn't recommend staying anywhere in these parts without 'protection'. They patrol in pairs I guess, because of many issues unique to the area between there and Forks-of-salmon like pot grows and stuff. I felt that they usually prefer to just avoid the area altogether.

Extremely beautiful country, but wicked strange & depressed/poor like WWE said.

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Old 04-13-2017   #9
 
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 47
Lower K

PDX Duck,

I spend a TON of time on the lower K and have a totally different impression then some of these replies. I ran 3-4 multi days last year and left my rig at "Coon Creek" right on 96. Never had any problems. Where I think you'll see issues is below Somes bar. The natives are not super keen on the boaters down there, and while I agree the people are sketchy from time to time in my 6+ years boating down there I never had a problem. If it were me and you wanted a good float, good camps, and decent water that grew as the trip went on I would put on somewhere up river of Sarah Totten, and float to Coon Creek. Exact mileage not sure but that should take 4+ days depending on flow and push. The Section below China Point and happy Camp is SLOW. Great fishing but that's about it! Good camps include. Sarah Totten, china point, ferry point, coon creek beach, and multiple others.
Keep in mind there is one rapid that will flip even the most experienced boaters. Dragons tooth, low flip consequence but worth scouting.
DO NOT try and run or portage Ishi Pshi falls. You will have more to worry about then just your truck.

PM if you would like more info. Happy to talk you through what we normally do and my best buddy owns a guiding service down there that may have a shuttle for you.
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Old 04-15-2017   #10
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
Just want to thank all of you for the awesome input. Genuinely appreciate everything you guys have said --- A little bit surprised to hear about all the vandalism --- I grew up in Medford and will be picking up a couple of firefighters down there to go on the trip / grew up with them. Would have had no idea they just an hour or so away is a completely different world. Much love folks, thank you!


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