American, S. Fork, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||89 fpm|
|Max Gradient||120 fpm|
|So. American Below Slab Creek Dam|
|dream-074||500 - 3500 cfs||IV-V||09h05m||35 cfs (too low)|
The Slab Creek reach begins with several class IV+ rapids that are within sight of the put-in. The river has a very continuous nature for the next four miles. Many of the rapids are long and require good class IV skills. Mosquito Road Bridge at river mile 3.6 provides alternate access options. The most significant rapid on the run, Motherlode Falls, occurs shortly after the bridge.
The gradient eases after this point and the run becomes class II/III in nature. There also is more vegetation, primarily Alders, in the river channel in the lower section. Rock Creek enters on river right at river mile 5.5. The Rock Creek Power House could provide a potential take-out or put-in if paddlers were interested in running the last two miles of the run down to White Rock Power House. This section is also class II/III with one rapid that is potentially class III+.
Put in: From Highway 50 in Placerville, take the Schnell School road exit and go north to Carson Rd. till N. Canyon road. Follow N. Canyon Road to Slab Creek Reservoir road and follow that to the Slab Creek dam. Dirt roads lead to the river a short ways below the dam.
Take out: The road leading to White Rock Powerhouse is gated so boaters have to park outside and walk up from the reservoir. From Highway 50 in Placerville go north on Mosquito Road. After about 1 mile, turn left on Meadow Lane to Hollond Drive. Search carefully for the road down to the powerhouse.
Mosquito Road Bridge is an alternate take out allows boating the steepest few miles while avoiding Morthelode Falls and the easier water below.
Jason Bates wrote at boof.cem,,,,,
Thomas M. wrote ot Boof.com
I think medium flows are between 900-1300. The river starts to get more difficult above 1500 and is much more technical the lower it gets like 600-800
I would rate the run class IV+ overall at medium flows with the exception of mother lode falls V which has a sneak rout on the far left and a semi difficult portage on the right. Another option if you want your shuttle shorter and to avoid portaging mother lode is to take out on river left at Mosquito Ridge rd.
A GUIDE TO THE BEST WHITEWATER IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, HOLBEK & STANLEY, 1998
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|3.6||Mosquito Road Bridge||N/A|
|6.5||Rock Creek & Powerhouse||N/A|
the Mosquito Road Bridge at river mile 3.6 can provide alternate access and also warns of the approach to the hardest section of the river. Below the bridge several rapids get harder, culminating in Motherlode Falls.
Below Mosquito Rd. Bridge, several rapids get progessively harder as they lead towards the biggest rapid on this run. Motherlode Falls is an awkward portage for many boaters. Reportedly there is a sneak line on far river left.
Rock Creek enters on river right at river mile 5.5. The Rock Creek Power House could provide a potential take-out or put-in if paddlers were interested in running the last two miles of the run down to White Rock Power House. This section is also class II/III with one rapid that is potentially class III+.
During the winter and Spring the creek and powerhouse can sometimes deliver enough water into the river to provide boatable flows. Generally though, the additional water will be less than 100 cfs.
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