Carson, E. Fork, California, US/Nevada, US
|Usual Difficulty||II+(III) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||25 fpm|
|E FK CARSON RV BLW MARKLEEVILLE CK NR MARKLEEVILLE|
|usgs-10308200||400 - 4000 cfs||II+(III)||00h51m||959 cfs (running)|
The EF Carson is a popular and scenic class 2 stretch, but it is more difficult in two respects than the rating can indicate. The water is very cold, so swims could lead to hypothermia. While the rapids are not difficult, they are non stop in the early miles. The current constantly pushes towards one bank or the other and those banks are undercut cliffs in many areas. Constant manuvering is required to stay in the center of the channel.
People often take two days and camp at hot springs, but one day runs are also feasible.
The run is popular for boaters with whitewater open canoes with float bags.
To reach put-in, drive south on highway 89/4 to Markleeville, and continue about a mile past town
to Hangman's Bridge, where there is an outhouse. You can find better put-in spots upstream
between the highway and river. Even on Friday nights, campsites are often available at a USFS
campground down a dirt road before the bridge. Shuttles are readily available by inquiring at
stores in Markleeville.
To reach take-out, drive north to highway 88, turn right, and descend into Nevada. You can take a shortcut by turning right on Centerville Lane, and left across a bridge before Dresslerville, although going all the way to Minden and turning right on highway 395 thru Gardnerville works too. On 395 just past the Lahonton Fish Hatchery, turn right onto a dirt road where the highway starts climbing a hill. The BLM parking lot is uphill at the end of the dirt road.
In years past, good shuttle service has been available near Markleeville. Paul and Gloria Washam operate a long-time company, Family Shuttle Service at 530-694-2966. The Markleeville General Store recommends River Rat Shuttle Service at 530-694-2448.
There are toilets at Hangman's Bridge put in, at the take out and one pit toilet about halfway down. Those camping on the river should bring their own toilet systems, though they are not required.