San Gabriel, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||45 fpm|
|Max Gradient||60 fpm|
Access at the upper end of this reach may be problematic. The canyon/valley is posted against
trespass around all reservoirs and dams. The lower part of this reach is flanked by a paved bike
trail and housing developments.
Note: I have only 'car scouted' this run, at a time when it carried what would have been marginally boatable flow. Thus, all information here should be viewed accordingly. Anyone who has boated this stream or who otherwise has more familiarity with it is welcomed to provide more detail.
Kevin Mokracek provides (2006-03-26):
I have run this section of the San Gabriel countless times starting back in 1984 to the present time. To put in, I park at the turn off to the El Encanto restaurant. (NOTE: El Encanto restaurant is gone, as of August 2006, maybe earlier. Its just a dirt spot now where the highway forks.) Park in the dirt lot and carry your boat across the Hwy 39 bridge and up the hwy about 100 yards. There is a small trail down to the river on your right just after you pass through a road cut. Hike down this trail, get in your boat and paddle across the river. There is a road on the other side. Walk up this road to a very small low head dam. Put in here. By doing this put in you avoid walking through private property.
The run is generally class II with two class III's at flows up to 1000 cfs. I have run it as low as 100 cfs and as high as 10,000 cfs during a huge rain storm when the dam was overflowing and releasing at the same time.
BEWARE take out at the mouth of the canyon where Hwy 39 meets the river. Below this point there are several killer low-head dams. At very low flows I have run the first low head dam but it is not a good idea. This run is a fun after work run in the summer if Morris releasing water which it does from time to time.
By my best estimation, the following video from YouTube shows this run: