Pit River (CA) Releases This Summer

posted June 7, 2006
by Dave Steindorf

article photo 1
There will be a series of releases on the Pit 1 reach this summer as required by PG&E’s FERC license. This run is rated as class IV and will be releasing in June, July and August.


There will be a series of releases on the Pit 1 reach this summer as required by PG&E’s FERC license.  This run is rated as class IV and  received rave reviews from several boaters that were able to run the reach Over Memorial Day weekend.  The run is 8 miles in length and runs through a spectacular canyon that contains one thirty foot waterfall that is typically portaged.
The flows and dates for the Pit releases this year:

June 17      1,250 cfs
June 18     1,750 cfs

July 15         1,000 cfs
July 16         1,500 cfs

August 19         800 cfs
August 20      1,250 cfs (Releases will be from 8:00- 12:00 in August)



Part of these releases will include a flow survey where boaters will be asked about the quality of the run and the specifics about the flows on their trip.  This information will help us refine future releases on this run.  


Here is some information on the Pit from Matt  Donnelly who boated this run on Memorial Day Weekend.  The flows were reported to be between 700 and 900 cfs.

The BLM campground is named Pit Campground and is located on Pit #1 Powerhouse Road (large white sign * Clearwater Lodge).  The right turn is about 8 miles from the Hwy 89 / 299 junction.  The campground is very nice and has 8 sites and 2 very clean pit toilets, but no water, so be sure to pack plenty of it.  The campground host, Bruce, likes boaters after Memorial weekend, so be prepared to exchange stories with him around the campfire.  The campground is the take out for the canyon run and the put in for the lower run.  This area offers a great swimming area and there is plenty of shade.

The canyon run was a wonderful secluded canyon with osprey and eagles.  The fun starts with three drops after the large calm section at the top.  The run is fairly straight forward class 4, rock slalom.  The portage of the falls can be done on the right, up the embankment then down the trail to the bridge or on the left working down one drop on the left then walking down the rocks to the lower pools, watch out for poison oak.  There is one blind rapid on the lower section has large rocks at the entry and has a clean line on river left and has good eddies down the left side.

The lower run is a great class II+ section and the shuttle is quick.  The run takes about an hour.  The take out is at the 299 bridge on river right on the downstream side.  The road is easily seen from the hwy.

Again, I believe that this is a great river for novice to intermediate boaters and has a wonderful campground.

Driving Directions:
These mileages are provided assuming that folks know how to get to
Burney and/or the intersection of Hwys 299 and 89.

Take-out:
The Pit River Bridge where 299 crosses the Pit River is a good take out location with ample parking.
The bridge is located 4.7 miles east of  the Highway 299/ 89 intersection.
The second take out option is at the BLM campground.
It is 2.9 miles from the Pit River Bridge to Pit 1 powerhouse Turn-off.  This leads to additional take out points at the BLM campground.

Put-in:
From the Pit 1 Powerhouse turn-off take 299 east 4 miles to Fall River Mills.   After you cross the Fall River and enter the town take a right on Main Street.   This leads to the
upstream most put in point at Pit/Fall River confluence.  
If you wish to avoid the flat water at the top of the run you can put-in at Big Eddy by continuing on Main Street and taking a right on to Cassel Fall River Road.  After 2.1 miles turn right on  Shoshoni Loop this leads to Big
Eddy, a popular put in point downstream of the Pit River weir.
Follow Shoshoni Loop .9 miles to Natchez Ct.  
Natchez Ct. becomes cinder road to river.






Associated News

Events

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Calendar by Date by Title

October 2017

S M T W T F S
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2
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6
CA, Pit 1 Releases
from 06:00 am est
24 hour flows1150-1000 cfs

7
CA, Pit 1 Releases
from 06:00 am pst
24 hour flows1150-1000 cfs

8
CA, Pit 1 Releases
from 06:00 am pst
24 hour flows1150-1000 cfs

9
CA, Pit 1 Releases
06:00 am -4:00 pm pst
Ramp down will begin at 4 pm1150-1000 cfs

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Events
CA, Pit 1 Releases Redding,CA runs 08/19/06 - 10/09/17, next 10/06/17
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