Kings, N. Fork - Above Wishon Reservoir

Kings, N. Fork, California, US


Above Wishon Reservoir

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 221 fpm
Max Gradient 300 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
cdec-MBK 150 - 800 cfs IV-V 03h09m 21 cfs (too low)

River Description

Posted to, 8/23/1998, by Richard Smith:

"Alas, another wild plum of the Sierra Nevada mountains has been
picked. Tom Hagberg and myself managed to bag the North Fork of the Kings
River above Wishon Reservoir. All in all I think we hiked about 6 miles with
our boats including one long portage around an unrunnable (boat width)
gorge. The paddling was very straight forward and enjoyable. We packed along
a video camera and shot just about everything we ran. For future reference
however and for those who would like to check out one of the most beautiful
places to paddle on earth, I recommend paddling across Wishon Reservoir and
then hiking up the North Fork from there. There are several fantastic (all
runnable) drops as well a small scale gorge with runnable water falls and
ledge drops. Great stuff and considerable easier access for the quality
drops than what we did."

Gradient, mile-by-mile: 180 (0.6 mi), 220, 300, 260, 160, 200, 140.
Wishon reservoir is at 6540 feet elevation.

Getting there:  Take highway 168 out of Fresno, towards Shaver Lake.   In the outskirts of Shaver Lake, turn right on Dinkey Creek Road.   Go past Dinkey Creek to Wishon reservoir.  

Take out:  There is a road that goes a ways around the west side of the reservoir.   Drive as far as you can to a locked gate.   google map.

Put in options: 
1)  Tom and Rick parked at Courtright reservoir (google map) to start their 6 mile hike around past Post Corral Creek.  
2)  Another possible access method is to slide/hike down Helms Creek from Courtwright reservoir then hike up the NF Kings from that confluence. Although peak flows on Helms are later than boatable flows on the NF Kings.  
3)  Park at the take out at Wishon.   Paddle across the reservoir, then hike up the river as far as you want.  The hiking is on decent use trails and rock slab for much of the distance, but there are likely to be areas of rugged travel as there is no formal trail. 

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-12-08 07:15:19

Rapid Descriptions

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