Put-in: From the junction of highways 41 and 49 in Oakhurst take highway 49 3 miles to Griffin Drive at the Goldside subdivision. Turn left and go .8 of a mile till you find the river. Griffin Drive becomes River View Drive for the last .2 of a mile. There are now more houses at this put-in so parking and access could be a problem. Might be best to be dropped off or put-in upstream in Oakhurst and portage the big cascades in between. Elevation about 2080 feet. Take-out: Backtrack to Highway 49 and continue 1.1 miles north to the Raymond Rd (Grub Gulch Rd on the some maps). Drive 2.5 miles till you see the river. There is a big turnout with a historical marker and a trail down to the creek at this point. This is BLM property. The road also parallels the river for about a half mile allowing you to boat several more excellent rapids. It does force a steep hike back up to the road. There is a house right where the creek turns away from the road, so take out far enough upstream that you don't walk through their yard. Elevation about 1830 feet. Season - Winter. Fresno River generally needs a pretty good sized storm system or series of storms to bring it to good, boatable flows. Description: The first half of this run starts out relatively flat, flowing past houses and back yards. A few bedrock slabs form gentle play spots, and a few short, steep, congested drops keep you alert. Watch out for a floating bridge to portage. Logs, brush hazards, or barbed wire fences could be a problem in any year.
The start of a gorge section is marked by a long, wide, shallow, bushy and rocky rapid. You can usually scrape through, but you may want to portage parts or most. Below this are several very interesting rapids through a pretty gorge. A last shallow, rocky rapid signals the exit of the gorge and the appearance of the Raymond Rd. Excellent rapids continue downstream for the short distance the creek parallels the Road. Where the creek veers away from the road marks the start of the excellent Fresno Gorge Section. Local Clubs: NEW Kayak club
Minimum flows for this reach are around 400 cfs inflow to Hensley.
The best visual estimate of whether the flow is low, medium or high is at the take-out where rapids are visible. One can check bridges in Oakhurst to estimate flow as well.
Flows at Goldside may be 70% to 90% of Inflow to Hensley Reservoir, (Hidden Dam).
The Army Corp also has a page showing
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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