Fresno - 2) Road 600 to Road 415


Fresno, California, US

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2) Road 600 to Road 415 (Fresno Gorge)

Usual Difficulty IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 11 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
FRESNO R ABV HENLEY LAKE
cdec-FHL 300 - 1500 cfs IV-V(V+) 01h03m 19 cfs (too low)


River Description

This is a very beautiful, interesting and cool run. It has almost everything; sections of continuous class 4 rapids, a granite gorge with class 5 drops and then class 5+ drops, a few waterfalls, a short slot canyon (with unrunnable entrance, unfortunately), sections of pastoral calmness, historic remains of a flume, a road and buildings, and even nasty cursing landowners at one spot! What more could you ask for?

Put-in: From Oakhurst, drive north on Highway 49 a few miles to the Raymond Rd. Turn left and drive till you first see the river.

Take-out: From Coursegold, take Road 415 till it crosses the river. Parking is a problem in this area, so you will have to park a ways back from the bridge somewhere, or have someone pick you up.

Season: Winter.  The Fresno River has a low elevation drainage and so is only runnable in the winter during and after large rain storms.   It will usually take several big storms in a row to get decent flows in this river.

Land owners: There are many houses near the end of the trip, but everyone we saw in that section waved at us. About in the middle of the trip, though, we came to a road fording the river with a barn on one side and a house and other structures on the other side. A group of people saw us and cursed at us. We hurried on our way. Other boaters have had similar unpleasant encounters with this family. This article on navigable rivers is probably pertinent.

This is a very high quality section of river. It is very much worth paddling if you can catch it.

Water quality will be poor as it is rain runoff from a populated and developed region.

Paul Martzen


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-05-17 23:42:58

Editors


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 19 2010 (2715 days ago)
nearseattle (151497)
The log flume once stretched along the Fresno River for 50 miles from the mountains above Oakhurst
to Madera in the San Joaquin Valley, a total drop of 4,000 feet. Started in 1874, it was known as
the Sugar Pine Flume. At several places in this section the flume was suspended directly from iron
bars driven into the granite walls of the gorges. Richard


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