This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-IV
Length 3.6 Miles
Gauge Kaweah Inflow Terminus Res
Flow Range 500 - 4000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 year ago 110 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/19/2007 1:35 am

River Description

This is the easiest part of the Kaweah above the reservoir and has many sections suitable for beginners with Idyllic flatwater canals under overhanging tree.   But then the pretty flatwater is seperated by very pretty, big serious rapids.   Even the easy floating sections have a few lurking short but steep little drops with big holes.   Still, strong beginners with river experience do get escorted down by Kaweah regulars, especially at lower flows.   But... they have an exciting time!


From the NF bridge the river starts off pretty flat and scenic, but with occasional short steep drops.  The lines down the drops are easy, generally on one side or the other, but on several a big hole occupies the center of river.   Be in the right place and it is smooth and easy, but be in the wrong spot and its Glug! Glug! Glug!


Holiday Rapid, near the end is class 4 and very big, but it is easily portaged.   Love Canal is a long and very continuous class 2 or 3 rapid.   Several other rapids throughout the run are also very worthy of respect.


Getting There:

Take Highway 99 then turn east on Highway 198 through Visalia towards Three Rivers.   The routes is Freeway or excellent highway for all of the distance. 


Take out:

At the upper end of Terminus Reservoir is a Lake Access area.   There is plenty of parking, toilets, and no fee. 


Put in: 

Most of the roadside around the NF Bridge is posted for no parking, so boaters have to be creative.  Most people actually launch upstream near the gas station across from the school.  They launch downstream of the big rapid there. 

Other Information Sources:
The Kaweah River Page created by Bill Pooley has the best and most up-to-date information about the river. 

California Creeks where you can find this handy little river map.

Local Clubs:
For more information on this and other local paddling areas, please feel free to contact these local clubs:  NEW Kayak ClubGold Country Paddlers. SJPaddlers,

You can get more information from California's Whitewater Community at

Rapid Descriptions

North Fork Drive Bridge

Class - Mile - 6.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Tuber's Religion

Class - III Mile - 6.6
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Golf Course

Class - III Mile - 7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Tunnel of Love

Class - III Mile - 8
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Dead Cow

Class - III Mile - 8
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Upper Holiday Hole (Washing Machine)

Class - IV Mile - 9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
The river makes a sharp turn to the right and enters a low gorge.   Large boulders block the entrance and constrict the main flow into a narrow channel on the right.   The river plunges down a steep ramp into a big hole.   The left side of the hole is the deepest.  The current pushes boaters to the left and they must paddle hard to cross back to the right and come down the right side of the ramp.  The hole can flip rafts and kayakers, sending swimmers on into middle and lower Holiday. 

Kayakers can avoid this chute by swinging wide to the left and negotiating narrow routes through some boulders.   This sneak route presents its own difficulties.  

A good potage trail is on river right.   Scout from this side also

Holiday Rapid is below the high water line of Terminus Reservoir so it is not visible in the aerial photo map. Still, in most years it is boatable for much of the spring whitewater season. 

Lower Holiday

Class - IV Mile - 9.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Terminus Reservoir

Class - Mile - 10
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Gage Descriptions


Dreamflows' gauge for the Kaweah River at Three Rivers, CA. Which is right above the put-in for this section.


 Expect peak water in late May.







Kaweah River Page additional flow resources

Postaflow reports at Dinely Bridge from boaters who have looked at the visual gauge on Dinely Bridge

Postaflow yourself   after you look at the visual gauge at Dinely Bridge

If a real time look at the river is what you want, Bill Pooley's river-cam is what you're looking for.

Also check CDEC for Kaweah info.   The Army Corp measures and posts the raw data for Terminus Reservoir information which includes reservoir inflow and river flow at Three Rivers as well as quite a bit of other information.


You can also call (916) 653-9647 for the inflow into Terminus Reservoir.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports






Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190004 05/19/07 n/a n/a