Spring/High water is the result of snow melt and spring rains. The Orient to
Barstow run will produce mostly Class 2 and a few Class 3 sections that are
easily avoided. High water generally starts about late April and decreasing
until late June. Most rapids are rolling with some holes and choppy sections.
Unless you're an expert, you must put out at the Beach or have a very difficult
uphill portage' over private property. There's a large eddy on river right before
The Gorge. Pull out here and scout first. The Gorge is a Class 5 at high water
with wicked holes, deep kettles, odd shaped underwater rocks and cross rapids.
It's doable but you'd better be good or very lucky. There's a 5 or 6 foot drop
with very strong currents. Below The Gorge there's about 100 yards of Class
2/3 rapids that are a blast
if you're still upright! Often there's a Class
2/3 shoot on river left. Depending on the level there may be some large rocks
exposed in mid-stream that you can land on and scout.
Summer/Medium water is the most popular time and runs roughly from late June
till October. Expect barely Class 2 rapids. But again, The Gorge offers a challenge.
It's a runable Class 2/3 but with a section that usually must be made
else. Conditions vary depending on log jams or a change in the rock structure.
It's easy to land on the large, middle rock section and portage'. This is a
fun section in the summer but it's highly advised you use a spotter with a rescue
Late-Summer to Spring/Low water. This is inner tube time with few serious kayakers.
You'll be scraping bottom and The Gorge is mellow.
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