A small pocket wave/hole at the put-in allows surfing and beginners practice ferrying in good current (in the outflow) at low levels. At high levels, it becomes very playable. An easy rock-dodge rapids leads to a pool where the river takes a 90 degree left bend through a narrowing in a rock walled gorge. Again, surfing and enders are possible at higher levels.
More minor rapids lead to the first commmonly named drop, Scrounge Canyon, a narrowing of the river, as it passes through a dells with minor boulder garden. This is a great place for novice boaters to practice catching as many eddies as possible on either side of the river, while absolute beginners will probably just hang on down the center from top to bottom.
Numerous small rapids lead to Horseshoe Falls, where the river is diverted around an island. The right (much larger) channel drops over a short (1-1.5') ledge, and stong current and 'funny water' immediately follow.
Not far downstream is one of the best play spots, White Dog. Surfing and enders are great at moderate to high flows.
Various technical rock garden drops follow until the finale, Yellow Bridge. The river passes under Barker Road, where there had been an old iron bridge, painted yellow. The bridge has been replaced, but it lives on in the name of this rapid (and the section of river). The drop begins with a twist to the right across a short, irregular sloping ledge, to an intermediate pool. From the pool, the river twists back to the left as it drops over another ledge, then down the longest boulder garden rapids on the run before the take-out on the left bank. At high water, this is a real rip-snorting rapids which most beginner/novice boaters will take out above. For those who do run the drop, takeout is just around a right hand curve just as the action subsides. Note: Please be considerate of posted private property around this drop. The home-owner (at river right) has generally been quite willing to grant permission to groups who ask before scouting, while reportedly getting varyingly irate at those who trespass without first getting consent.
8 years ago
by Ryan Jennings
We have not established correlations between the paddler's gauge, painted on rock under the Hwy.K bridge (put-in) and the USGS gauge.
Levels of 3' on paddler's gauge make this (normally good beginners river) an incredible intermediate+ play run.
Gauge/flow analysis based on most recent ~8 years of data from current gauge cycle (data exists for many prior years, but there was a gap of quite a few years)
Drainage area at gauge: 255 sq.mi.
Minimum mean daily flow during stated period: 61 cfs (2007.08.18)
90% of time flow exceeds: 94 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 330 cfs
Maximum mean daily flow during stated period: 1050 cfs (2008.04.20)
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness'): 3.51 (under 3 is fairly steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')
Average runnable days per year: 166 (historical ave. # of days over stated min)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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The flies were huge
2nd snag after scrounge canyon
Horseshoe Falls open boat
Yellow Bridge first pitch
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