The Electra Run is a wonderful class 2 section suitable for beginning white water boaters. It has dependable summer flows and nice scenery. The Electra Powerhouse usually runs for some portion of each day. Maximum flow from the powerhouse is about 800 cfs. Spring flows when upstream dams spill can be much higher. The river is fairly narrow with lots of swiftwater, riffles and eddies. There are only a few rapids harder than class 1, so it is popular with beginner boaters as well as floaters and swimmers. There are many turnouts and swimming areas along the run.
Getting there: This section of the Mokelumne crosses Highway 49 between the towns of Jackson and Mokelume Hill. Driving time is about an hour and ten minutes to an hour and a half from Stockton, Sacramento or Modesto. There are a number of alternate routes from each direction so click on the directions tab and calculate the route from your zip code.
Put in: From Highway 49 drive 3 miles up Electra Powerhouse Rd. This road is paved, but narrow, old and heavily repaired. The put in area is well marked and there is a large beach for launching boats and swimming. The road continues anouther half mile to the powerhouse, but there is an old dam on the river in between.
Take out: There are two common options. At highway 49 there is a large parking area on river left, called Big Bar. This take out makes for a short shuttle. and still gets most of the whitewater rapids. The new option is to take out at Middle Bar which is two miles downstream. From Electra Powerhouse Rd & Highway 49 drive north towards Jackson 2.2 miles. Turn left onto Middle Bar Rd and drive 3 miles to the take out parking area. Middle Bar Rd is paved but narrow, old and heavily repaired. Alot 10 or 12 minutes to go the 3 miles.
The opening of the Middle Bar Bridge take-out now makes the run from Electra Afterbay Dam to the bridge about 5 miles. This is a great Class-II reach with nearly dependable water in the summer due to peaking power generation. Getting this formerly restricted area open to boaters was a key focus for American Whitewater in the relicensing of the upstream PG&E Mokelumne hydropower project.
Other Information Sources: cacreeks.com Foothill Conservancy: Wild and Scenic possibilities for Mokelumne
Foothill Conservancy: PhotosBLM River DatabaseCA Hydro Power Reform Coalition: Mokelumne pageSchematic Map of Diversions and gauges
This great beach is located just below the parking lot at the put in. There is a large pool for practicing and warming up. You can also paddle upstream quite a ways.
Fun bumpy water
A long moderate rapid bends to the right, then back to the left. This appears to be the site of the annual Moke river races, slalom course.
The river drops over a gravel bar, moves left, passes some large rocks (or holes at higher flows), then turns again to the right .
There is a large parking area on river left just below the Highway 49 bridge. There are two entrances, one on each side of 49, so you turn right no matter which way you are coming from.
On the water, float under the bridge and look for take out options on the left. There is a big beach just below a small rapid.
Looks like there are trails down to Devil's Toilet Bowl rapid from here. You could scout that rapid or even carry back to this parking area after running that rapid.
This is the biggest rapid on the run. It's II+ or III- depending on the flow.
There are several small rapids along this section down to Middle Bar.
Take out on river right about 100 yards before the bridge. A trail leads up past some picnic tables, and across the road to a parking area with two pit toilets.
At the bridge itself, there are chain link fences and no trespassing signs.
The Electra run has dependable year round outflows from the PG&E Electra powerhouse which is just upstream. Powerhouse flows are generally around 700 cfs.
Pardee Reservoir - CDEC
USGS historical data for Mokelumne near Mokelumne Hill. Gauge is located near the Highway 49 bridge and is operated by EBMUD.
Schematic Map of Diversions and gauges
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Devil's Toilet Bowl
Holy Cow, it can roll!
Topoduo down Devil's Tolit
Here comes Larry
Topoduo Peel Out
Geoff and Kim
Middle Bar take-out
Mokelumne, Ponderosa Way
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
The California Natural Resources Agency recently released the draft Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic Study Report. Recognizing the river's extraordinary scenic and recreational resources, the agency recommends that 37 miles be added to the California Wild and Scenic River System. The agency wants to hear from you about their recommendations by March 8th, and will hold a public hearing about the draft report on Thursday, February 15th in Mokelumne Hill.
In the settlement negotiations that preceded the 2001 license order for the FERC Mokelumne River Project #137, American Whitewater was satisfied with the recreational flows required for the Electra to Middle Bar reach. However, over the past few years dependable boatable flows on the Mokelumne Electra run have all but disappeared.
The EBMUD is seeking comments on their revised 2040 Water Plan, which continues to seek to drown part of the Mokelumne River in California. The Electra Run and Middle Bar Reach are not only an important resource for whitewater and other river based recreation, but are also hold cultural significance. EBMUD needs to hear from all who love the Moke that expanding Pardee Reservoir is still a bad idea. Submit your comments by Friday, July 29th.
On October 13, 2009 East Bay Municipal Utility District's (EMUD) Board Members voted to approve their Waste Supply Management Program (WSMP) 2040. Proposals to enlarge Pardee Reservoir, included in this plan, remain a threat to our whitewater interests on the Molkelumne River.
American Whitewater continues to play an important role in negotiating and implementing the recreational flows provided by hydropower licenses throughout California. Here are some of the scheduled recreational releases for 2018. Enjoy!
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