This section is commonly called the Squaw Rock section because the main landmark is a large volcanic bluff around which the river flows. The largest rapid is also at the base of this bluff. However the name of the bluff has been changed to Frog Woman Rock, which was the local Pomo Indian name for this formation.
There are many alternate put-ins and take-outs here. The section from Pieta Creek to Comminsky Station is pretty flat except for Frog Woman Rock itself. You might consider entering at Comminsky instead. We often do the 1.5 Mile stretch from Comminsky to just below C-Turn. We feel that this short stretch has the best playing potential. There is a large turn-out from the freeway there and you will often see parked cars with racks on them.
You might also consider taking out at NACO or Preston. Both are considerably easier take-outs than the bridge. The bridge take out involves either private property (occasionally enforced) or a steep artificial talus slope. Take out (googlemap)
The Frog Woman Rock Rapid is the only true Class III here. It is considerably harder when the flow is below 300 or above 1500. Above 2000, it is probably a Class IV. You may scout this rapid from the road before you run it.
The "C-Turn" rapid can be Class III-/III at flows greater than 700 or so CFS. Be sure to take the left-hand channel from the large pool above.
Warning - This section has had a number of trees (strainers) across the river in some years.
Frog Woman Rock is the original Pomo Indian name for this volcanic rock. Bi-tsin’ ma-ca Ka-be’. (frog woman cliff), or kawao maatha qhabe, Frog Woman Rock. The Frog Woman has a beautiful face but the body of a frog. She lives in a den in the rock. She can leap a hundred feet and snatches up passing kayakers. She makes them pleasure her, then devours them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frog_Woman_Rock The historic landmark along the highway has been changed from Squaw Rock to Frog Woman Rock.
This is the only Class III. The water drops significantly as it makes a large bend around a 500 foot high rock. There are several drops. The biggest involves fast manuvering around a large rock at low water. Above 1500 or so CFS, the rock forms a pretty much unavoidable hole.
A whitewater guidebook to the Pacific Coast of the United States from the Rogue River to the Salinas Valley in California.
Get hourly flow reports on the Russian River at USGS Cloverdale gauge and CDEC Cloverdale. This gauge is at
Other gauges of interest on the Russion river are at
Hopland, , Healdsburg, or Hacienda Bridge. The Coyote Dam Inflow/Outflow is
Historical records from 1951 to the present are available at the USGS Station Page.
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.
"The Ledge" at C-Turn
Double-Drop at high water
Squaw Rock on the Russian River
Quiet stretch above Squaw Rock
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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!