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Difficulty II+(III)
Length 8.4 Miles
Flow Range 200 - 30000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 137 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/18/2014 6:01 pm

River Description

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.  The historic landmark along the highway has been changed from Squaw Rock to Frog Woman Rock. 

Rapid Descriptions

Squaw Rock

Class - III Mile - 1

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.

Grave Yard

Class - II+ Mile - 1.3
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This is a relatively high gradient rock garden directly below Squaw Rock. 5 ft drop at the end is often called "Tilden Falls"

Comminsky Station Splat Rock

Class - Mile - 2.5
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There is a great "Splat Rock" just below the low-water bridge at Comminsky Station. Great fun.

The Room

Class - II+ Mile - 2.7
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The river splits around a large rock. The right-most channel takes you down a narrow "Hallway" into "The Room." Splatrock and hole at the bottom. The left channel is also fun if it isn't congested with strainers. Be careful.


Class - II+ Mile - 3
Two consecutive drops. Big rocks in mid stream. 2nd drop has a good play hole at moderate flows.


Class - II+ Mile - 4
Actually two distinct drops. Take the left most branch after the big pool at "Alcapulco" (Named for the big Pyramid Shaped diving rock on river right). The first is called "The Ledge" and is a steep chute with a 2 - 3 ft drop. This is a hole at higher water. After a short easy section, the left-side-stream merges with the main river for a congested rapid. Holes at moderate water, washed-out at high water.


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Zak Lieby
8 years ago

Gage Descriptions

Get hourly flow reports on the Russian River at USGS Cloverdale gauge and CDEC Cloverdale. This gauge is at Comminsky Station.

Other gauges of interest on the Russion river are at Hopland, , Healdsburg, or Hacienda Bridge. The Coyote Dam Inflow/Outflow is also available. Historical records from 1951 to the present are available at the USGS Station Page.

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.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2004-09-13 n/a Fatality Inadequate Equipment Read More
1989-03-29 High Fatality One Boat Trip Read More



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Jason Robertson

1189thumb.jpg“Take Back Our River Day”, a paddlers’ act of civil disobedience on the Russian River scheduled for August 17th, will NOT be held. Tom Meldau, President of the Sequoia Paddling Club, long-time AW member and volunteer, in meeting with representatives of Syar Industries has negotiated access to the historically used path around the county-installed dam at Memorial Beach in Healdsburg. The fence that the gravel company has installed will remain, but a gate manned from 8 am to 4 pm daily will allow paddlers to traverse the gravel company’s property and access the river.

Randy Hodges


Paul Martzen


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190067 10/23/06 Randy Hodges n/a
1203585 07/27/14 Paul Martzen changed coordinates
1203619 08/18/14 Paul Martzen Frog Woman Rock - name change