San Lorenzo - Boulder Creek to Felton

San Lorenzo, California, US


Boulder Creek to Felton

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 9.1 Miles

River Description

From Boulder Creek to Ben Lomond, the run has several low-water dams. Richard Montgomery and I ran this at 6000 cfs and had to make quick exits for several bad hydraulics. This section isn't recommended.

Ben Lomond to Felton, however, is a much better run with no major hazards (as of last check). This stretch is described in the Schwind Guidebook. The best place to put in is at the park just before (south) Ben Lomond. To reach it from Santa Cruz, head up Highway 9, six miles to Felton and another 2 miles to the Ben Lomond Park.

Park a car outside of the Henry Cowell State Park entrance bridge just south of downtown Felton. Go out on the bridge and look upstream to see if the inflatable dam is up, the only major hazard on this stretch.

This stretch has moving water with small rapids, passing through the woods but close to houses. It's a good place to teach someone how to kayak, with minimal woody debris.

The only hazard is the inflatable dam, but watch for strainers. The water quality for this run improves through the season.

At high flows, watch for wood and wait until after the flows have crested if possible. At the putin park there's a small ledge that forms an excellent wave-hole above 1000 cfs (6000 cfs was phenomenal).


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2003-02-02 18:55:43


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 26 2002 (5900 days ago)
Zak LiebyDetails
I have ran from boulder creek to ben lomond and I had aleast five or six portages because of low
head dams, or remains of dams. I would not recommend this run. The rapids themselves are probably
class II but because of the hazards only experts should attempt this run.It is very very brushy
there was one rapid that could have been a disaster a big bend hidden by brush all the water was
pouring right into an old concrete bridge support very ugly. I had to abort my run of that rapid
half-way down.
Stick to the Felton to Santa Cruz strech much more fun!!!!!!!