Piru Creek, California, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||67 fpm|
|Max Gradient||100 fpm|
|PIRU CREEK ABOVE LAKE PIRU CA|
|usgs-11109600||6.62 - 7.60 ft||IV||00h40m||3.85 ft (too low)|
|PIRU C AB FRENCHMANS FLAT CA|
|usgs-11109550||200 - 800 cfs||IV||00h40m||142 cfs (too low)|
Middle Piru Creek between Pyramid Lake and Piru Lake is a beautiful class 4 wilderness run
through incredible geology. It can be runnable for a few days immediately during and after large
winter rain storms, or for longer periods during very wet winters.
Piru Creek lies just to the west of the Grapevine section of Highway I-5, north of Los Angeles.
Put-in: From the Highway 126 junction in Castaic, Take I-5 north, 10.5 miles to the Templin Highway junction. Turn left (west) under the freeway, then immediately turn right onto Golden State Highway. Travel 5.2 miles to Frenchmans' Flat Campground. google map.
Take-out: Take I-5 to Castaic. Take highway 126 west, 11 miles to the town of Piru. Turn right on Center Street and go 7/10 mile to Orchard Street and turn right. Travel 2/10 mile on Orchard, then turn right on Piru Canyon Road. Travel 6 1/2 miles to the Piru Lake boat ramp. google map.
Note: Be aware that there may be BARBED WIRE across the river about 2 miles or so before the creek flows into Lake Piru, and NYLON FENCE and BARBED WIRE slightly further downstream. This creek has many strainers and pinning spots. The creek is normally boated at fairly low flows, so it is usually not disastrous, but if things go wrong you have very few options. It can make a very long day if something goes wrong. Bring extra food on this one -- 15 miles of class IV is longer than you think!
At the end of the run, the river gets shallow and braided. If flows are too low or
you choose the wrong channel you may have to drag your boat occasionally. Then you
face 3 miles of flat water paddling on the reservoir to get to the boat ramp.
Paddlers are supposed to stay within 100 feet of the west shore while paddling on the lake to the
boat ramps. Also, the boat ramps close early in the winter time. Contact
the recreation area for specifics.
Other Information Sources:
Piru Creek Slide Show by Gary Valle and Gary Gunder. Excellent!
Friends of the River
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Frenchman's Flat Campground|
|15.7||Piru Lake (reservoir)|
|18.5||Piru Lake Boat Ramps|
A spectacular section of the creek that also contains several large and congested drops and potential portages.