Yuba, S. Fork, California, US
D) Edwards Crossing to Purdon Crossing
||IV (for normal flows)
Canyon Creek Falls
Canyon Creek FallsPhoto of Norwood Scott taken 07/14/13
General: Edwards to Purdons is a fun Class IV pool-drop run through a small, roadless
river canyon. It is 4 miles long and usually has water in the winter and spring. The run is
probably a little more difficult than Chamberlain Falls and a little easier than Giant Gap (both
local Class IV runs on the North Fork American). Edwards to Purdons is along a pretty stretch of
river with some great granite ledges for sun bathing.
Flows: The run is best around 1000 to 1500 cfs (6.5 to 7.5 feet). At this flow, there are
lots of small waves and holes with good opportunities for boofing. Minimal flow is around 500
cfs. At this low a flow, the run gets pretty bony. Be sure to stay upright. At higher flows,
things start moving faster and some large holes develop. Most people don't run it above 2500 cfs
as the shuttle takes longer than the run and a lot of the fun rapids wash out.
Rapids: There is a pretty good surf wave just downstream from the bridge. Close after that
is a short series of rapids with a sneaky hole on river left that sometimes convinces boaters to
walk back to the put in (there is a short trail from the put in to the Spring Creek confluence on
river right). Halfway down the run is a river wide boulder sieve that may be run on the right.
The "old broken dam" referred to by Holbek and Stanley washed away in the 97 flood.
There is no longer any trace of the dam or its nasty rebar. All that is left is a clean fun
Shuttle: The shuttle is fairly long (45 minute each way) and requires a high clearance
vehicle or good skills dodging rocks in the road. It may be done on the south side of the river
or on the north side of the river. The north side shuttle is longer, has longer dirt sections,
but avoids the worst section of Purdon Road. People sometimes drive to the takeout from the south
(coming from Nevada City) and then drive the shuttle on the north side of the river.
To run the shuttle on the south side of the river, take Highway 49 north from Nevada City. Go 0.3
miles past the split with Highway 20 and turn right on North Bloomfield Road (at the
firestation). Follow North Bloomfield 0.6 miles to a "T" intersection. To get to the
put in (Edwards), turn right at the "T" and go about 6 miles down to the river. To get
to the take out (Purdons), turn left at the "T" and follow Purdon Road about 7 miles to
To get to the take out from the north side, take Highway 49 north from Nevada City across the
South Yuba and turn right on Tyler Foote Road. Go about 3 miles and turn right at Mother
Trucker's on Purdon Road. Go 2 miles on Purdon and turn left on Purdon (dirt) where it junctions
with Murphy (pavement). Follow Purdon Road 1.6 miles down to the river. There's parking and a
reasonable trail to the river just downstream of the bridge on river right. To get to the put in
on the north side, drive back up Purdon Road to Tyler Foote. Stop at Mother Trucker's and get an
organic veggie snack for lunch. Turn right on Tyler Foote and go about 4 miles to North Columbia.
Go through "town" and turn right on Grizzly Hill Road. It is marked by the
"Grizzly Hill Gravel Company" sign. (Note that "Mapblast" suggests using
Lake City Road instead of Grizzly Hill Road; Lake City takes a little longer, but works
okay). Follow Grizzly Hill down about 2 miles to the junction with North Bloomfield Road.
Turn right on North Bloomfield and follow it about 1 mile to the river. Cross the bridge and park
uphill on the left. Look in the bushes to find a nice trail down to the river upstream of the
bridge. For those with only one vehicle, there is also a trail on river left the entire length of
Local Info: The South Yuba River received Wild and Scenic status January 2001. This was
due to the outstanding efforts of SYRCL, the local river
conservation group. Their site has nice photos of the South Yuba and information on local river
issues. Become a member and you'll get praise from the river gods.
Camping/Motels: Local camping is limited. If you stay on someone's land without
permission, you may get shot. The South Yuba Campground is near the put in, but is only
officially open during the summer. To get there from Edwards, go north on the dirt road about 1
mile and follow North Bloomfield Road toward the right. The campground is a half mile down the
road. There are a number of motels in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. The Outside Inn is nice, relatively inexpensive (for Nevada City)
and has some kitchen units. There are restaurants within walking distance and it caters to
mountain bikers and other atheletes.
California Boating Bible: Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley; "The Best Whitewater in
Other California Boating Sites:
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-12-30 23:18:54