The Cherry Creek run of the Tuolumne has a
number of big class 5 drops and many class 4+ and 5- rapids to keep first timers intimidated and
old timers coming back. The riverside scenery is excellent with lots of small granite
cliffs and giant boulders along the river. The forest is a mixture of pines and oak
woodlands. Beware that there is also plenty of poison oak.
Cherry Creek may be the most popular class 5 whitewater in California because it receives
dependable flows from Holm Powerhouse most of the summer and sometimes in the fall and
winter. Many people boat this reach week after week through the summer, learning
every facet of every rapid.
Near the end of the summer there is an annual but informal Cherry Creek downriver race and
party. Spectators and safety volunteers spread out along the race section and
hotshots paddle as fast as they can down a section containing some of the major
rapids. Dates for the race are usually announced on Boof.com and other kayaking
websites and email lists.
Put in: Holm Powerhouse
google map. Boaters usually gather up off the main highway at Casa Loma to
carpool and coordinate shuttles.
Take out: Lumsden Bridge is the first possible take out and the most commonly
google map. Boaters can also continue downstream to Meral's Pool by Lumsden
Good rapid by rapid video of Cherry Creek on you tube.