Battle Creek, California, US
Manton Rd. (A6) to Coleman Fish Hatchery
||II-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Â© 1996 by Bill Tuthill, email@example.com
This surprisingly good run is located just the other side of the Sacramento river from Red Bluff.
The whitewater consists of nearly continuous class II-III rapids and a class IV rapid, tapering off
near the end. Scenery and solitude are good, so it is surprising that this river didn't make it
into any guidebook. This run is superior in all respects to Cache Creek and Stony Creek, although
further from population centers. Rapids are numerous, water quality is good, playspots are
plentiful, and the season is long.
Hourly flow information (take-out) is available at DWR's CDEC Web site
(code BAT). The description
below was compiled at 835 cfs, a common flow during spring runoff season. Runs are possible at
higher flows, and down to 800 cfs. Technical at low flows, with rough volcanic rocks.
- Tight rapids for about 2 miles on the S Fork, where the flow was about 33% of that at
take-out. Watch out for a brush-choked drop at a R bend about 1.5 miles down.
- At the confluence, the N Fork approximately doubles the flow. The N Fork is subject to
diversions, and its trees are closer to the river than on the S Fork. It has been run at low
flows and described as class III with a few portages, but kayakers have been turned back at
- About 1 mile below, the river curves L thru a class III+ rapid, and then Morgan Creek (? maps
disagree) comes in on the L.
- About 2 miles below that, there is an old broached dam (or bridge) with an extant tunnel on
river R. Shortly below is the only class IV on this run (scout or portage R bank).
- Fun class III rapids continue for another 2 miles. Most have short pools in between, although
one is continuous for over 1/2 mile. Below there is a beautiful spring-fed mini-falls on the R
(probably drinkable, purify to be sure).
- Less intense class III rapids continue for another 2 miles until a huge horseshoe bend. Below
that Spring Branch creek comes in on the L, and rapids ease to class II. Somewhere in there a
double pipeline crosses the river. Evidence of cattle grazing becomes evident.
- After another 2 miles, an artificial-looking waterfalls with lots of water (perhaps overflow
from Coleman Forebay) comes in on the R. Shortly below is another inlet from tubes of a power
generation station. These diversions add 200-300 cfs to the gauged flow.
- After another 1.5 miles there is a low-head dam, which at 835 cfs can be safely run on the
far L. Take out either above or below the low-head dam.
HAZARD: Half a mile below take-out is a two-tier concrete diversion dam with
drowning-machine reversal below. Do not go near the edge!
To reach take-out from I-5 N of Red Bluff, go E on Gas Point Rd, bear L on Ball's Ferry Rd,
turn R on Ash Creek Rd, cross the Sacramento river, then turn R on Jelly's Ferry Rd, and soon L on
Coleman FH Rd. Continue past the Fish Hatchery to the end of the county maintained road, and park
near a square building covered with grafitti.
To reach put-in from there, return to Ash Creek Rd, turn R and go uphill, turn R on Wildcat Rd,
bear R at a junction, then descend and cross the N Fork of Battle Creek. You could put in there, or
continue to the S Fork ahead (as in the description). AAA Feather/Yuba map recommended.
Old-timers say that higher runs on the N Fork are have generated many "horror stories" of
portage fests. Nearby Antelope Creek offers a more scenic, slightly easier, but longer (perhaps
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-10-22 21:54:24