Wooley Creek - North Fork confluence to Salmon River

Wooley Creek, California, US


North Fork confluence to Salmon River

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)

River Description

Wooley Creek is for those willing to hike in and go deep. Its a real beauty!
Lesser run, due to hair and spiders in places, this beautiful clear water cascadie snakes through granite mini-gorges making this run a never-to-be forgotten beauty!
The original method of access was to hike a trail from the takeout to the put in. Over time, other options have been found, get wise with your local kayaker.

Klamath National Forest asks that river users document their trips with their online form: Rafting Trip Documentation Card

May 23, 2007:   Wooley Creek Trail Closed at Haypress Creek bridge:  Orleans District Ranger Bill Rice would like to inform forest visitors that the Wooley Creek Trail (#5832) into the Marble Mountain Wilderness has been closed at Haypress Creek approximately seven miles from the Wooley Creek Trailhead. This closure is due to a damaged bridge and to provide for public safety. " A large tree uprooted and severely damaged the Haypress Bridge, compromising its structural integrity," stated Bob Hemus, Recreation Officer for the Orleans Ranger District. "The trail will stay closed until we complete an inspection of the bridge and can acquire funds to repair or replace the bridge," continued Hemus. This is expected to be a long term closure.
For more information contact Bob Hemus, Orleans District Recreation Officer at (530) 627-3291.   News Release

An easier trail into Wooley?

For those of you who have done Wooley Cr you probably agree that its an awesome run you'd like to do more often. Doing Bridge Cr is more than my back can handle anymore and the normal trail is pretty long. (Doing Bridge means that you're going to be in a rush by the time you get down to Wooley Creek.) Several people (including myself) have tried to find the illusive trail marked on maps that drops in from above, and failed. I finally found it from the bottom. The fires from last summer cleaned it up a bit. It's just a very faint trough and looks as if no one has used it for about 10 years. If anyone else is into working on this, it could end up being the cush way to get into Wooley. I did a little work on it with a machete, clearing out the bottom third (maybe). It wouldn't take a lot more to do the top. The trouble is finding it. I noticed some pink and black striped flagging on it.
The trail is shown on the "Marble Mtn Wilderness and Russian Wilderness" topo that you can buy at Somes bar. It comes down the ridge that is just to the west and barely upstream from the main cabin at Wooley camp. You can find the start of it (from the bottom) by looking for a huge cut log just above the main trail above the cabin. It goes right up the whole ridge, staying near the nose of the ridge. I haven't looked for the top yet, but the map shows it with a trailhead off F.R. 12N48, going right by peak 4019.
* * If interested, bring: a machete, some flagging tape, the map, lots of water, some gloves and a GPS. I took a GPS reading at about the 1/3 up point. (I'll post it later if people are interested.) It should take a couple guys 2-4 hours to clean up the rest of it. Once cleaned up, you should end up with an awesome trail that is very smooth and easy to drag a kayak down. (extremely few rocks on the bottom section. Not sure about the top.) It looks to be about 2 mi and all downhill, as opposed to 5.5 of up and down coming into the main trail.
Never bother with the trail shown coming down off of Black Mtn. I waisted a lot of time up there last year, looking.   -Posted online by Dana691 at Boof.com .

keep going on the main road heading further north. Go 1 mile past Camp 3 and look for a right turn on the other end of the same road 12N48. (Take this way because its easier and there is a log across the road blocking the middle section.) Go about another 0.5 mi to a 3 way fork, and take the middle fork which heads steep uphill. (marked with a little pink flagging.) Follow that road (marked on the map as 'A') about 3/4 mile til it ends.
Look for some flagging heading south up the ridge following an old road. You're basically continuing in the same direction that the 'A' road is pointing you.
That upper section will need a lot of work, but it gets much better after it drops over the ridge into the Wooley drainage.  Just before you drop over the ridge and into the Wooley drainage stay alert for the pink flagging which will show a left turn at an indistinct junction. This junction occurs when you come out into an open area and it seems as if the old road is veering to the right. (Its not.) The ridge will be very obvious in front of you. This whole section needs a lot of work.
Once you get down onto the final ridge dropping into Wooley camp, the GPS waypoint I gave for 1/3 up is a good pointer to use. (Eventually it will be very obvious without having to use GPS. Just follow the flagging.)

Other Information Sources:

California Creeks - Wooley Creek

Jefferson State Creeking: Wooley Creek

Jefferson State Creeking: Bridge Creek - tributary of Wooley

Klamath Nat. Forest: Rivers & Whitewater Rafting

Salmon River Restoration Council

Summer Steelhead




StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-02-14 03:12:30

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Wooley CampN/A
1.0Gorge Drop InN/AWaterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Gorge Drop In (Class N/A, Mile 1.0)

this cascade quickly becomes a bigger drop

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
October 14 2005 (4841 days ago)
Craig IrwinDetails
committing, remote, beautiful... Wooley creek makes confluence with the Cal-Salmon after a series
of mini-gorges and miles of amazing California wilderness boating. Expect some bush-whacking for
the winding uphill trail to put-in. (best done with pack mules)